Writing (& Teaching) Setting-specific Story Details

If you’re a writer and/or teacher, you may be feeling the MUF-love emanating from your screen right now. That’s because today’s post about writing using setting-specific details is in your honor. Yep, it’s all for you. And for your readers. And for your students. And maybe even for your labradoodle named Cocoa who was briefly abducted by aliens and now spends his days pawing at a MacBook, composing original similes.

As a writer and a teacher, I love to explore and teach about the gloriously complex world of writing. I’m always learning something new and trying to improve my own writing craft. That’s what made me decide it was time to revisit my teaching roots and share something I’ve been working on in my own writing. And I brought J. K. Rowling along to help!

(Well, okay, that J. K. Rowling thing may almost, maybe, kind of be a lie. But I use a brief excerpt from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. And I allow my voice to climb toward falsetto as I do a very poor imitation of Professor McGonagall. So it’s pretty much like J. K. Rowling personally created this MUF post. Except she really didn’t. But I still couldn’t have done it without her.)

Anyway, enough parenthetical rambling! For today’s post you don’t need to do much reading. Instead, you can kick back with your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (or other favorite beverage), click the video below, and spend 3 minutes learning how setting-specific details strengthen a story and make it more believable.

If you’re a writer, I hope the video will give you something to think about in your own writing. If you’re a teacher, maybe you can use the video as a springboard to a writing lesson with your students. And if you’re neither a writer nor a teacher? . . . Well, maybe Cocoa the labradoodle will enjoy the brief respite from composing all of those similes.

Writing & Creating Story Setting with Specific Details

Have any favorite books or series where the author brings the setting alive? Any great examples of rich, setting-specific details from a book you’ve read? Feel free to post in the comments below.

T. P. Jagger The 3-Minute Writing TeacherAlong with his MUF posts, T. P. Jagger can be found at www.tpjagger.com, where he provides brief how-to writing-tip videos as The 3-Minute Writing Teacher plus original readers’ theatre scripts for middle-grade teachers. He also has a 10-lesson, video-based creative writing course available at Curious.com.

T. P. Jagger on PinterestT. P. Jagger on Youtube
T. P. Jagger
Along with his MUF posts, T. P. Jagger can be found at www.tpjagger.com, where he provides brief how-to writing-tip videos as The 3-Minute Writing Teacher plus original, free readers’ theater scripts for middle-grade classrooms. For T. P.’s 10-lesson, video-based creative writing course, check him out on Curious.com.
  1. No way that was a mere imitation of Professor McGonagall. That had to be the real deal. BTW, great tips on mixing in the scene-specific details. Thanks!

    • Glad you liked the tips! You clearly caught me trying to sneak the real Professor McGonagall past you. I thought I could get away with it. . .

  2. Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson is set in the harsh Alaskan wilderness and is a great survival story. Feels like you are there. I really liked your imitation of Professor McGonagall.

    • Brenda, thanks for sharing about ICE DOGS. I always like to have another good book to add to my to-read list!