See you next time

That’s it for this lesson. We’ve explored how to create the physical world of a story using:

  • Physical details
  • The way people behave and interact with the world
  • The way the world changes over time
  • History of things in the world
  • The meaning and value of things in the world
  • Spatial relationships between things in the world

Hopefully you know a bit more about how to paint a picture in a someone else’s head now.

Notice the next time you're reading about a location in a story. How does the writer create that place? Is it purely static description? Do they use other techniques? How important is that place to the story, and how vividly can you imagine it?

Look at the world around you. 50% of good writing is noticing details. What details do you see?

  • If there are desks, what kind of desks? If there are plants, what kind of plants?
  • What colour are the leaves? Are they green? What shade of green? What size and shape are the leaves?
  • What is the effect of this place on you? What does it mean?
  • What is its history? How do people use it?

Places can become completely fascinating once you start to look more closely and ask yourself why they are the way they are.

Where did the snippets come from?

We used a lot of text sources in this lesson!

Miles Morales cover

Some of the snippets were from Jason Reynolds' Miles Morales Spider-Man novel, which is a cool reimagining of Spider-Man as a Black-Latino teen.

Children of Blood and Bone cover

We used snippets from Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone, a grand adventure set in a fantasy version of West Africa, in which a girl leads a quest to find magical artifacts that she hopes will overthrow a tyrant and restore magic to the world.

The Jumbies cover

We used snippets from The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. This is a spooky adventure based on Haitian folklore, about a girl who becomes the target of a witch with sinister plans.

The Land of Forgotten Girls cover

We used snippets from Erin Entrada Kelly's The Land of Forgotten Girls, which is a beautifully written story about two sisters who use stories to escape from an abusive stepmother and an otherwise crappy life.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon cover

We also used a couple of snippets from Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, about beautiful, magical quest set in a mythical version of China. 

Where did the inspiration images come from?

A 1920s picture of some women having a tea party in a pond with alligatorsWe don't know who took this photo, but it was taken in the 1920s at a place called the California Alligator Farm. Sadly this stellar attraction was shut down in the 1953. :crying emoji:

Penguins in a dark and smoky blacksmith workshopThe checkpoint piece image comes from Nicholas Kennedy, an artist at Disney who does these beautiful, luminous landscapes and backgrounds.

Edivaldo Barbosa De Souza kids jumping in riverFor the first example on each page, we took inspiration from this painting by Edivaldo Barbosa De Souza, a Brazilian artist who paints lush and intricate tropical landscapes.Michel Delacroix' painting of a snowy street at Christmas in ParisFor the second example, we wrote while looking at this painting from Michel Delacroix, a French artist who paints scenes of life in Paris.

That's it for this lesson. See you next time!