I love craft books and the thesaurus collections by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are no exception. This time I’m reviewing: The Rural Settings Thesaurus. If you need help with your setting, this is the book!! I’ve come to think that settings are as important as your characters. In this book, you get the lowdown on seven different ways to enhance your setting. For instance, weather can establish a mood and you’re given the following example:
The tumbled walls of the ancient ruins stretched upwards, basking in the sun’s glow. Indeed, they were warm to the touch, their stone surfaces worn and smooth from centuries of wind and rain. Overgrown grass hugged the stones’ knees while snapdragons and cornflowers nodded in the gentle breeze.
The book is set up simply. Pick any rural setting (for urban settings, there’s a thesaurus on those too!!) such as: Block Party. You’re given suggestions based on sights, sounds, tastes, smells, textures and sensations, possible conflicts that could happen here, people that can be found here, related settings that might tie in, setting notes and tips, and examples of how this setting can work in your story.
So, if I wanted to have a story set during a house fire, I could pick from sights: smoke drifting at the ceiling level and sliding under the doors, and from tastes ( a hard one to come up with sometimes): thick phlegm, and from notes and tips: that smoke inhalations makes memory recall and problem solving more difficult. Or one set in nursery, I could pick from sounds: the baby sucking on thumb or slurping at fingers, and from smells, disinfectant, and discover the type of people found here are babysitters for one.
The rural settings go from everything in an attic to county fairs to a bonus material: ancient ruins. There’s SO much that could be of use to a writer here. I know when I’m researching places, it’s sometimes difficult to find information on each of these choices. This book solves that problem. I hope it will do the same for you.