by Adam Huddleston
During my family’s recent trip to east Texas for Thanksgiving, I had a great opportunity to notice the differences in topography between the Panhandle and the Piney Woods regions. Growing up near Sulphur Springs, I took for granted just how beautiful that area of the state is. We now live in Canyon, just south of Amarillo, and while it has its own charm and splendor (try watching the sun set over the plains without believing in a higher power), the towering trees and rolling hills of my childhood will always hold a special place in my heart. This brings me to my point: when writing, work hard to help your reader visualize the surroundings.
Describe the flora around your characters. The length of grass and its color, height and species of trees, and types of flowers in the area go a long way in making the story world vibrant for your reader.
Mention any sounds the character might hear. Do they live in a bustling city with car engines and the constant murmur of passersby, or are they in a peaceful rural setting with only the wind rustling the leaves and the simple cluck of chickens?
Smells can play an important part as well, especially food. Describe what the character tastes and how it makes them feel. Try to relate it to a specific experience in their past.
With a little work and imagination, you can make your story’s environment jump off the page and pull your reader in. Happy writing!