Setting the Scene

Outtakes 251

Setting the Scene

by Cait Collins


My publications are in broadcasting. When writing a news or sports report, a commercial, or even a documentary, facts can be more important than description. Footage provides the setting. So, sometimes setting the scene is difficult for me. I often have to research styles, locales, and history in order to describe the scene. These are questions I ask myself when describing the setting.

Home style     Ranch, Contemporary, Victorian, Edwardian, cabin, middle class, mansion

Locale              City, town, village, mountains, plains, beach, west region, eastern seaboard, Deep South

Flora                aspen or birch, oak, walnut, maple, elm, cedar, roses, types of wild flowers, magnolia, lily of the valley, sunflowers, grass

Fauna              predators, domesticated animals, elk, deer, birds, water life

Colors             black or ebony, gray or mist, yellow or daffodil, orange or peach, red or terra cotta, blue or aquamarine, green or meadow, brown or mahogany, purple or lavender

Time period    Victorian, Old west, Civil War, Depression era, WWI, WWII, 50’s

Once I answer these and other questions, I have I have a clear picture of where I am, and I write a “character sketch” of the setting. Information in hand, I can create the scene.


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