Setting - The Michener Effect

My wife dislikes James Michener. "He's so unbelievably wordy in terms of the setting and describing every aspect of the place." I'll admit to being a science nerd so I actually like Michener's lengthy descriptions of the changing geology over the eons. When I begin a new novel, I tend to find myself beginning with the setting as well. I'm no James Michener, but I like to describe it using all my senses. The prose comes more naturally and it gets me into a writing rhythm. The dialogue usually flows freely after this 'senses setup'. Even when I have no idea of the plot yet, there's always the setting. 

1 comment

  • Piper

    Piper Mauritius

    A kindred spirit! I read many of James Michener's when I was a teen - big hunk of book, bonus. Totally immersive in the environment - double bonus. I find writing setting first also grounds me, it helps draw me into the story world that's only just forming, but I can experience it through all my senses. (Hopefully, the reader does too!) It may end up not being an opening sentence or scen

    A kindred spirit! I read many of James Michener's when I was a teen - big hunk of book, bonus. Totally immersive in the environment - double bonus.
    I find writing setting first also grounds me, it helps draw me into the story world that's only just forming, but I can experience it through all my senses. (Hopefully, the reader does too!)
    It may end up not being an opening sentence or scen

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