Today I’m using a visual prompt for my writing exercise. One of my biggest challenges as an author is writing good, descriptive setting. I tend to write lean, with only a rough, skeletal sketch of the surroundings. This is largely because I’m not a fan of reading huge chunks of text about setting. I tend to skim that part. However, there are many, many readers who want the full experience. They want the author to drop them into the setting so hard that they feel like they need a map to get back home.
With that in mind, today I’m going to focus more heavily on building a scene. You all can let me know if it’s an epic fail.
As always, you all are invited to do the writing exercise along with me by posting your results in the comment section below. I look forward to reading what you come up with.
Sharon leaned against the rail as she sipped her wine, a fruity white zin that almost made her smile despite the circumstances. The murky water churned against the sides of the ferry, spreading as if resentful of the disruption. She thought about pouring the wine over the edge. She needed to maintain a clear head, and any fish that could survive in that sludge deserved a nice drink to help pass the time.
“What are you doing over here all by yourself,” Ronaldo, their host for the evening, asked in what he probably thought was a charming, flirty voice. Sharon was not charmed, and he was certainly not her type so the flirting held little appeal.
She sipped her wine and tried to muster a bit more of a smile. She was still working, after all, and needed to keep up appearances. While Ronaldo smiled at her, blissfully unaware of how disinterested she was in his groomed to perfection, manish self, Sharon glanced over his shoulder to his wife, Renee. It made smiling just that much easier. And, frankly, that much harder as well.
“Just catching a bit of a break.” She brought her gaze back to Ronaldo. If she focused on the dimple in his left cheek, rather than the five-o’clock shadow, the over-gelled hair, and the smartly waxed mustache, it wasn’t so bad. Better than the sullen brown water she’d been staring at. Barely.
“You must come and rejoin us. Renee has a question for you.” He gesture toward his wife with a sweep of his arm and a slight bow.
Sharon barely contained her sigh as she glanced over her shoulder one last time. The Paris skyline rose up on the banks of the river behind her, and she could just make out the top half of the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps if she pushed Ronaldo into the drink, Renee would be more inclined to ask her question while naked. It would be easy. The rail was at just the right height, and though he carried easily a hundred pounds more than she did, she knew the finer points of maneuvering opponents much larger than him.
Renee caught her eye and gestured invitingly, a sultry smirk on the edge of her lips as if she knew exactly what Sharon had fantasized about doing to her.
Before moving away from the rail, Sharon downed the rest of her wine. In order to play nice while watching Ronaldo paw at Renee as if he owned her, she would need it. Plus a whole lot more. “Of course, darling. Be a dear and refill my glass, would you?”