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Creative Writing Exercises For Dummies by Maggie Hamand

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Chapter 14

Using Description to Create Atmosphere and … and … Suspense!

In This Chapter

arrow Producing a convincing atmosphere

arrow Anticipating future events

arrow Using the weather, seasons and days

arrow Including the weird and disturbing

I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.

—Edgar Allan Poe (The Fall of the House of Usher, 1839)

Few writers can create a chilling mood as effectively as Edgar Allan Poe. As the above quote implies, some of his characters seem to exude atmosphere from their very person.

Precise, evocative description is key to the way a story works. Although some people think of description as a kind of padding between the exciting bits of a fictional narrative, nothing’s further from the truth. Description aids the creation of mood, atmosphere and tension.

Description allows you as the writer to offer a window into your character’s thoughts, feelings and inner world. People sense and experience the world differently, in their own unique way; effective descriptive writing provides readers with a great deal of information about your characters as well as the world outside them, ...

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