The last exercise in Chapter 9, the chapter in Steering the Craft on Indirect Narration, is about implying characteristics or setting the mood using location or place. When I think of indirect narration, this is what comes to mind – like the scene setting and music in a movie or TV show, this is how the mood is set. For some reason, I thought this would be easy – maybe because its nearing Halloween and so the “scene” around my neighborhood has been deliberately and obviously set with decorations and pumpkins – but I wound up doing this exercise twice. When I went back and read my first attempt, it didn’t really tell me anything about the character or the mood of the story. So I tried again…
First, the instructions:
“Exercise Nine, Part 3: Implication
Each part of this should involve 200-600 words of descriptive prose. In both, the voice is either involved author or detached author. No viewpoint character.
Character by indirection: Describe a character by describing any place inhabited or frequented by that character – a room, house, garden, office, studio, bed, whatever. (The character isn’t present at the time.)
The untold event: Give us a glimpse of the mood and nature of some event or deed by describing the place – room, rooftop, street, park, landscape, whatever – where it happened or is about to happen. (The event or deed doesn’t need to happen in your piece.)”
Steering the Craft, Page 111-112