Explore New Environments with Your Characters to Add Atmosphere & Detail

Hey, writers! Summertime is in full swing and with that comes the opportunity to experience new things, meet new people, and explore new environments you’ve never visited before. However, sometimes we can’t go to the place we’ve been dying to visit. So why not check it out in your writing? Imagine what it might be like to explore that place, whether it be a different state, country, or maybe even a new planet altogether.

If you’re writing about a place you’ve never visited before, how are you supposed to know what it’s like to be there? Research it! Look up some travel brochures. Check out one of the many travel handbooks in my booklist below or elsewhere in the library. Or do some Googling of your own! Compare the similarities and differences between there and here. Maybe someone has already written about it and you can read their experience.

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If you’re writing about a place you have visited before, try recalling that trip and see what you remember. If something particularly exciting happened, feel free to incorporate that into your writing as well (remember our prompt of merging fiction and reality?).

Prompt

Wherever you visit in your mind, think about what might be new about the environment to you. How would you react to these things?

explore new environments

Imagine you were dropped in the middle of this place by yourself or with a few friends. What would you all do? What secrets might you all find?

To sum it up: Pick a place you would love to visit, read about it, imagine yourself (or a character) there and write about it. Oh yeah and have fun!

Bonus

Many of us Kansans may not get to visit a rainforest anytime soon. However, we can imagine what it might be like right here at the library. All summer long there is a Rainforest Adventure happening in the gallery that’s free to visit and open during library hours. Work your way through the obstacle course and envision the sights, smells, sounds and feelings of the deep forest. Maybe you’ll get inspired!

As always, if you want to share what you’ve written or would like some feedback on your work, please submit your stories to teenwriters@tscpl.org. Travel safely and happy writing!

Kody is a Youth Librarian at TSCPL who primarily works with teens. He enjoys music, writing, photography, and lots of coffee in his spare time. Don't hesitate to say hello!