Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mindscape : guest blog

Setting Thesaurus Entry : Mindscape

I've liked thesauruses (thesauri?) ever since I discovered a copy of Roget's when I was twelve. That book contained lists of colors - it was the literary equivalent of the biggest box of Crayolas ever. For a year afterward, whenever I wrote something, my characters didn't just wear blue or green. They were clothed in cobalt and chartreuse instead.

Once I'd gotten over those excesses, though, that thesaurus took its place in my collection. I still have it. And another thesaurus collection extremely helpful to writers is The Bookshelf Muse.

Colors, emotions, settings, symbols... this blog has it all, along with suggestions and examples of how to use these to create evocative images and scenes. It's a wonderful source of ideas for description. And the setting entries are so varied - ranging from a tropical island to a secret laboratory.

So when Angela Ackerman graciously offered to host me on her blog for a guest post on setting, at first I wasn't sure what to write about. Medieval Castle had already been done. Manor House was an option, but I wanted something unusual, something unique to Before the Storm.

Then I thought of the Inward Way.

A psychic power that encompasses deception, illusion and control, the Inward Way also creates a dangerous mindscape. This is a place shaped by the imaginations and fears of whoever walks the Way, and Alex, the heroine, confronts one of the antagonists in this mindscape.

I immediately set to describing how other writers could use such a setting - it's very versatile, easily adapted for a futuristic or steampunk novel as well. Here's the result. Stop by and take a look! And be sure to check out the rest of the Bookshelf Muse as well.


Anonymous said...


Angela Ackerman said...

This one is one of my favs--so creative. Thanks so much!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Courtney Rene said...

Very impressive. I have a thing for dictionaries....maybe I should pay more attention to my thesaurus (Roget's II - Office edition)


Marian Perera said...

ralfast - Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Angela - Thanks so much for the opportunity and the suggestion. It gave me plenty of ideas and raw material too!

Courtney - the Setting Thesaurus is my favorite part of the Bookshelf Muse, because it reminds me of those Eyewitness Books that allow you to look inside a pyramid or a schooner. Along with a hefty dose of appeal-to-the-senses.

Matthew Rush said...

Brand new follower here, nice ta meet ya!

Amazing post over at the Bookshelf Muse. Absolutely loved it.

Marian Perera said...

Thanks, Matthew! Good to have you on board. :)