The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.Neil Gaiman, American Gods
What do these words conjure up for you? What do you “see”? Is there a type of house (or a hint of a house) that comes to mind?
There! In that one sentence, Gaiman has created a setting for us.
What kind of story is going to be told? Why do you think that?
Again, Gaiman has set up context for us.
You don’t have to spend pages or paragraphs to give a story setting and context. A few well-chosen words will do the trick.
Read the poem on this website, then answer the questions below in the comments section of this page:
- What is the setting in the first stanza of the poem for you?
- How about the setting in the third stanza?
- The final line of the poem, “Warsaw, 1944” puts the poem in context. What was going on in Warsaw, Poland, in 1944?
- What do you think this poem is about with the final line?
- What would change if the final line was gone?
The takeaway here is that a few words can change the context of a rather peaceful setting.
This week is going to be a writing week.
I want you to spend time reviewing your Cohort’s reviews of your first short story, revising it, and then posting it on our website under Short Stories. Next, I want you to work on your second short story and submit it to your Cohort.
Details and deadlines can be found on Week 10’s Assignment page!