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The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to City Spaces (Writers Helping Writers Series) Paperback – May 22, 2016
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.18 pounds
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0989772563
- ISBN-10 : 098977256X
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 0.69 x 10 inches
- Publisher : JADD Publishing (May 22, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #78,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There are several chapters in the beginning that are one of the best guides I've found for using setting. If you already have it's sibling The Rural Setting Thesaurus, The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Places , Don't think these first chapters are duplicates. Together they make up an even more complete guide.
I often simply browse each of the 6-volumn collection by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi for inspiration and ideas. It's more than a reference for improving settings you already have - I have incorporated some I hadn't thought of. And more importantly, when I get bored with my story (2nd drafts, revisions, edits) I get excited about developing my characters, writing description, and improving all elements of storytelling. I'd say take it on your beach holiday, but you'll want to get back to your writing and you're on vacation!
If, like me, you can't get enough - Their website WritersHelpingWriters has more topics (free!) for the collection in the same quality and style - including a unique "Emotional Wounds Thesaurus". If you're not convinced you need to buy this book (and the 4 others), the website also includes samplings.
It is clear the authors experienced each setting personally - I understand they even allowed themselves to be arrested and jailed to know beyond the obvious, how it felt, smelled, sounded etc. etc. Talk about dedication to detail and accuracy !
I do not accept free books or money, in exchange for a review.
I do not give 5 stars, for reasons you can probably figure out.
I gave, The Urban Setting Thesaurus, 4 stars, because it is one
of the most useful books,I have sitting next to my computer.,
It gets constant use, and I even read it when I am not looking
for a particular setting.
I like to hear people tell me, "When I read your stories, I feel like I am
right there in the scene. I can see the details you are describing."
That is what writing teachers/instructors have been telling fledgeling
writers forever.........Show Don't Tell.
And the descriptions/details in this thesaurus, along with the other
good information,will help you do just that.......Show Don't Tell.
Always remember, the more you know, the more you will be able
Get the book, and wear it out.
"The Urban Setting Thesaurus," is basically a Cliff's Notes morgue for writers, who want to get the bare-bones vibe, ambiance, or description of various locales when writing fiction. The quality of the descriptions on offer inside varies, and the authors too often leave out the exteriors/structures of the places that they're describing. This is a pretty egregious oversight, because stories and novels usually have the literary equivalent of cinema's "establishing shot," whereby an exterior is described (along with maybe the weather) before getting to the action going on inside the building.
The book also provides sensory details for each entry, but makes another pretty big mistake under the heading of "Taste" by being a bit too literal and forgetting that some smells are strong enough (or malodorous enough) that they (sometimes unfortunately) can also be considered tastes. How many war stories or criminal procedurals have you read, for instance, in which a character describes the smell of blood or bodies so strong that it could be tasted? Unpleasant, sure, but a large part of what drives multiple genres of fiction is unpleasant, and taking this into account would have made the book better.
"The Urban Setting Thesaurus" is a companion piece or complement to "The Rural Setting Thesaurus," which I also own, and which I will also get around to reading, and reviewing. Hopefully it's better than this. Tepid rec.
This particular book is organized around various urban settings, what you might see there, who might be there, function, what might happen there, and ideas for how to use the setting to push your story forward. These aren’t how-to books so much as idea-generating or helping you move past something if you are stuck.
Top reviews from other countries
The key here being contemporary. The unfortunate reason for my mediocre rating is that while the story is fantastic for contemporary stories, it offers little help for writing a story set in any kind of city that isn't a modern one. I had bought it in the hopes of it being useful to writing a city of a fantasy or Victorian setting, for which the book is ill suited.