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The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Places

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  279 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Within the pages of a book exists a world drawn from a writer’s deepest imaginings, one that has the ability to pull readers in on a visceral level—but only if the realm and its inhabitants can be described well. This can be achieved by providing readers with a unique sensory experience via the setting. So much more than stage dressing, the setting can build mood, convey m ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published June 15th 2016 by JADD Publishing
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4.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  279 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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K.M. Weiland
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The one thing I always appreciate Ackerman and Puglisi's Thesauri series is how comprehensive they are. They never stop at just the obvious, and they always over-deliver. Their Setting Thesauri are no different, offering not just the obvious notes of the various settings they've covered, but going into easy-to-miss details like smells and tastes. They even offer to jumpstart the brainstorming with categories on "potential sources of conflict." This Rural Setting Thesaurus, in particular, is wond ...more
Sacha Black
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Both the settings thesauri are fantastic. Much like the first in the series (the emotion thesaurus) it is supremely useful. I particularly like the fact each setting has accompanying suggestions on the right senses. This book is extremely generous in its quantity of different settings. If you're a new writer, this book is perfect for you to bring depth to your witting by ensuring you capture your setting adequately.
Traci Kenworth
Book Talk…6/24/16
Traci Kenworth

I love craft books and the thesaurus collections by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are no exception. This time I’m reviewing: The Rural Settings Thesaurus. If you need help with your setting, this is the book!! I’ve come to think that settings are as important as your characters. In this book, you get the lowdown on seven different ways to enhance your setting. For instance, weather can establish a mood and you’re given the following example:

The tumbled walls of
Cathy Brockman
The Rural Setting Thesaurus is a great tool for all writers. no matter what genre you write the settings are as important as the characters and plot. I didn't realize just how much until I read this book. I learned so much and will be using this book in the future for all my writing. There are so many examples and tips before you get to the actual Thesaurus part broken down into many settings. The table of contents is linked so you can click it and go right to the pages you need. It is so easy t ...more
Kristal McKerrington
I was so happy when I finished reading this master piece for its what I have been searching for. It has everything I need to set up a scene and to do what I need when the words are sounding the same.

LR Braden
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-craft
Ackerman and Puglisi have published an entire series of books designed to help authors create unique details. Some focus on character building, others on world building. The Urban and Rural Setting Thesauruses focus on the latter.

The main part of these books is the actual thesaurus, which lists places an author is likely to write about. Under each listing, they have included descriptive details you are likely to find in each location arranged by sense: sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures an
Ann Shannon
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Rural Setting Thesaurus opens with some great suggestions on how to use setting to make your story come alive and then an entries for various settings and what they might be like. They include the sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and possible sources of conflict that might come from that setting amongst other suggestions. Again, an invaluable resource.

I have the whole set on my kindle which I can carry with me for easy reference. On the Kindle version the table of contents is linked and y
M.A. Nichols
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this series of books. They're great desk references for authors wanting inspiration for their writing. It helps spur new ideas and helps your writing from becoming stagnant and repetitive (just like having a regular thesaurus does for your word choice). I would highly recommend these books for anyone looking to improve their craft.

I will say that I do struggle with this particular one in the series because I don't like how the information is formatted. It's not as easy to scan through for
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Decent as a standalone but definitely better if you have the Urban volume alongside. I almost didn't take this book out because I almost never write anything out in the country, but that isn't the only setting included in this volume. On top of that, Home and School subsections are included, and the home one in particular could be helpful for me. The locations include common senses--all five--that can be experienced there, people who frequent those locations, and possible conflicts that occur. A ...more
Samantha Stroiazzo
This Thesaurus was lacking compared to many of the others in the series. You could feel a specific bias behind some of the entries. Sure, it's not meant to be in-depth but I think they could have done better with more experience along socio-economic paths. Maybe take in more peer reviews and take from different genres to fill in more of a vision.
Holly Davis
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must-have for any writer or author! Ackerman and Publisi not only provide a comprehensive list of rural setting descriptions, but they start the thesaurus out with great examples and advice on how to get the most out of your setting descriptions with the use of similes, metaphors, personification, hyperboles, and more. Truly grateful for these books.
Jan Schwietert
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful

I like this book. Not only excellent suggestions for specific descriptions, but good tips on using the senses in descriptions and good explanations about what makes a description good.

Joshua K
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just got it. Looks good! I ordered several of the other books in this series. By including sections on the senses: sights, sounds, smells, it gives me a lot more material to use in writing descriptive prose.
Leanne Beadle
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book for describing rural settings.
Roger Alderman
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book always remains close by as I work on my own fiction titles.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
They've thought of everything when putting this book together. This is now one of my standard resource books.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-books
A great tool for every writer. Even if you don't actively need to fill in a setting, I find thumbing through it gives me inspiration for being more intentional with setting my stories.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read, and then re-read, series. A vital reference for writers.
Adrienne Bross
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great descriptive resource for writers. I have found it very useful in my own writing.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Less settings than the Urban Thesaurus, but still a great resource.
Krishna Mehta
Jan 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish it was more inclusive and beyond USA.
Not helpful for stories which aren't in USA at all. I was hoping for more variation with landscapes, timelines, vegetation.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good book, that has helped me with my book writing.
Heather Wenonah
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Helped me explore new ways of experiencing a scene and writing out.
A great reference book for writing.
Melinda Sabo
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What I love about these books is that they can help spark your imagination in your first draft, but they're also invaluable to the editing process.
I was lucky enough to win this book through Goodreads Giveaways (which is AMAZING because this is only the second time I've ever (memorably) won anything in my 3 decades on this earth). But I was planning on buying it if hadn't won it. I own Becca Puglisi's and Angela Ackerman's other thesauruses and love them.

I was so excited when they announced they were going to release this book and its companion, The Urban Setting Thesaurus. I knew I would not be disappointed, but this book is even better
Victoria Ichizli-Bartels
A disclamer: I got a copy of this e-book to write an honest review.
What a brilliant resource! I am a huge setting "avoider". Or at least I used to be. And I was afraid of describing the settings thinking that these descriptions took away from the story I was writing. I did manage in the past to improve the settings' descriptions during the self-edit and later work with a professional editor, but it was often with inner struggle. Now this has changed. There are so many wonderful ideas in this the
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I'm telling you. For a writer, especially one who maybe hasn't been to or experienced as many things, I need books like these to help my describe to my readers what I want them to hear, touch, and emotionally feel what I'm feeling. Rural settings Thesaurus has everything you need for every setting to the dusty attic to the mountain trees. Descriptions and senses written for you to experience and to help your audience experience what your experiencing in your mind.

Rural Set
J. Dorner
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-on-writing
The first 13% is all valuable information that will make you a better writer if you implement it. There are great tips such as “the setting in each scene should be unique and memorable” and “conflict needs to be recurring and frequent while varying in intensity.” The settings each have something for all five primary senses, people found there, potential conflicts, related settings, tips, and examples. A wonderful reference guide that could also be used for writing prompts. The book’s appendixes ...more
Christina Li
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a treasure! Highly recommend to any author. Each setting includes sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures and sensations. The authors include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found there, related settings, setting notes and tips as well as a setting description sample. So glad to have this! While I've been to many of these places, my settings can be enhanced by those special 'extras' these ladies have included.

I was given a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
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ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of 7 bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (now an expanded 2nd Edition). Her books are available in six languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world.

Angela is also the co-foun
“But the truth is that every setting can hold value. Every location can add something to the scene. Characterization can be made with the observation of one object. Mood can be set with the condition of the wallpaper in a house or the way a room smells. Foreshadowing can be achieved just as easily.” 1 likes
“Lengthy sentences like these lend themselves to emotions that are lower-energy, such as contentment, nostalgia, or wonder. Short sentences, on the other hand, often best express high-energy emotions: fear, anxiety, anger, impatience, excitement, etc.” 0 likes
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