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Description & Setting

(Write Great Fiction)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  840 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Build a Believable World

How essential is setting to a story? How much description is too much? In what ways do details and setting tie into plot and character development? How can you use setting and description to add depth to your story?

You can find all the answers you need in Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting by author and instructor Ron Rozelle. This
Paperback, First Edition, 224 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Writer's Digest Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  840 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Writing books are so dififcult to rate, because their value is in how they improve my writing or give me inspiration/insights into writing. If it tells me something I already know, then it's "not as good" as a book that told me something new. But to another reader, the "obvious" information may be something they've never known, and have great leaps in their writing progress as a result.

So, for me at least, this book covered a lot of things I knew, but a few different ways to approach descriptive
E.F. Jace
Jan 17, 2012 added it
Recommends it for: Anyone willing to improve their craft.
Shelves: resource-books
Definitely a book you want to pick up. This book doesn't just tackle description in regards to setting, it tackles setting and how it effects the flow of your story, how it can effect your themes, your characters and then it tackles how you'll want to go about describing pretty much anything in your work, characters, themes, moods, keeping your dialogue paced well in relation to using dialogue tags and, of course, how to go about describing the physical setting itself.

There's even a section
Allan Fisher
After having read five or six books recently this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. Highly instructive and informative. A real gem!!!!
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there’s one thing I learned from this book, it’s the art of Wordsmithing; the careful selection of words and phrases to enhance the readers’ experience. This technique can greatly improve the craft of a writer. I will re-reference this book from time to time. It has many useful examples and is perhaps a great source for getting ideas for my own work. I highly recommend this book for authors to be!
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I learned a lot but a book has to hold your attention in order to inform you. It was easy to get distracted from this one.
Natasha Oliver
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
After starting the journey of becoming a published author years ago, I've come across many "self-help" books on how to write a novel, and my experience is that 90% of them are a load of rubbish. This one fortunately for you and me, is not.

If you're serious about becoming a writer and you've already begun the journey, then this is one for the collection. I'm not positive that you will come back to it afterwards like Solutions for Writers by Sol Stein or your English Grammar reference book, but it
Brooke Johnson
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was a slog to get through, and apparently I've already read it once before, but it was so forgettable, I didn't remember ever reading it. I feel like I got a bit more out of it this time than my previous read of it four years ago, but it was still boring as heck to read. My mind kept wandering, and I'd have to reread paragraphs to make sure I didn't skim over something. There were some good nuggets buried in here, things that I sort of "knew" but never actually realized in a craft ...more
Anna Erishkigal
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have both this version and also the older Elements of Fiction writing book on 'Setting' by Bickham. Both were excellent, but I found the older version to be slightly more helpful in fleshing out the setting-as-a-character in my epic fantasy work. This is the newer of the two and it relies more on internet-research. When it comes to setting, there is nothing like being there and speaking to people who have been there to get a 'feel' for a place, I have discovered. But once again, both books ...more
Amanda Patterson
Dec 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book. All of the titles in this series are worth buying if you want to get published.You have to learn the techniques of what makes a novelist succeed in the 21st century - or carry on writing tomes for yourself.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
Description has been a bit of a weak spot for me. This has been pointed out by my editor and, at times, by the odd reader so I was aware I needed help. Being a bit of a fan of Readers’ Digest books, I grabbed this one while looking for my next book on writing (I try to always have a book on writing on my currently reading list.)

I’m actually satisfied with this one, and found it better than some other RD offerings, if only because this one mostly delivered on what it set out to do without getting
Monica T. Rodriguez
This book covers the main points and strategies for writing description and setting, but it didn't have a lot in the way of technique. He used a lot of examples, and sometimes would simply say, there. Read more like that. I also didn't find the exercises very useful. They were rather involved, and would have been more useful if I hadn't been in the midst of editing my work in progress.

Another thing that made me frequently start skimming was that the author was wordy and long-winded. He took
Todd Hogan
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Books that offer writing help are like Road Maps: Their value and usefulness depends upon where you are. Since I had questions about how to effectively create a sense of place, this book had some great ideas. But it goes further, giving hints on character descriptions and using all the tools in a writer's toolbox. More info than I needed.

Ron Rozelle does a good job of presenting the information, with some telling examples, and a fine appendix that reprises what was said earlier in the book. He
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book on the writer's craft. Lots of helpful examples.

This book is very instructive for both beginning and experienced writers. If you are already a writer, this book will give you lots of ideas that will make your manuscript even better. One thing I really liked was that when the author shared a particular tip, he quoted examples from noted writers that illustrate how they put that skill into practice in their own novels.
Erik Van Asch
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This Write Great Fiction series is awesome and probably my favorite set of writing books after reading hundreds of fiction writing books over the years.. Especially the Summary in the back of each book. But don't let that fool you into thinking you shouldn't read the full book and simply skip to the summary.
A. B. Neilly
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essay, writing, skills
I think this is a great book for any writer who wants to improve his craft. It is focused on how to do better descriptions and set your story with many examples and lots of practice exercises to apply to your own manuscript. I know my novel is going to be better thanks to this book.
Philip Dampier
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the better craft books I've read and like the others in the Write Great Fiction series has lots of helpful information. I particularly enjoyed all the references to wordsmithing. Being a wordsmith is the ambition of all writers I think. If you are into writing I recommend this book.
Rachel Woodruff
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for learning about the art of writing.
ZaBeth  Marsh
Good exercises to get you writing better descriptions and settings.
Patricia Caviglia
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The more I can learn about writing the better. This book is easy to follow and understand. It will definitely improve anyone's writing.
Lisa Cline
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, writing, 2019
Good concrete examples on what to do and not to do while crafting your story. Very helpful.
Katrin Gertsen
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is great!
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're a beginner and need help description and setting this book will be helpful to you.

An excellent guidance manual on how-to with examples.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book has a lot of practical advice, however it's missing wow factor.
T Ramon
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Must read, if you want to know anything about the practice of description & setting writing. Easy and informative read. Great reference.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I think it takes a lot of hubris to say you don't need to improve your craft; I worry what it says about me when I have to admit a book on writing didn't work for me. Becoming a better writer is important to me, but there comes a point in time where I had to admit the advice didn't work for me or it wasn't clear or some other factor prevented me to get the full lessons I was seeking.

There were parts of this book where I found the advice to be so useful I wanted to figure out a way to integrate
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading for the exercises at the end of each chapter, as well as the info provided.
Dona McCormack
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read my Instagram review of this book here:

What I love most about Ron Rozelle's Description and Setting is the exercises. In going back through this book in order to write this review, I remember working some of these and feeling how beneficial they were to my understanding to the working of setting in a scene. I used to be a scene pumper -- open a scene and provide several sentences (or paragraphs or pages) -- but reading Rozelle's lessons and doing his
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
Description and Setting tackles the two elements which give life to the whole picture of a story. Rozelle shares his experience and knowledge of the craft in a general sense despite the focus on description and setting. Rozelle says good writing isn't dependent on setting, but any good story needs it. He covers how to pay attention to details in daily life to help enrich descriptions, the tools we use in writing, the difference between showing and telling, sensory description, character ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been writing off and on for about 10+ years but only in the last year and a half have I gotten serious about it. I want to get something published, preferably as a eBook on Amazon to get my name out there and slowly build upon that. That's the plan anyway. Although I've written for a number of years, I'm still very much a novice. I still grapple with grammar issues, perspective, etc. in my writing.

This book is a very useful resource for beginning writers. The author, Ron Rozelle, explains
Colin Hoad
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-books
I've been working my way through the "Write Great Fiction" series. In all honesty I didn't expect to learn as much from this book as from the others, as I had always considered description to be one of my strengths. I was wrong! Ron Rozelle cleverly combines the nitty gritty of descriptive language with important rules on when and where to use it most effectively. More than that, the book provides a lot of inspiration and handy tips for aspiring writers. I have already begun my writing journal ...more
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“Readers want to know a few things right up front, like what the weather is like and the lay of the land, the color of that lake, or the steep pitch of that steeple. Now whether or not these things have one iota to do with your story doesn't concern the reader.” 1 likes
“Everybody needs a pat on the back occasionally, even if it is self-inflicted.” 0 likes
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