Environment Creation in Narrative Writing
K. Trap Jones
Two things make a book: Characters and Environment. When done well, the two blend effortlessly and create a memorable story. Environment or setting is a character all to itself. In narrative writing, it becomes even more a challenge because a normal person doesn’t sit around and heavily describe their surroundings. In order to build the environment in narrative writing, interaction between the backdrop is very important. Fluff adjectives are useless within narrative writing. There is usually a trigger within the environment which will prompt the narrator to have emotion. As a writer constructing third person prose, I can certainly describe a scene with a ton of paragraphs and go on and on about setting up a scene, but all of those rules go out the window when it comes to narrative tones. Narration has a certain pace which must remain constant throughout the whole story. The words are the characters. In order to achieve the blend of descriptors and narration, the descriptors should never overshadow the emotion of the character. For instance, in the first chapter of One Bad Fur Day, I needed to get across something simple like a storm was approaching. I couldn’t just say that because I had to get inside the narrator’s mind and write what he saw because he has no idea that a storm is coming. It ended up this way:
The wind was starting to pick up, but it was nothing unusual for that time of year within the bayous of Louisiana. The tree tops danced in the red orange hue of the sky. I never grew tired of watching them bend and give way to the mercy of the wind. As we walked along the path, the loose leaves had no strength to hold on and fell.
With regular prose, I could spend some time here and describe the approaching storm with great detail and inform the reader it is the storm of the century, heavy destruction coming, etc. but with narration, it doesn’t work. Every interaction with the environment is through the eyes of the narrator. It’s a fun challenge to write narrative stories and that’s why I keep coming back throughout the years. I always get that moment within every story, where I tell myself “Hey, the character doesn’t know that yet? You have to remove that section.” It keeps me on my toes.
One Bad Fur Day is a narrative story told through the eyes of Sid the Sheriff who is on a quest to find his missing wife. Through the Louisiana bayous, filled with memorable characters, Sid must transverse through chaotic environments in order to locate clues to the whereabouts of Sally.
K. Trap Jones
Call it odd, call it off-beat, call it fantasy; but don’t think for a moment that One Bad Fur Day is anything other than a suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery…
As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge.
- Trap Jones does a fantastic job of pairing the genuine horror of a natural disaster with a story of deceit, betrayal and vengeance that pulls you in and forces the reader to identify with Sid as he journeys through the darkest reaches of the bayous, facing deadly encounters, on One Bad Fur Day!
One Bad Fur Day is available at:
Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – K. Trap Jones is an author of horror novels and over 50 short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, he has a temptation towards narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society.
His novel THE SINNER (Blood Bound Books) won the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award. His splatterpunk novella, THE DRUNKEN EXORCIST has been released by Necro Publications. His narrative horror short story collection, THE CROSSROADS is available from Hazardous Press.
He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida.
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