Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Environmental Hints

As I was loading my breakfast dishes into the dishwasher this morning, I noticed most of the plates in there were our smaller ones: salad, luncheon, etc. size. I realized it gave me a hint as to what we'd been eating over the last couple of days.

It reminded me of the importance of leaving our readers with environmental clues as well. The space your characters live in should tell us something about them. Perhaps they prefer a particular style of furniture. A specific color palate or scheme. Do they leave things lying around in a cluttered mess or are they neat and organized? What kind of food is in their fridge or their pantry? Produce, fruits, and veggies would tell us they are health conscious. Soda pop, chips, and cookies would tell us they like to indulge. Do they have pictures on the mantel that tell us a bit about their family? Or is the space bare without any artwork on the walls?

What kind of clothes do they wear? Obviously my cowboys always wear boots, jeans, and hats. Does your heroine wear jeans? Flirty dresses? Is she most comfortable in a pair of strappy high heels or running shoes?

What kind of car do they drive? Pick up truck? Convertible? Corvette? Honda? Cadillac?

All of these small details add up to give our readers a deeper glimpse into our characters. So make sure everything you include has a purpose. You'd be surprised what readers can learn from our characters' environments.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Very true, Debra. A lot can be said about a person's character by their choice of furnishings, clothes, or cars.

  2. And it makes for an enjoyable read - when the surroundings are filled in. It grounds the reader in the story.