How to Describe a Character’s Neighborhood

WordDreams...

Does a dog make the neighborhood?A character’s neighborhood provides the opportunity to tell us about him/her without narrative. People live where they’re comfortable, so how you describe the protagonist or antagonist’s home town will reflect his values, beliefs, passions.

When your character is out and about, take the opportunity to describe his neighbors, what he notices around him, the traffic–vehicles and foot, the flora and fauna, the rhythm of his world. Does he live amidst spreading estates or in a cluttered old apartment complex? Are homes stately and old or nouveau riche?

The descriptions I’ve included below are from novels I’ve read. I hope you like them:

  • Buildings were tan stucco and wood slat, built around grassy knolls
  • It thrived as people went about their daily business, some walking or packing loads, others pounding corn in hollow mortars. The sound of shrieking children mingled with flute music. The slanted morning light gave everything a hazy…

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