Purple Prose + setting

Tip # 97: Color Your World

When describing the setting in your scene, you want to avoid mentioning everything found there. Only describe the floral wallpaper if it’s important to the mood, characterization, emotion, or plot. Everything else can be ignored. By doing this, those details that are “shown” will have greater impact.
If you’re like me, your setting will take shape over several drafts as you pile on the details. Then you trim away those parts that aren’t essential, leaving you with a stronger setting. Sometimes you don’t know what those details will be until several drafts later.
The same trick can be used in photography. Turning the background black & white, while the object you want to emphasis is left in its original color, will add emotion to the photo. As you can see in the second picture, the red flowers would have been lost with the red dress as the background. (Sorry, the original photo used to create the first picture has gone awol, but this is the same dress.)

What are some of your favorite tricks for dealing with settings (writing or photography)?

characterization, description, emotion, favorite, photography tips, and more:

Tip # 97: Color Your World + setting