Plano Learns: The Write Workshop: The Construction of Space
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Plano Learns: The Write Workshop: The Construction of Space

Build a setting for your story in honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Learn how to construct a literary space for your story using characters, object details and a film-like lens.

On November 4, 2020 Plano Public Library hosted The Write Workshop: The Construction of Space, a virtual workshop taught by library staff. In this blog post, you’ll find the recording of the workshop, along with additional learning resources to help you explore your writing talents.

Your setting is the time and space of a scene, or where your story happens. You build it through worldbuilding, or creating enough details about the setting to help your reader visualize it. View the recording below to learn about how first impressions, characters, culture, and history all help build your world.

Be sure to register here for our next The Write Workshop: the Manipulation of Time, live on Wednesday, November 18 at 1 p.m. A recording will be available afterward in a blog post like this.

Additional Library Resources 

Activities to Try

Try these writing prompts to help get you thinking about your setting. Start by setting a timer for two minutes, then start writing:

  • Using only smell-related imageries, describe a place.
  • Pick a stock character or a minor character from your story. Put them in a location of your choice. Write one sentence to build your world. 

Provides online training courses that cover a variety of topics (including business, design, web development and multimedia skills) and software (including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and open source applications). See our Polish Your Skills with Lynda blog post, with recorded video tutorial by our staff, to understand how Lynda works. A Plano Public Library card is required. Here are some courses we suggest: 

The Foundations of Fiction by Jessica Brody. Creative writing enthusiasts could benefit from a review of the basics. Learn how to develop compelling characters, write sparkling dialogue, and decide on the right point of view for your tale. Plus, learn how to build memorable settings and turn any story skeletons into rich, compelling plots.

Writing: The Craft of Story by Lisa Cron. Whether you’re writing a story from scratch, or revising your story for the umpteenth time, this course offers practical how-to advice, then illustrate sit using before-and-after examples. Discover how to craft a first page, zero in on your story’s point, create empathy, find a character’s secret goals and inner issues, translate generics into specifics, write for suspense, create cause-and-effect connections, build momentum and tension, and deftly implement setups, payoffs, flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing.


Stream movies, documentaries, foreign films, and Great Courses. See our Stream Films for Free with Kanopy blog post for more information about how to get started. A Plano Public Library card is required. Here are some videos we suggest: 

Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques from the Great Courses. Writing great fiction isn’t a gift reserved for a talented few – the craft of storytelling can be learned. Even if you don’t dream of penning the next Moby Dick, you’ll enjoy exploring the elements of fiction. A wealth of exercises will get you writing so that you can practice the many techniques you learn. From evoking a scene to charting a plot, this course is a master class in storytelling.

Library Reads

Writing Your Novel from Start to Finish: A Guidebook for the Journey by Joseph Bates

Creative Writing for Dummies by Maggie Hamand (ebook)

Elements of Fiction by Walter Mosley

The Writer’s Guide to Places by Don Prues and Jack Heffron

The Ultimte Writer’s Workbook by Serita Deborah Stevens (ebook)

Browse our full collection in the Plano Public Library catalog. Want to explore further? Download our course handout for additional information and resources.

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