Letting your characters set the scene

The most effective way to describe a scene is to let your characters do it for you through interaction with their surroundings. This will improve the pace of your writing and convey a feeling of setting, atmosphere and insight into the character in one fell swoop.

For example, study the following two passages and decide which you feel is most atmospheric:

Passage A

It was the middle of winter. The room was icy cold and hiding in one corner was a child, a little girl. The man stood in the room for a moment but could not see her concealed in the dark shadows. He turned and strode away.

Passage B

No warmth from the thin winter sun had managed to penetrate the icy coldness of the room. The child huddled, shivering in one corner, willing the shadowy dimness to conceal her. She held her breath as the man stood motionless, listening for what seemed an eternity, before he turned and strode impatiently away.

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