Setting Thesaurus Entry: Locker Room


Lockers, locks, tile floors, entrance to showers and gym, benches, bin for dirty towels, clothes poking out of closed lockers, mirrors, faucets, bathrooms, soap dispensers, dirt/hair/wrappers/etc on the floor, empty lockers with doors ajar, scuffed gym equipment, soiled sports paraphernalia (padding, jerseys, jock straps, shoes, etc), hair brushes/combs/toiletries sitting out on the bench


Shouts, laughter, teasing, hooting, hollering, the clink of locks bumping metal, the clang of metal doors opening and slamming shut, the thump of equipment being thrown on the benches, shoes scuffing against the floor, body spray hissing out of cans, the crinkle of potato chip bags pulled out of dufflels, backpacks or lockers, the snap of towels, zippers opening and closing, bodies shoving and bumping into lockers, echoing voices, cel phones going off, tinny music overheard from iPods & MP3 player earphones, items from the locker dropping onto the floor, shoes squeaking


Sweat, body odor, body spray/perfume, deodorant, shampoo scented steam coming from adjoining showers, grass and mud from stains on football uniforms or soccer jerseys, wet towels, dirty clothes, bleach & pine cleaners, air fresheners, hair spray/gel


Sweat, water, sports drinks, snacks from locker (power bars, chips, granola bars, candy, etc)


Soft cotton towels, cold locker doors, chipped paint on doors, ridged lock dials, hard zipper pulls, the splash of water on the face at the basin or from water poured over neck, sweat trickling over face, down the sides and back, the sweaty cling of uniforms, the dig of tight padding, gently probing a bruised area, scrape or other injury, the stretch or ache of tight/pulled muscles, exhaustion, pressing a towel against the face, the cool tingling aftermath of removing sweat and dirt from the face and neck, cool air hitting a sweaty body after pulling a uniform off, the slap and sting of a snapped towel on skin, light hearted shoving, slapping, high fives, hugging, etc after a game, pulling hot tired feet out of footwear, the feel of a stiff bench as you slump onto it, the cool taste of water on a parched throat, trying to speak or yell with a raw throat, slamming a fist into a locker, leaning back against a locker, gripping the sides of the cool porcelain sink as you look into the mirror, shrugging into or out of padding/into or out of street clothing

Helpful hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

I sagged onto the cold metal bench, sweat skating down my back and sides. The stink of my grungy pads and soaked uniform was almost enough to knock me out cold. My gaze stayed on the worn blue tiles at my feet as the others filed in. No one spoke; the dragging scuffle of shoes and lockers being opened with muted creaks spelled out our crippling loss just fine on their own.

Example 2:

Mike the quarterback stepped into the locker room to the roar and scream of his team mates, all rising from their benches, fists pumping the air. A huge grin split his mud-splattered face and I tossed him a fresh white towel. The excitement crackling throughout the room hummed inside my chest as everyone bumped and shoved and cheered. In that moment I didn't care about the hours of work waiting for me, disinfecting equipment and mopping out the dingy locker room. In that moment I wasn't just the lowly towel boy, but part of the winning team.

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

In the narrow, locker-lined room, the coach's motivational speech made the team wince like it was being delivered through stadium speakers at a rock concert.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

I passed the boy's locker room as it opened and found myself gagging at a smell that could only be rivalled by curbside trash after a month-long sanitation worker's strike.


Bish Denham said...

I never experienced the joy of a locker room as my school didn't have a gym or phys-ed program. So this is a good one for me to refer to should I ever need a locker room scene.

Lauren said...

That's a great way t set up the setting! I am so bad at working on setting. I might have to use this concept as a writing prompt! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Locker room cracks me up. It's such a perfect scene for YA!

Angela said...

Thanks, all! Sorry the post went up before the examples were in--I'd set the timestamp to AM, not PM...duh!

It's all fixed now. ;)

Keri Mikulski said...

Printing this one!! I use lockers rooms ALOT. :)

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Impressive site premise - first visit (probably not the last)!

Mary Witzl said...

Ewww, this took me right back to junior high school! Except for soft towels: ours were like Brillo pads, rough and scratchy enough to scour the skin off you.

Beautifully evocative, as usual.


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