Setting Thesaurus Template: Garage

Sight

Concrete floor with cracks in it, tire tread tracks, dirt, gravel, mud, dust, pegboard with tools, roll of orange extension cord hanging from a nail, steps or a landing, shelves packed with ice skates, golf sports equipment, power tools (drill, circular saw, sander, etc), hockey pucks, gold balls, old broken light fixtures, boxes, a collection of oils, grease & lubricants for garage door/windows/lawnmower/etc, hose, bikes hanging from the roof or from racks attached to the wall, tubs for recycling, grass seed/fertilizer, weedkiller, ant traps, slug bait, wasp sprays, broom, shovel, axe, rakes, garbage bags, items to be taken to goodwill, Christmas decorations, potting soil, a mat for shoes, toolboxes, cans of nails & washers, stack of winter or spare tires, garage door, garage door button, light switch, railing on the landing, strands of Christmas lights, rubber boots, weed eater, cupboards, rickety metal shelving, garbage bin, dry/wet vac, saw horses, workbench, car, truck, heavy duty paper towel, hand print/smudges on the walls, dead bugs on the windowsill, spiderwebs in the corners, gaps where you can see insulation behind gyp rock, kids toys, air soft guns, remote control cars, collection of baseballs, basketballs, badminton equipment, water guns, sprinklers, hockey sticks, jugs of window washing fluid, extra gas can, old paint/stain cans, ladders leaning against the wall, bike pump etc

Sounds

grinding, sawing, buzzing torc noise from a drill, scuffed footsteps on the dirty floor, car doors opening and closing, vehicles starting up, the metal clink of someone sorting through a toolbox, running up or down stairs, creaky doors, the shudder and thump of a garage door closing, music from a radio, voices, noise from the street (cars, kids playing, lawns being mowed), the shush sound of a broom sweeping up, The roar of a lawn mover firing to life, a basketball being bounced against the cement, drawers opening and closing, a grunt as dad lifts down a bike secured to the ceiling by hooks, the papery rustle of cardboard flaps being pulled back, banging the dustpan against the trashcan to get the dust off, the clunk and bump of items being set down on a shelf or floor,

Smells

oil, gas, hot motors, sweat, dust, dirt, cold cement, fresh cut grass smell wafting in from outside, fertilizer, grease, WD40


Tastes

saliva, beer, coffee, pop, water, dust, bag of chips, grit in the teeth from the dirt in the garage

Touch

brushing powdery dust from the hands, wiping hands on a grease rag, sorting through a toolbox for a socket size or wrench, feeling the cold steel in the palm, pain from blisters, cuts and scrapes, sweat gathering on forehead and clinging to neck, sneezing at the dust motes in the air, lugging a box out of the way, the vibration in the hand and arm when using power tools, sweat sealing safety goggles to the face, flicking sweaty hair out of the eyes, laying on a mat or runner on the floor to work underneath a vehicle, the weight of a tool in the hand, the rasp of sandpaper against the fingers, checking to find the right smoothness, hammering in a nail, drilling holes through boards or tin, rubbing dirt off cans or bottles to read the safety label, sweeping up sawdust and dirt, standing up on tip toe to reach something off a high shelf or on the roof, climbing up on a step stool, rolling a spare tire across the floor, untangling power cords and weed eater twine, sorting through cans or bins of nails and screws for a certain size, pumping up bike tires, tightening bike seats with wrench or pliers

Helpful hints:


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

Example 1:

After loading the empty paint cans in the back of the truck, I set my sights on the collection of broken hockey sticks lining the far wall like giant toothpicks. I didn't care what Mark said about collecting them to make a bench. They'd been sitting there forever and I was sick of looking at them.

Example 2:

I flicked on the light switch and scanned the mounds of tomato cages, Christmas decorations, old tires and rusted bike parts. A spot of color caught my eye near Dad's haphazard tower of old linoleum rolls, but no, it was just one of Ryan's old kites. Then I saw it, over on the far side of the garage tossed up against a rusted set of gold clubs: my super soaker 9000. Only how could I reach it? Crossing the garage floor would be like Indiana Jones trying to navigate the Temple of Doom!

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

Example 1: (Simile)

Dad fired up the truck. A rattly, smokey blast shot out the tailpipe like the cough of a dedicated chain smoker.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

I couldn't help but think of a monstrous mouth as the garage door groaned open, exposing an undigested mouthful of water stained boxes, old paint cans and strings of tangled Christmas lights.

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12 comments:

Stephanie Theban said...

Your posts are SO helpful. Thank you so much.

Stephanie

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is especially useful since we don't have a garage. Maybe that's partly why I've never written a scene that takes place in one. All I remember of my parents' garage was that it was a complete disaster. That plus it was a perfect place to hid Christmas presents. No one was brave (or stupid) enough to search through it. :)

Can't wait to see the next thesaurus post!

Mary Witzl said...

GREAT simile and metaphor. Every time I come here I start seeing the need to use more of these in my own writing. For some reason, I don't think to do this, and yet these are such effective immages. I can just hear that awful, throaty cough and see that gaping mouth of horrors.

Karen Lange said...

Always good stuff! Thanks:)
Have a good weekend,
Karen

Bish Denham said...

When I think of garage I automatically think of a mechanics garage, a place load with benches of tools, tool boxes, tools and parts hanging on the walls,parts on shelves, tires, car lifts, big basins of oil and other engine fluids, cases of oil, and a ton of other stuff. I think you could "easily" do a whole 'nuther one on a Mechanics Shop. Not that you don't have enough ideas all ready!:O

Kirsten Lesko said...

What a great concept for a blog. So original! And your writing shines, too.

Jenna Reynolds said...

Very much appreciate the time and effort put into this website.

Angela said...

Thanks Stephanie!

Stina, I felt like adding onto the entry. "Honest--my garage does not look like this!"

(but I've seen plenty that are ultra-scary!)

Mary, thanks! I like to turn things into monsters whenever possible. :-)

Karen, Thanks so much!

Bish--I agree, the mechanic's garage or workshop is much different. Same thing for car aficionados. I saw one garage that looked like a 'room of the house' with big screen TV, black and white marble tiling, chrome everywhere, etc. He spend tons of time on his classic car rebuilds, so he wanted comfort.

Kirsten I am BLUSHING! Thanks!

Thanks Jenna. I learn so much from other writers and if I can give back in this small way, I'm happy. :-)

Jennifer M Nunes said...

I always love your examples!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

A-maze-ing. As always.

I have an award for you at my blog. :-)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Black widows! They may be unique to my part of the world, but so many garages here harbor them in the dark corners. *shivers*
Thanks again, Angela. I love these templates.

Lindsay Currie said...

As always Angela, very helpful. You are single-handedly keeping me from going nuts while I revise my new YA.

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