Setting Description Entry: Water Slide Park

Sight

chain link fence around the grounds, colored tubes and slides standing/twisting high in the air, staircases, water dripping from rides, puddles of water everywhere, lifeguard stands, flags flying, wet patrons in swim suits, towels, wave pool packed with people, inner tubes, beach chairs, umbrellas, colorful kiddie park with water shooting/spraying/spouting, concession stands, picnic tables, lockers, restrooms, kids splashing in the play area, kids running, teens standing in groups, long lines on the stairs, sunbathers, lifeguards with walkie talkies, paved pathways, rust, signs for different slides, water carpets, life jackets, kids with water wings, pools, band aids and hair ties floating in the water, garbage cans, people stretched out in the sun on towels, tables with sun umbrellas, lights signalling when it's okay to go at the top of slides


Sounds

bodies moving swiftly through tubes/down slides, screams, laughter, conversation, parents yelling, kids crying, water dripping/splattering/splashing, staircases creaking, feet slapping on the pavement, feet splashing through puddles, piped-in music, wind whipping the flags around, announcements over intercom, lifeguard whistles, lifeguards yelling through megaphones, cell phones ringing in sunbathing area, slurp of soda through straws, crinkle of food wrappers, fart of mostly-empty ketchup/mustard bottles, restroom doors opening and closing, echoed screams/hooting in tubes

Smells

chlorine, bleach, water, sunblock, suntan oil, wet bathing suits and towels, food smells (hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, nachos), bubblegum, bug repellent, mildew


Tastes

chlorinated water, sweat, sunblock, oil, hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, gum, bottled water, soda, candy bars, ice cream


Touch

pavement burning your feet, jumping from puddle to puddle to keep soles of feet from burning, slap of concrete against running feet, chafe of wet bathing suit, wedgie from big huge slide, water in your eyes, wet hair sticking to your neck, sunburn, sticky feel of sunblock/oil, warmth of beach chairs, sticky closeness of crowds, wooden/plastic/fiberglass railing of stairs under your hands, trembling in belly as you get closer to the top of the stairs, dizziness/fear/excitement as you look over the top preparing to go down, water splashing on skin, annoying sting of wet towels being snapped against your skin, refreshing coolness of cold drink or ice cream, squishy feel of the air-filled inner tube as you float along, cold air in restroom, waves in wave pool rolling over you, bug bites, sun burn, smooth hot rubber of inner tube boats, scraping fingers through knotted, wet hair, water spraying the face, the sting of water up the nose, water in the ears, cramps in stomach

Helpful hints:


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

Example 1:

I yelled into my walkie, trying to be heard over the sound of hundreds of shrieking kids fighting over inner tubes at the drop off point or running past me to climb the main staircase. It was an hour past my break and the smell of french fries from the concession was driving me nuts with its satisfying promise of grease and salt. Only a month into the season and I knew I'd made a mistake. Why did I ever think this job would be more exciting than my usual group kiddie lessons at the public pool?

Example 2:

I ran up the steep stairs behind Matt, ignoring how the gritty non-slip strips on the steps cut into my feet. Sure, they'd be sore tomorrow, but today all I cared about was getting in as many runs as I could on the Gut Buster. Both Matt and I planned on beating our previous summer's record of forty trips down the triple diamond rated water slide.

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

Example 1: (Simile)

At the top, the green light flashed. Sean gave me the thumbs up and then threw himself into the rushing water like a thrill seeking body surfing down a waterfall.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

A huge wave flew over the side of the slide above my stern Aunt Edna, drenching the picnic table where she sat planning out my summer lessons. The textbook before her was ruined, and Aunt Edna, well... Her puffy hair hung in soggy flaps and her carefully made-up face drizzled with mascara and water. I hid a smile, thinking of an ice cream cone left out in the sun.

6 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

For some reason, this setting brings Scooby Doo to mind :)

Thanks!

Windsong said...

Thanks for the list! Brings back some very happy memories. :D

Mary Witzl said...

Dear God -- I HATE water slides, and my kids tormented me by insisting that I go on them... I swear this post made my hands sweat!

I love all the detail here: I'd totally forgotten about that farting sound almost-empty ketchup bottles make. And the smell of french fries wafting through chlorine-scented air...

Plot Whisperer said...

Excellent blog. Generous wealth of information you share with us. Well done. Congratulations.

Kelly said...

What a fun one!

Becca said...

This was a fun one; having lived most of my life in Florida, the water park was my annual summer getaway. Oh, the memories :).

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