"Show" place with "telling details"
I figured the other bloggers would do a great job of sharing their techniques regarding "telling details," so I thought I'd focus on just one aspect--creating a sense of place using the five senses to show telling details, plus a couple more tips.
1. Sight: Include three things you see in the scene that are unique to your character's viewpoint. For example, if you're describing a school classroom, you might mention the clock (waiting for school to get out), the waste basket (where the teacher threw your homework), and the graffiti on your desk (a picture of the teacher lying dead on the floor.)
2. Sound: Include 2 things you hear, besides voices, such as a baby crying in the distance, a creak in the old fence gate, a buzzing bee hovering around your head, or coins in someone's pocket.
3. Smell: Include something you smell in the air, such as someone's perfume, a pie baking in the kitchen, a friend's popcorn breath, the overflowing litter box, or mold in the attic.
4. Taste: Include something you taste, but not necessarily something you're eating, such as the morning's toothpaste, a mint you just popped in your mouth, peanut butter from today's lunch, or the memory of a kiss.
5. Touch: Include something you feel physically, such as the wind on your skin, a chill down your back, the grib of a strong hand, a baby pulling your hair, or your itchy nose.
7. Plus: Include the time of day, such as brisk morning, hot afternoon, cooling evening, humid night, or 2 am sleeplessness.
9. Finally: Include the overall mood, such as creepy, foreboding, serene, excitement, or black.