Give Old Settings A Facelift
GIVE OLD SETTINGS A FACELIFT
Changing the setting in this way is particularly useful when the subject matter of a story relates closely to something in our personal life. The setting where the original event took place might be so firmly fixed in our mind that we get bogged down. Making even a minor change enables us to move on.
- Visualise your setting at different times of year, different times of day, different days of the week, in all possible weathers, in a different era.
- Use each visualisation as the subject of timed writing.
- Build a new house, school or supermarket there.
- Make a certain colour predominant.
- Fill the place with people.
- Empty it of people.
- Ask the setting how it responds to these changes.
- Brainstorm all the characteristics of the place. Write their opposites and use these to create a new setting.
- Transfer both settings from inland to the coast, or vice versa.
- Build a motorway beside one of them.
- Transfer one to the top of a mountain.
- Make one a tourist attraction because of its . . . (you decide).
- Build a new housing development or a factory.
- Visualise the aftermath of a disaster.
- Pull down buildings or put up new ones.
- Build a tunnel or a bridge.
- Employ an avant garde architect to make his or her mark on the environment.
Choose one or two of these major changes, and write as the setting, or as the change – or put the setting and the change in dialogue with each other. Make these personalisations the subject of timed writing.
Create new characters and settings from old ones by:
- changing one major or minor aspect
- changing a few aspects
- creating the exact opposite
- introducing a new dimension.