Today we'll reflect on when your story takes place, and what research and/or invention you will need to do in order to write convincingly about that time.
1. When does your story take place? In the past, the present, or the future? If it is not in the present, how far in the past or into the present does it take place?
2. Why is this time period ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for you to tell this particular story? (What plot points depend on it)
3. What research is necessary for you to convey that time period? What recurring or central image(s) (sights/sounds/tastes/smells) will you use to make your reader feel like he/she is in the past/future?
4. If your story is in the present, does it take place in a high-tech, modern location, or in a location where the conveniences we take for granted are missing (or some of them). List the physical aspects of our lives (running water, dishwashers, toilets that flush and have seats, cars, internet, cell phones, etc) that will be different or missing.
5. What aspects of your chosen time period will your reader not be familiar with, but your characters will take for granted? Make an extensive list.
6. How will you present those items, or the lack of them?
NOTE: if your POV character doesn't know something, he can't explain it. (Do you know how an airplane works?) If your POV character is completely familiar with something, she won't notice, let alone describe it, in her thoughts. (Would you describe how to ride a bicycle? Would you even think about the chain and gears, or would you just hop on and peddle away?)
If you feel like sharing anything about today's exercise, please leave a comment or tweet or like this post. We can all learn from each other. See you tomorrow!