1. brihoppy
    Offline

    brihoppy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Englandshire

    Generic story...???

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by brihoppy, Apr 29, 2010.

    Is it feasible for one to write a piece with non-specific locations for instance or other minor non-specific points, and then submit it for publication with the caveat that the generalities can be decided on by the editor/publisher/other relevant third party...?

    Cheers,

    Bri.
     
  2. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    No?

    If you're able to write a complete novel without making any specific references to particular places, then the story should be able to stand without them. If such a thing is possible, then the location clearly doesn't matter, so it wouldn't need to be "decided on" at all.

    If the location does matter, then it makes no sense that you would change it randomly like that.

    Either way, I doubt any publisher would approve of the idea--what would it add to the story that makes it worth the extra effort?
     
  3. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Why? If it works as a generic location -- and lots of stories do -- then it works. If it doesn't, nobody else is going to do the work of making it work.

    Of course, if you are lucky enough to have your story filmed by Hollywood then the chances are that they will change the setting to a US city wherever you set it originally, but that's their job, not yours.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    No. Publishers will not accept an incomplete piece of writing. "Some assembly required" won't even be considered.
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    if i read you right, you're not saying the ms would be incomplete, but only that no specific country/state/city/town/whatever will be mentioned in it...

    if that's the case, then just make sure it works well that way and do NOT include any 'caveat' in re the editor/publisher/whatever making any changes... they're not there to co-write your material, only to publish marketable 'ok as is' works...
     
  6. rainy
    Offline

    rainy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    1
    @brihoppy Just out of curiousity, what is the thought behind doing this? There must be a reason you're wondering if this would be an interesting or useful way to handle a manuscript. So. . .why?
     
  7. brihoppy
    Offline

    brihoppy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Englandshire
    Rainy,

    There was some thought behind it initially...I was just testing the water; turns out to be deep, dark and shark infested (though well intentioned sharks I'm sure!) apparently...!!!

    One of the pieces I'm writing currently I'd originally set in the UK, but I considered relocating it to North America for the sheer size and diversity of the continent...I wanted to have my characters at one point split up as part of the storyline; they suddenly find themselves cast apart. As the UK is not very large by comparison, I thought it would be a good touch to have them transported to the Pacifice Northwest, Canadian Rockies, Alaska, the Nevada desert, etc, etc; all smack-bang in the middle of nowhere, reeeeeeally remote, yet still on the same continent.

    What I intended to do was to present both options really, IF it ever came to the point where I would look to publish, and let the knowledgable third party decide.

    After thinking about it and applying my 'new' philosophy for writing, I kind of decided it didn't matter, but I was still just checking it out for feasibility.

    Hope that clears things up a bit.

    Bri.
     
  8. rainy
    Offline

    rainy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ah, ok. Thanks :) I really was just curious at that point. I do think it's a bad idea for many reasons. Most have already been discussed, but also because you, the writer, should be *there* with the chars. Sure desert is desert--or is it?

    It's not a silly concept, just not very practical or useful.

    It was fun to think about though! (I ran with the thought, in my head: what about "pick a war, any war!" lol)

    :)

    Best luck,

    //R
     
  9. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    How many characters? Put a character on Dartmoor, on in the Yorkshire Peak District and one in the Highlands of Scotland then they can be in pretty desolate places a long way apart. Not on a continental scale, but daunting if you're walking!
     
  10. Halcyon
    Offline

    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    England
    Bri

    Just have the courage of your convictions and give the story a geographical place. If you get lucky and the movie industry come knocking, they'll soon relocate it for you.

    Besides, there are bound to be cultural references in the scene-setting or in the dialogue that only properly lend themselves to one location. If you deliberately set out to avoid those too, then I think you'd probably leave too many holes in the story.
     
  11. Gingerbiscuit
    Offline

    Gingerbiscuit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Melton Mowbray in Merry old England
    I don't think a story needs to have a specific location in order to work, although there are only so many times you can refer to "The village" or "The town" before you find that you have to name it specifically.
    If you're really trying to say something with the location though then I would definitely pick somewhere and stick with it. A publisher will be able to see your reasons for picking that particular location.

    I certianly wouldn't advise an "insert location here" approach to submitting your work though.
     
  12. CharlieVer
    Offline

    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Raritan, NJ
    I agree.

    As examples, Cormac MacCarthy's incredible novel "The Road" had, as main characters, "the man" and "the boy" and was largely set "along the road," which was unnamed.

    The play "Waiting for Godot" was set in a vague location on a country road near a tree.

    If leaving the location vague serves a purpose in your story, as in these examples, by all means, do so. But if you just can't decide or want to leave something up to the publisher, you'll have little chance getting published.

    Charlie
     
  13. RedRaven
    Offline

    RedRaven Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Around..
    A story doesn't always need a specific location.
    See The Road by McCarthy.. you know it's in America, but that's about it.
    Also Blindness by Saramago, a city somewhere on the face of this earth. No names, whatsoever.

    But if locations are important, do what feels right.
     

Share This Page