1. BlizzardHarlequin
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    BlizzardHarlequin Senior Member

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    Tedious if set in the same place?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by BlizzardHarlequin, Mar 12, 2012.

    Without referencing Hogwarts, does anyone think that having one great setting is as good as having thousands of little settings?

    I believe that having one great setting could be a cherry on the top of the cake. It isn't always about how many cities, streets, shopping districts and houses you can cram into one story in my opinion. I believe it helps more if you focus on one or two great areas to impact a story.
     
  2. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    It depends on your story concept and what that calls for.

    If it's about a student's life at a bording school, then the setting would be that school, though you could have one or two sceen with the character on school trips and/or holidays.

    If the story's about someone of the run, then the character would constantly be on the go and you'd see many different places - towns, woods/forests, maybe even countries and they could pass through ruins; you could show them camping out or staying at verious hotels or B&Bs.

    You don't need to cram many places into your story, but you don't just have to concerntate on one or two areas. As I've already said, it depends on what your writing and what you need to make it work.
     
  3. jeffm
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    jeffm Member

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    It depends on what drives your conflicts, because conflicts between characters is what drives story. A story with out conflict is just a description of a setting.

    If you have a setting that is able to have conflicts come into it then yes it can work. If the stetting is rather static or sacred, like a home, it may be harder to justify it all and keep it believable.
     
  4. BlizzardHarlequin
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    BlizzardHarlequin Senior Member

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    Thank you for your replies.~

    And while I do agree on how using a fantasy setting would be more interesting than say, a home or things like that.. I think that trying to make a short story about say, an elevator would actually be quite artistic and interesting to read, just to see how it portrays.
     
  5. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I love the episodes of Seinfeld where they're stuck in one place for almost the entire episode- like a car park, or the waiting area of a Chinese restaurant. Obviously that's different to a written story, and it could be challenging but as long as the story/writing is interesting enough I'd say your elevator idea could definitely work :)
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read novels based mostly in one room and others like Phineas Fogg with a variety of locations and have enjoyed reading both limited and wide-ranging settings.
     
  7. jeffm
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    jeffm Member

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    An elevator would be great, people always come and go, yet while they are in the elevator they have to wait and deal with each other. It is a physical embodiment of a snapshot in time of a society
     
  8. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    Think of it this way; how many different environments do you find yourself visiting on a monthly basis? The answer may surprise you. If you are like most people your schedule is fairly consistent, that being said the different places you find yourself in might only consist of your: work, place of school, parents house, your house, girl friends house, and favorite hangout. Most likely you interchange these different locales with passages in between.

    There is no reason to overload the audience and burden yourself by making it so that your character visits a different cake shop every time he has a sweet tooth. Chances are you got a favorite cake shop; go to it and don't feel bad that you have taken the audience to that particular cake shop before.
     
  9. Afion
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    Afion Senior Member

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    If you have good characters, the setting can be in one place. A story set in a jail cell would be intresting :)
     
  10. Asaph Judea Wagner
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    Asaph Judea Wagner Member

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    Most of Theives' World is in a city called Sanctuary. I believe it is a question of scope. Fantasy novels usually start with a continent, and sci-fi usually with a galaxy. Notice that in every time, they always leave unknown borders places to expand it further. You can do anything with your stories.
     
  11. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    As with all things it's how well you can write the story that matters. A well written story with a great plot is brilliant regardless of whether it's set in an entirely new universe or a camper van in the woods.
     
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If it's set in just one setting, you've got to make sure your characters and dialogue are crafted to perfection, because that's the only thing that will keep it interesting. Since little can happen inside a living room, or an elevator, or a garden, whatever your choice of setting is. Very little change. So it's perfectly possible, but you've got to be a good enough writer to do that.

    Take Phone Booth, the movie - I adore the dialogue. It's all set around one tiny phone booth, no special effects, no flashy images. It was all in the acting and the dialogue - and one of the 2 main voices was the guy on the phone, whose face you never even see til the end (and even then, it's blurred). But oh my gosh I admire the dialogue and can only hope I can write this well one day. I've seen this film many times and it never ceases to amaze.

    Or a literary example - have you read the play "When an Inspector Calls?" by Harold Pinter? The whole thing is set within a family's living room, while the inspector questions the whole family about the death of a young, poor girl. The family starts to blame each other and the revelation and development was immensely interesting. I've never yet seen the play, unfortunately, but would love to - but the dialogue was superb.

    It's all about how your dialogue reveals your characters and how it builds the tension and story. It's perfectly doable, but extremely challenging. Sometimes it's the most interesting too.

    Another film, I've not watched it and probably never will, because it's a psychological horror/thriller - but it's called Buried by Ryan Reynolds, I think. A guy is kidnapped and wakes up to find himself buried 6 foot under inside a coffin with nothing but a mobile that's low on battery and I think a lighter? It's about an hour and a half long, I think, and apparently the entire film is shot inside the coffin - not once do you see the outside world or light. You're trapped in the coffin with the character. It's a fascinating concept and the reviews seem to agree that the film was very successful in capturing the audience's attention and keeping it despite its setting :)
     

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