1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Jul 7, 2016
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    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by deadrats, Jul 23, 2018.

    How many places do your short stories typically take place in? I've been giving this some thought and I've come to realize that most short stories I come across take place in more than one location, they have more than one setting. Is this something you guys have noticed too? Sure, there can be one setting and that might seem like the easy answer given these are short stories we're talking about. But that's not what I'm really seeing in contemporary short fiction I read. So, what sort of things do you do when including multiple settings in your short stories? What's the most number of settings you've included in one story and how did you pull it off? Why do you think so many authors choose to include multiple settings in their short stories?
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

    Jan 8, 2017
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    Rhode Island
    I did one once that went through a character's entire life in like 4k words or something. More of a collection of immediate moments than a biopic. Not sure how many sections there were... 6 or 7? Each had its own setting (job interview, friend's wedding, a trip to a haberdasher, etc). Did it more for the challenge than anything else. It came out okay if I remember correctly. Haven't looked at it in awhile.

    I can see the tendency for a single setting/moment given the word count restrictions. No reason it needs to be limited to that, though. I guess it might be more about scope and perspective... long view vs short view and such.
    Shenanigator likes this.
  3. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    Ooh, this is interesting.
    • What Hell Is Like -- 3 'sets' all within the same building.
    • Silver-Eyed -- 3 in vastly different locations.
    • Found -- 3 in / directly outside of the same building.
    • Twin Bridges -- 3
    • Ungeheuer -- 3
      (I'm noticing a pattern.)
    • There Was A Crash -- 2
    • Raison d'Etre -- 2
    • Ice -- 2
    • In-Between Place -- 2 (despite being far too long)
    • Ichthyopolis -- 1
    • What's In Your Head -- 1
    Just from an assortment of ones that I think are decent, it definitely seems like I trend to fewer settings. I also write a lot of more flash-y stuff that's all one setting as it's basically one scene. I have a 6700w piece (so not really a short story) that has four sets, but that's all I can really think of when it comes to shorter stuff.

    I'd say that the three-set ones loosely follow a beginning>middle>end format for when they change sets, but it's far from set in stone. Found revisits one, for instance, as does Hell.

    This seems like something the part of my brain that loves statistics will be chewing on for a while, hahah. I may be back with some sort of more in-depth considerations.
    deadrats likes this.

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