Welcome to the forty-fourth of our Creative Challenges. WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 44 is about settings in writing.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you prepare a creative piece, about:
Somewhere exotic and enchanting.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to settings in writing.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC44”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC44 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
Setting is about where, when and why this story is happening to these people. A great setting really marks out a story visually and thematically, which is why this Challenge is designed to get you thinking about exotic travel, dream locations, fantasy and science fiction settings. But a humdrum setting can be made fascinating and vivid too, for example in films like AMERICAN BEAUTY and ONE HOUR PHOTO and TV series like BREAKING BAD. Often you can make a familiar type of story fresh and new simply by setting it in a place and time we’ve never seen it before.
Whenever your script is actually set – you should always be thinking about the Near Future as well – because your production won’t reach audiences until we’re already there! Does your project tap into some idea, issue or attitude that is going to matter to us in the near future (even more than it does now)? If not, how is it going to become ‘fresh’ enough to be worth producing? Read my series of articles about Future Proofing Your Writing, and apply its insights and questions and challenges to your work.
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!