Awarded the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize for her flash piece, “Something about L.A,” Gay Degani has had other stories nominated for Pushcart consideration. Pomegranate Stories, eight short pieces about mothers and daughters, is available at Amazon, her novel What Came Before is currently serialized online, and her linked stories are being published monthly in Pure Slush's print anthology, 2014-A Year in Stories.
|2014: A Year In Stories|
A twelve-volume anthology published by Pure Slush Books
|Image by Gay Degani|
Where is this going to happen? What does it look like? What time of day? What month? For me, it feels like a natural beginning because place is visual and writing takes place in the mind before it takes place on the computer screen. I need that grounding before I can move forward with the action of the story.
With the "linked stories" project I'm working on for the Pure Slush 2014: A Year in Stories project, the time frame immediately focused me on setting. The stories needed to be told in present tense on a specific day of every month during the year 2014. Weather had to conform to the time of year and the events of each story had to be separated by roughly thirty days. With these parameters in play, the place evolved almost unconsciously as I began considering what I wanted to do.
I live in a community that began developing in the 1890s. The architecture is dictated by past purposes of the streets I walk by: small wooden bungalows that must once have been vacation cabins, mansions hidden behind condominiums, Victorians, Mediterraneans, Craftmans, all lining the same street.
Seeing these homes in the growing gloom of my walks began to stir up scenarios I could incorporate in this series of stories. I followed that impulse and my characters began to take shape.
Like with everything in writing, tapping into that deep, inner part of ourselves and then trusting it will take us where we want to go, pays off.
Has a place ever inspired a story for you? What role does setting play in your writing?
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Thank you, Gay, for this fantastic insight into the importance of giving setting its place in storytelling. Thank you, readers, for the visit, and happy A-to-Z-ing!