Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Build A Story World
Within the same era includes a similar world history, science, medicine, possibly economics, technology, etc. but seen through different perspectives. Culture to culture affects language communication, social status, and vocational capabilities. It impacts immigrants and emigrants whether for a brief sojourn, or a lifelong change. Did a person willing travel to a foreign country for business or education, or are they in a new country as refugees?
The series Off the Map took the medical genre and plunked it in a third world environment. Three young doctors must learn how to be doctors without hospitals, often without traditional medication, operate under adverse circumstances, and learn to navigate a foreign culture without a vocabulary to communicate.
It is often surprising to find that even simple habits need to be changed. When I first moved to the USA from Canada I discovered ‘my tea’ was not sold on the west coast but on the east coast only. I switched to coffee out of desperation for strong enough caffeine. A few years later it showed up on my grocer’s shelf and I literally did a ‘commercial style’ shriek that startled everyone around me. No one understood why that tea made such a difference. It was such a minor detail and yet provided a longtime familiar equilibrium to my mornings.
Exercise: Write up a scene where your character has made either a state-to-state move within her country, or perhaps a neighborhood move within a large city. Mark what changes she finds amusing, or frustrating, or challenging.
Share: Which one raises a level of tension for her?