I write short fiction, flash fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from an essay on writing in progress.
When approaching old work that is being exhumed for the purpose of filling the pages of an anthology, how is setting handled? In particular, the element of time within setting.
I recently encountered this difficulty when resurrecting a short story involving the Occupy movement from a decade ago. To change the setting to present day would have made no sense. Nor was the original intent of the piece historical.
I finally decided to keep the time in the piece the same, with the understanding that my audience would now have to recall the Occupy movement rather than simply recognize it as a current event.
Before this experience, I had never consciously considered time as having a dual purpose in writing, both as an element of setting and as an element of context. I hadn’t weighed the implication of the space between when a piece is written and when the narrative takes place.