In a short essay for Literary Hub’s “Craft of Writing” newsletter, novelist Rebecca Makkai argues that setting is the most underutilized tool in fiction. Makkai explains that a setting should “give the reader enough ambience and context that they can extrapolate a world” as well as take an active part in offering characters something to react to and “trap characters together, destabilize them, provoke change, or provide refuge, urgency, or danger.” Keeping this definition in mind, draft a short story by starting with a clear and time-specific setting. Try to delineate the time period, the physical location, and the relationship this setting has to your protagonist so it can make an impact on your story.
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