To be a writer, you obviously need an imagination. Based on your imagination, you’ll have an easy or hard time coming up with a story that moves and one that grabs the reader. However, does it necessarily have to have a huge panoramic scope in order to be engaging?
A photographer helped me answer this question. You would think that a photographer would have to be well-travelled to find fresh, exciting material to photograph.
Not so. My friend does the most beautiful macro photography. She could make a complete series of award-winning photos by photographing a couple of square feet in her back yard. In fact, what brought this to mind is that we recently went down to the Indian River. While I photographed sailboats under the Melbourne Causeway, she was hunched over a little spot of the shoreline with her camera almost dipping into the water.
When I saw her photos the next day, it hit me that writers too did not need huge settings for their stories. Stories can be just as compelling when set within a microcosm. You can easily make a small setting work for you. It’s how you tell the story that counts.
Even one of the little bubbles in the macro photography from that day could contain a whole civilization. What if a tiny bug whose family was dependent on him for survival became encapsulated in one tiny bubble as it bounced on the tiny ripples that, in scale, mirror a jaw-rocking storm at sea? No matter how hard the bug slams his body against the wall of that bubble he can’t penetrate it. What will happen to that bug and his family? Yes, you have all the elements of a good action saga in just a speck of land.
The point? Don’t limit yourself because you haven’t travelled to Africa or some exotic locale. There are plenty of stories waiting to be told in your own back yard.