Perspective is an essential part of writing, and as well-known piece of advice is to always “write what you know”. But if we followed this idea we would miss out on a lot of great stories (not just from genres like sci-fi and fantasy, but stories written in other times, settings, or countries).
This writing prompt is about breaking the rules and immersing yourself entirely in another space and time to gain new perspectives, even when you have no solid real life experience.
Think outside your square
Imagine a character that lives in a country or city you’ve never visited, and then choose a time period that is either past or future, but not present. You don’t necessarily have to know historical or geographical details of this time and place, and it’s probably better if you don’t.
Write a few paragraphs or a short story that takes place in this completely unknown world. Don’t worry about being factually correct because this writing prompt is only designed to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and whose shoes they are doesn’t really matter.
Using your imagination and general knowledge to create something new in a story-world that is alien to you will get you used to seeing from other perspectives which will help you in your own work. Whether you’re writing for the opposite gender or writing something set in the 1800’s, you have to be able to re-create and re-imagine something you’ve never really known.
We can never have complete personal experience of every time and setting, so why restrict ourselves to stories that we ‘know’?