Fawn Parker Prompts Writers’ Room

Creating Mood through Setting, with Fawn Parker

Can you discuss the ways your poem “Dania” uses setting to influence mood?

I feel that “Dania” uses setting to contrast the internal and external aspects of a relationship—in this case the couple’s private bathroom vs. the laptop as representation of the external. 

The bathroom is an intimate space where we can be alone, and often exposed—literally or not. It is a space where washing happens, where we perform beauty and grooming routines, where we self-criticize or self-familiarize. 

Dania as a partner is unwilling to “give.” The mention of her laptop presents somewhat of a foot in the door, whereas the speaker is more present. She applies a face mask, she watches Dania in the tub, she wonders about previous partners who came before her. She sits in the relationship and carries it with her even when the women are apart. The allusion to the reluctant cheating perhaps points to resentment of this claustrophobic dependence. 

Writing Prompt

Read Fawn Parker’s “Dania” to see how she uses setting to influence mood. Write for ten minutes using a setting that makes your character feel vulnerable. Then try it again in a setting where your character feels comfortable. What changes?


Fawn Parker headshot

Fawn Parker is a writer from Toronto currently based in Montreal. Her collection, Looking Good and Having a Good Time, was published in 2015 by Metatron. She is the managing editor of The Puritan and senior editor of Bad Nudes.