I tell my students that I want their stories to start out as normal "day in the life" explorations of the world they're writing about. I'd like to find a better way of saying that. I'm not looking for a technical writing term necessarily but a simple easy to understand description of a type of story introduction or even a state of being where nothing outrageous is happening, no conflict or big changes.
I've used the words innocuous, boring, and mundane in the past, but those have a negative feel to them and I have to re-explain that I still want the story introductions to be engaging, but no big changes right off the bat.
Appreciate any suggestions of words or short simple phrases that might help me out. Thanks.