1. HayleyA123
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    HayleyA123 New Member

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    Case studies

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by HayleyA123, Aug 9, 2016.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new on here so not sure exactly how it works but basically I've just started writing a book which will involve quite a few different people with completely different life stories. But I thought that maybe it would be better if I spoke to different people about what their lives are like, what's happening at the minute, any stress or happy things going on, anything really. So would anyone be willing to tell me/describe to me what their lives are like? Obviously completely anonymous I just want the inspiration. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks, Hayley
     
  2. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Why the hell not? I'll do my best to help out.

    Welcome to the forums, by the way.
     
  3. HayleyA123
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    HayleyA123 New Member

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    Oh great thank you so much! How do you want to do it? Do you want me to email you over a few questions? Or can you direct message on here?
    Thanks! ☺️
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Hayley,

    You're not giving much away, are you?

    The only thing you've told us is that you're writing a book; but it appears that you want us, the forumites, to give you the plot and a lot of the detail, which you will then turn into a collection of anonymous biographies.

    Perhaps if you could give us an idea of where YOU are going with this, we could self-edit what won't fit within your parameters?

    Or perhaps it would be better if you "spoke to different people about what their lives are like", as in go up to them with a clipboard in real life? That way, you'll probably get a more rounded picture of what different people are like, by comparison with a self-selected group of people who are interested in reading and writing.
     
  5. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    I'm happy to help out - although my life isnt exactly interesting.

    May be the best thing would be to post a few questions here and let people post answers to them
     
  6. Sal Boxford
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    Sal Boxford Active Member

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    Have you tried volunteering? I work at a homeless cafe and at a social club for elderly people. The stories I hear there... You might get something further removed from your own experience than you would here (although I guess a writing forum might have more disparate users than your average web forum?)

    Blogs are great too. A friend of mine, for instance, blogs about her experience of raising a kid who is on the autistic spectrum. (She only shares links to her posts via facebook, so I probably shouldn't give you the URL, but there must be dozens of similar blogs out there.)
     
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  7. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Would you talk to someone who approached you at the mall with a clipboard?

    Besides, writers think they're the most interesting people in the world. ;)
     
  8. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Given that we are all writers (predominantly of fiction) perhaps we should all give a completely untrue biography ... it wouldnt make any real odds to the OPs book and it might make a lot more interesting thread, and thus interesting characters, than lots of replies saying "my names bob, i'm an aspiring writer but my day job is in xyz, its not very interesting"
     
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    This could inspire a whole new Writing Prompts thread...What fictional autobiography would you give to the girl with the clipboard?
     
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  10. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    That would depend on whether she was pretty... (and whether my wife was with me ;) )

    apropos - I've got a friend who really does fly helicopter gunships for a living - when he tells girls that at parties they always think he's lying because in their heads pilots are all young and good looking, not paunchy prematurely balding 30 somethings
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  11. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    That's a fantastic idea!


    It's funny which stereotypes turn out to be completely wrong. Generally speaking, the folks I know who didn't go to college or dropped out partway through are doing just as well as us slobs who went into massive debt for that shiny piece of paper.
     
  12. Sal Boxford
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    Sal Boxford Active Member

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    My most 'successful' (likes her job, is good at her job to the extent she gets head hunted, makes a very good living at it) friend started university twice, never made it through the first year. I'm glad I went to uni - I got some good things, but absolutely none of things out of it I was expecting.

    [I think I'm getting off topic.]
     
  13. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    That was my experience, too. I could have gotten my current job without a degree, and I'm not even in the field I studied at college.

    ...

    Drifting back onto the road, here... If the OP were to attempt this case study business in real life, how would she best go about it? Personally, I wouldn't share any of the good or really bad stuff because of lack of anonymity. Thoughts?
     
  14. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Right ho - Ive started that thread here http://www.writingforums.org/threads/the-fictional-autobiography-thread.147739/

    back on topic for this thread , I think if the OP wants detailed information shes going to be on a loser as people arent going to share personal stuff with someone they don't know ... however for a book with a number of disperate characters she doesnt necessarily need that much personal info.. just to get a feel for what the people in the fictional life might be going through in their day to day

    With that in mind she needs to sketch in some where and why info because if for example she's setting the book in NYC, its not likely that one of her characters will be a younf english guy whos a team leader for the National Trust (which is what i do when i'm not writing)
     
  15. HayleyA123
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    HayleyA123 New Member

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    Wow really didn't mean to turn this into such a big topic but thanks for all of your advice/stories/points of interest! Yes what I'm really looking for is a feel of what people's lives are like (a far better way of saying it!)
     

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