1. MajorInkSpill
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    MajorInkSpill Member

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    Italian/English Culture in 1970's

    Discussion in 'Research' started by MajorInkSpill, Oct 16, 2008.

    Ah, so, yes...If you already know, then you might link up that this is connected to my plot block for a mystery story. If you don't then...Hi! Im MIS (a.k.a Swirly), and am currently being driven more mad then usual with a case of writer's/plot block that could've single-handedly destroyed the Hyksos empire, which is also incredibly irritating (it always is), because I have the vague ideas for a mystery but no idea where to start. So, I figured I'd take some advice and do a bit of research before anything else.

    Considering I was not living in the 1970's and have never been to England or Italy, this is really way over my head. Basically, the detective of the story is Italian, and the mystery takes place in England. All this is in the 1970's. I speak a small amount of Italian but have very little knowledge on the culture or traditions that the detective might take part in. Same for the British side to this plot bunny.

    I'm conducting whatever research I can on my own, but any input will be welcomed.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    since you certainly are so 'over your head' why do it?... why not write about people and places you at least have some knowledge about?...

    even with a year's worth of research, i doubt you couldl write this believably, so why waste time and energy on something that's most likely doomed to fail, when you could be writing what you know something about that would at least have a chance to succeed?

    1. you won't know how an italian detective acts/thinks/speaks
    2. you won't have a clue what he'd think of england/london or the english
    3. you won't be able to describe scenes/people/atmosphere in a place you've never been

    so, why not set the story in your own country, among the kinds of people you've known/seen?
     
  3. MajorInkSpill
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    MajorInkSpill Member

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    I'm happy you asked so quickly, actually. I know, it's one of the most stupid and brainless ideas in the universe to try and work with that kind of setting when I have NO clue, but I'm sorry to say my reasoning is pretty pathetic, too. Some of the most well-known/successful detective stories and detectives (Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, ect.) were written in times when the technology used today didn't exist. The mysteries were much harder to solve because they couldn't rely on a machine to scan the evidence or somethign of the sort. Of course I'm only referring to the mysteries I've read (Holmes, Poirot), but to me the idea of a fully 20th century mystery just seems...kind of boring. Unless I were to invent a kid detective who didn't have immiediate access to the tech adults might have, the mystery would be solved, once again in my opinion, far too quickly and would be far too boring.

    Ah, I think I'm putting my own image greatly out of proportions--no matter what I try I'm nearly sure my attempt at a mystery will come to no great acclaim or success. So, in that case, I decided I might as well try and write it in settings I would find interesting to write.

    I'm positive you're correct--no matter how much research I did on the matter, I was not alive in the 1970's, have little to no knowledge on English or Italian traditions of the time, and if I try to create a setting like that I'm sure to fail. The dilemma to me (and my ridiculous ego) is, if you're going to attempt something you'll suck at either way, should you make it easier on yourself or do it in the way you prefer?

    I'm rather an idiot, huh? It'd be much better to follow your suggestions, and I'm almost positive you think I'm a complete fool.

    Alright then, compromise. I'll try it two different ways...I'll soak myself in research and write the mystery in two different ways, one from each setting, using the same detective (with variations, of course), same conflict, altered plot, ect.

    Thank you, mammamaia. The idea for experimenting with both never occured to me until I started replying to you. :)

    The Fool Who'll Get Nowhere Either Way,
    -MIS
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    glad to know my nagging produced some positive results!... you seem very determined and not afraid of working long and hard, so i definitely wouldn't consider you a 'fool'...

    let me know if i can be of any help along the way, as i'm a lifelong mystery fan and have read everything both holmes and christie wrote, along with most every other mystery in print before or after...

    love and respectful hugs, maia
     
  5. MajorInkSpill
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    MajorInkSpill Member

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    The only way to get through to me is by nagging. :) If being stubborn is a sign that I'm not a fool, then maybe there's hope for me yet.

    Ah, thank you. That'll help a lot. Here's a question that can be answered completley by opinion, but I want more than just my own accounted for: You know how Hastings and Watson narrarate Poirot's and Holmes's stories from a first person point of view? As the first mystery, should my detective have someone like that?

    Once again, that's purely an opinionated question, but I'll be very happy to hear your answer. :)

    Thrilled that you don't think I'm screwy,
    -MIS/Swirly
     
  6. Beth
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    Beth Member

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    Do you still need help? I can help you for the 70s Italian guy.
     
  7. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can try and help you with the English thing...but the 70s was a boring time in Britain in general, and England especially ;)
     

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