1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Ugh, I'm lacking creativity.

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by GingerCoffee, Aug 9, 2013.

    Sigh, I'm in a mood. I'm at a point in my story where my protag is in a hover flying over a city with wonders she's never seen before. I need creativity my genetics have not blessed me with.

    Arrrrgh!
     
  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've been doing research recently, which has led me to a series of 'bird's eye view' maps of certain American cities in the 19th Century. They are drawings, not photographs. While they won't contain odd structures like what you're probably looking for, if you were to take a look at them they might give you some ideas that a photograph wouldn't. Is your scene a fantasy? A future sci-fi thing? A steampunk thing? If you're interested, I'll give you a couple of links, if I can find them.

    Actually, just google "bird's eye view maps images" and you'll get lots of them... modern, ancient as well as 19th century...
     
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  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Two words: Space Nuns!

    .... maybe her dog gives birth to a cat.
    .... maybe her long-lost sister is the mayor of the city
    .... maybe her long-lost brother is the mayor of the city
    .... maybe her long-lost brother gives birth to a cat
    .... maybe a Space Nun gave birth to a cat

    ... there are many variations!
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Maybe ook at some photographs of fantasy art - whenever I'm in a slump I go to Ebay or art sites and start looking up pictures of
    stuff.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You are so right. I am using imagery. It's my saving grace. There are some incredible images out there in Net land. I hope you all don't mind I was just having an aarrgh moment. :)


    Oh, and the ideas are all very helpful. Thanks guys.
     
  6. DH Hanni
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    DH Hanni Member

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    I wonder if there are any fantasy art interpretations of famous cities? If you character is above the action, that could be neat to sort of reference a city but a unique description of it.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    These are the one's I've been perusing currently:

    Futuristic cities

    Slums

    Industrial cities

    Well crap, the Google search links all fail, no idea why. Just search for the titles I noted and click on "images". You should get to the images that open on my tabs.

    Hmm, it appears Google image search is temporarily mucked up. I'll post an update later. In the meantime the Pinterest links work fine.

    Future cities, Pinterest

    More future cities, Pinterest

    Even more future cities, Pinterest

    SciFi cities, Pinterest

    There really are endless ideas, I was just in a rut as to what I wanted.

    But I have good news to report, I figured out what I needed for the scene. :D


    BTW, my favorite one is a real place in Singapore: Gardens by the Bay


    Hmm, that one works in Google images. The others still don't even though I can find them directly. Weird. :confused:
     
  8. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    I like to "fantasy-fy" or "sci-fi-fy" (technical terms there), currently existing structures in our world today. For example, I have in one of my novels a building made entirely out of living trees that have twisted to form the shape of the building - that shape being, in my mind, very similar to the Taj Mahal.
     
  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @those images of futuristic cities: Yeah, we wish. More likely, it's going to be a down-to-earth version of the the pods in the matrix. I'm envisioning a global grid of identical cells, each with a bed stand of nutra pills and the internet. Maybe underground subways, a few massive factories, and a slew of islands for the rich.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've debated this in my head for my novel. The grimy street level, crowded with riff raff is overdone currently but I do have clear class divides in my book. And what to do about suburbs? I was surprised at the lack of individual houses around Amsterdam the first time I went to Europe. Much of the world has slums and huge apartment complexes while free standing houses and smaller apartment units dominate the Americas.

    Setting can give one a lot to think about.

    Anyway, I'm trying to create my city to say things about the population and not just what I think people will build n the future. It you're writing a Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451 type story then ticky-tacky little boxes makes sense.
     
  11. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    I second the Space Nun point. :p
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is she riding over the city in a hovercraft????
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    They're referred to as "hovers" but they aren't hovercraft as you'd see them on Earth. I've compromised on the 'flying cars will never be invented' problem with some adaptations. Some vehicles fly, and if you are rich you can afford the fuel. Some fly but the middle class only fly them where there are no roads, otherwise they set down on mag-lev tracks and stick to the ground. And some vehicles are stuck on wheels, the roads often jammed.

    I'll be doing more tweaking before I'm done on the wings, jet engines, and/or helicopter type blades.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  14. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    First off, cheers to you for the hovercraft. There cannot be too many of those. Second, I did a quick google search and ran across this picture of a futuristic city and thought it looked really neat:

    http://www.shirleyyang.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Mega-City-Of-Future1.jpg

    A process that has always helped me in designing towns is approaching from a pragmatic view. What sort of things are needed in the city? Industry, housing, commerce, tranportation? How does the local geography affect the appearance of the city? What about local culture and religion. These questions and others like them have always helped me in city design.
     
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  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That is one crazy sci-fi city.

    Maybe I do need more designing, like a character bio.
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    How funny, when I look in Google images and use the quotes, I get the three avatars from this thread. :p

    Without the quotes, though, I get a whole new slew of image types (diagrams and maps rather than artistic visions) and thats actually very useful.
     
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  17. hibiscus
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    hibiscus Member

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    Install Google Earth and roam free, perhaps you'll have some idea afterwards.

    http://www.google.com/earth/index.html
     
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  18. Flying Geese
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    When I need creativity I listen to music. Music without lyrics. Like scores from movies and video games. Background music and such. Calm your mind and feel out scenes. Get overly detailed with it in your mind. What does the MC face feel like? Is the sun up? Does the length of the MC's hair affect anything? Is the MC sweating anywhere? What's the temperature? Ask a bunch of questions about your scenes and the overall mood of the story.
     
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  19. NeonFraction
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    Google street view; which I abuse. So, so much. There's only so much atmosphere you can get out of a bird eye view, but street view is what people see and where it's all at. If you want to hop around randomly and play a fun game while you're at it, try Geoguesser. It's a free browser game where you have to guess where you're at based on where google street view puts you. Sometimes you're in the country and sometimes you're in a city, but no matter where you are, you have to look at things differently. It's no longer 'well, I'm in Spain', it's 'this is... Spain? France? Brazil?'

    Having to focus on details like that really made me look at environments differently and observe parts of the environment I would have never considered before. Forcing yourself into random locations where you have no idea where you are is both confusing and beyond exhilarating. You see the world differently, and if that doesn't promote creativity, I don't know what will.

    I highly recommend it.
     
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  20. Volcre
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    A weird suggestion that always works for me: read something NOT related to what you're writing. It's strange, I'll be reading something from a completely different genre or even non-fiction and I'll get creative ideas.

    Maybe it's just that you find different kinds of ideas in different genres or because the creative mind works best when you're not stressing it for ideas (maybe that's why inspiration usually strikes in the shower).

    Good luck!
     

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