1. Fei.Fei
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    Fei.Fei Active Member

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    Writing about things you don't know.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fei.Fei, Jan 15, 2013.

    I'm a West african and I've lived my entire life in Africa, yet my writing is usually based on white characters which I find easy to create to an extent. I prefer story writing because I enjoy it but lately I began to run into problems that affect my writing a lot. It mostly affects location description. When I first started writing, I stuck to fantasy because I could create my own world and write pretty much anything I pleased, now I can clearly see a drastic improvement in my writing so I decided to start a novel and actually try and finish it.

    First problem: It's not fantasy, though its paranormal. I'm having trouble describing the scenes and its only the first chapter. As usual, the prologue was easy enough to write but now I'm starting to get into it, there are gaping wide holes in the description. I'll post it for critiques when my 14 days are up.

    For example I wanted to describe a really great office and I've got the image and everything in my head but somehow it does not materialise on paper. I went on google but it seems that I'm not typing in the precise keywords cuz I got nothing. I've started getting frustrated because I have to juggle my school work with my writing and so it doesn't leave much time for me to face this thing with a clear head while I'm busy thinking I have a botany assignment still undone and I'm scribbling stuff down for the next chapter.

    Suggestions and advice please? Thanks.

    Fei.
     
  2. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Hi, I'm not entirely sure what you are asking for. If you are getting stuck on writing one thing, try something else. Write an action scene or have your characters have a conversation, or something. Don't get caught up on writing a description of an office (really great, or not :) ). They are usually quite boring places, in themselves. It is what happens in the office that makes it interesting (or not).
     
  3. Fei.Fei
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    Fei.Fei Active Member

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    thanks, I agree with the last part, its just that I wanted to avoid complains from readers about the scene description. I don't think I'm capable of writing a full blown action scene but it'd be fun to try ;)
     
  4. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I've run into the same problem. The best advice I was given is to research, research and research. In the end, setting isn't as important as you think. It is good as a tool but what people really about is characters and theme. Greed, betrayal, unrequited love. Everyone has experience these things and can relate but not everyone has worked in an office.

    Try "Office Environment" maybe.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You also have to decide what you really need to research. Is there anyone who could read your book who doesn't know what an office would look like? Then why describe it, let alone research it? Now, if there's a monster safe in the office and someone's planning to break into it - there's where your research and description comes in.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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  7. DischargedKombat
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    DischargedKombat Member

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    You need to do massive research. If you work on massive research your story will go a long ways. Maybe try to depict some places even from your own country, but renovate and recreate the small things. If this doesn't help, try your best depiction of an office with your own mind. It's okay if it's inaccurate--that's what fallacy checking is for later.
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I rely on images if I can't get to a particular location or don't really want to go to
    a particular location. Right now the mc in my novel is in a sewer -
    I'm definitely not going to lift any manholes and crawl in just to be 'authentic'. Instead, I simply watched
    a cornball 80's flick called Alligator and have downloaded some pictures from the internet.
    As for the smell, when I was younger we had plumbing that used to back up into the basement-
    I can recall the smell.
     
  9. Fei.Fei
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    Fei.Fei Active Member

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    Thank you all very much for your suggestions :)
     
  10. goddessofwords
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    I'm not sure if this will help, but whenever I'm stuck or have extreme writers block I try to do one of these things:

    -Put on soothing music, something that has no words like Classical Music or New Age. It always seems to help my muse.
    -Find a writing prompt and take some time writing other things then go back to your writing. Writing prompts help hone your skills and they're known to get your creative juices flowing.
    -Write some poetry. Poetry helps me use description, imagery, and figurative language better and may help you in writing your novel.

    I've also heard changing your scenery helps clear your head and give you more inspiration.

    Hope I've helped at least a small bit

    ~Goddess of Words~
     
  11. Fei.Fei
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    Fei.Fei Active Member

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    Its not exactly writers block because I know what to write, if anything, maybe more than I should at one point. Its fun to switch the characters and change up the story as much as I want. Yeah, poetry helps a lot though its not my thing I've written a few pieces, my writing improved after that too :) Thank you very much for the suggestions they were very helpful.
     

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