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  1. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    Window Seat

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by SNJade96, May 28, 2020.

    I was about to put this in setting development, but then realized that was more about world building than actually describing the setting.
    So, I pose this question to all of you: How does one describe a window seat to a person who has no idea what a window seat is, has never seen a window seat, has barely even seen windows, and just generally has no idea what to call it or what it is?
     
  2. Madman

    Madman Life is Sacred Contributor

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    This makes me curious as to who you're writing for.

    Do you mean the window seat on an airplane or a window seat that exists inside a home?

    How about beginning with the basics, explain the window, a transparent material that shields you from wind and the outside. Then work your way to the seat.

    Hope I understood everything correctly.
     
  3. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the advice. It still sounds a little odd, but I'll come back to it later. It's a lot better than it was before, at least.
     
  4. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    It depends on what the scene needs to accomplish. There isn't enough information to go by as is. I'll assume you mean a character doesn't know what a window or a seat are, like maybe a child? It also depends on whether she's seeing it or being told about it. But here's how you might handle one of those scenarios (one I'll pick at random):

    Suddenly she realized the entire back wall of the couch she had been sitting on was clear, and through it she could see the yard outside.

    Of course in this version she does know what a couch is, which misses part of your criteria. Maybe write that she climbed up into it because she needed someplace to sit and it seemed like it would do nicely, then add the clear back wall part.

    If I'm completely off the mark, then you should add some more information. Help us help you. :)
     
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  5. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    To add context, the character does know what a couch is; she's eighteen years old, but she doesn't know what a window looks like because this is a dystopian world where it's almost always raining and cloudy, and there's just something wrong with the world, though since it's just the world the MC has grown up in, it's not currently addressed. As a result of all these things, windows are outlawed. Before I go on, I realized I need to clarify that the main character does know what windows are. She's just had very limited contact with them for the reason above, so doesn't really have any idea what they look like. As a result of windows being banned and never having seen one, she would never sit next to one (at least at the point I need to describe it) because she's been taught that windows are very dangerous because they're fragile and could break at any moment.

    Actually, just writing this, I've come up with it. She'll comment on how she doesn't understand why anyone would want to sit so close to something so dangerous, to the point where they'd even want to sit inside the window. If that's a little vague, or doesn't make sense, let me know.
     
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  6. Marscaleb

    Marscaleb Member

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    Can't you just say... It's a seat next to a window?
    I mean, this seems like you're over-complicating things. If she knows what a window is, it sounds like she's already gotten past the hard part.
    Not every little difference between two worlds needs to be an "event" to discover. Most are pretty easy to understand.
     
  7. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    Which would work, except saying it's a seat next to a window invokes an image of a chair separate from a window. I'm thinking a bay window sort of thing, where the couch is literally built into the opening in the wall the window causes. Saying it's a seat next to the window makes it seem like it's just a chair next to a window, and it's not just a chair next to a window; it's built-in.
     
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  8. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    Ok, do they have breakfast nooks in this dystopian world? Any sort of built-in seat could be conceptualized by this character if she has seen one; and if she knows what a window is in theory, then the concatenation of window and built-in seat/breakfast nook should not be too great of a leap.
    But I have another question. What is this character's conception of seat? Because mine is certainly different from a chair. A seat is a slightly more abstract concept, whereas a chair can be entirely summed up in its physical form. There is nothing more to a chair than a back, the seat (little s, haha), and four legs; whereas the very concept of a seat carries with it, inherent in its definition, certain cultural qualifications. All this to say that maybe you should be focusing more on the character's idea of what a seat is, because to me, the word does not necessarily imply a chair.
     
  9. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    The idea of a breakfast nook isn't bad, but she hasn't seen that, either.

    The MC has lived a very sheltered life, and her conception of a seat is just a chair or a sofa, because that's all she's really seen. To me, saying seat doesn't necessarily imply a chair, either, but it does to the main character.

    It's not that it matters much, anyway; I've already gone with "There was, strangely, a couch built into the window, something I had never even considered." Thanks for trying to help, though.
     
  10. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    No problem, glad you found your solution.
     
  11. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    To me, "window seat" means a seat on a plane or train. I've never heard the term used any other way.
     
  12. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I think this is what is meant, although I'm very curious how it is going to be incorporated into a dystopian novel.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    That's exactly what I'm going for. Obviously of a different design, but that sort of thing. Sorry if that wasn't clear; maybe there's different terms for it in different places, but I've never heard it called anything but a window seat.
     
  14. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I've never heard it called otherwise. @Naomasa298, how would you label the above photograph?
     
  15. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    I honestly wouldn't know. It's never come up in the kind of conversations I have. :)
     
  16. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Yeah, I knew them as window seats only. Had heard of a breakfast nook, but never seen one with a window seat involved. Just googled it and at first was only seeing little table/chair sets, but as I scrolled down they started showing up with the window seats built in, and sometimes on 2 or 3 sides! I might call it a breakfast glass cage...
     
  17. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I think that if it faced onto an ample lawn with maybe some flower beds it would be an unrivaled place to eat breakfast. Probably west facing would be ideal, as long as the room is well lit.
     
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  18. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    I have to say, I get where you are coming from but I would find this description confusing. I know what a window seat is but if I read this I would imagine a seat somehow built into the actual glass. Maybe add 'built into the window recess' rather than just window?
     
  19. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    Thanks. I'll change it to that; it makes a little more sense.
     

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