Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Making Places Real

OK, so more thought has come to this project in the interim of last post. I do not want to be the guy who remakes Julie and Julia, but with writing. So, I won't do that. As I work through the book, I will post what I believe is helpful. When that is not happening, I will throw out some stuff which I feel people who are wanting to write should know.

Making your scenes or locations real, this, above all is something which people seem to overlook. People in 200 and higher level college classes still seem to have issues with this, and it baffles me.

For instance, let's say I live in Portland, Oregon, and I want to write a scene on Alberta street, I could just say we're on Alberta. This works for me, since my eyes have seen it, and people in Portland will get a picture, because they have too. This, however, is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Boring, and fucking wrong.

You could describe the whole goddamn street, right down to the ants walking across the uneven sidewalk. You could, but I submit this is also wrong. It's dry and hard to read, anyway.

Your best bet is to pick a few locations that make Alberta street different than any other place. Any good place has these characteristics and this place is not any different.

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