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  1. #41
    Visiting a place is difficult, so niche books can be the cheapest option to know what you don't know. I may have lived for a good while in virginia, but its difficult to describe. Nonfiction is useful for a very good reason.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #42
    IMO, "Write what you know" is one of those adages that's given to beginning writers, just so they don't feel overwhelmed by indecision. I imagine a creative writing instructor saying to his class, "Know a lot about hockey? Write a story with hockey in it!"

    I don't think the advice is meant deep or nuanced (though I do like the "write what you know emotionally" interpretation). I also don't think that one needs to write what they know. You can choose something that you know very little about, and still write the hell out of it. See: anyone who writes Fantasy, for example.

  3. #43
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theglasshouse View Post
    Right now I have pending to buy a few books when the time is right: books on housing architecture, a book on mazes' history, and a book on virginia city. All because I have no library nearby me that stocks books when I need them.
    I hear a Road Trip!

    A visit to General Grant's house became 'real' to me in a way I can't articulate when I set my hand on the railing going down the narrow stairs in his home. Virginia City became much more interesting when I began talking to the people who lived and worked there.

    If you can, try to go to some of the places that interest you. There's nothing like first-hand experience in researching what you want to write.

    And if you can't travel yourself right now, have you tried Google Earth? It is waaay cool for getting to see how people live in far away places. I even 'went' snorkeling in the Pacific--something I'd never try in real life. (Sure, it's not the same as really going snorkeling, but the blurbs people leave are still a really neat way to live vicariously through their experiences.)
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  4. #44
    While I am not sure if I once went to such a house. I've been to mount Vernon. A place called Frederickville with a preserved town of when it was colonial times in the united states. So I know of the governors mansion superficially but been there.
    However for writing I cam across some new resources and thought they'd be just as useful: digital libraries.
    There's also project Gutenberg.
    There is https://archive.org too borrow books or they let you download them for free. They are both free, and enhance description by using the knowledge in the non-fiction books. I thought about it today after looking at books that give examples of what classrooms use in schools.
    I found one book on mazes on there. Now I can try to look up Virginia city I think. I don't usually read from project gutenberg, but I will now since I want to find out more about settings.
    I read that travelogues are also a good source of information for places you have never been to.

    Ok, I'll try google earth. Thank you for the suggestion. I used to live in virginia. I wish I could travel to some places but that requires a job. But that's a part of my past. I don't live there any longer. So I am passing along these "helpful" tips to researchers such as people who write stories such as novels. That is because setting is a important part of setting the scene (pun intended).
    Last edited by Theglasshouse; June 20th, 2019 at 06:24 PM.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  5. #45
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theglasshouse View Post
    However for writing I cam across some new resources and thought they'd be just as useful: digital libraries.
    I love digital libraries!

    Just beware, sometimes they change URL addresses on books. This can be a real bear if you want to go back to something you've read previously & it's not there.

    I had one of my sources for my thesis vanish altogether. Thankfully, I had forgotten I had a downloaded copy & was relieved when I found it.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  6. #46
    Google Earth is definitely da bomb for researching a city. Things pop out when you are looking down at a city, things that you may not have noticed if you just went through wikepedia or google.
    Sometimes when I am researching a city or region, I feel a little like Military Intelligence, analyzing footage from spy satellites or U2 footage.
    The way that other people like crosswords, I like to figure out what that odd building on mainstreet is, just by examining the area around it.
    I have made some story-altering finds with googleearth. Just found things that were soooo cool that I had to write them into the story.

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