Authors.com

Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

How do you write about your characters being bullied if you’ve never been a bully, or been bullied? How do you write about a teen aged girl falling out of love if you’re not even a female? How do you report in your manuscript the angst of growing up in a single parent household if you were raised by both parents? How do you detail the events of your diverse characters’ lives if they are quite different from your own?

Views: 4

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

What a great question! :)

You read and you read and you read some more, then you use your imagination. Go to forums that deal with the subjects at hand and you'll get real life experiences to inspire you. Note I said inspire you, not to give you something to copy verbatim. Research articles and studies on the topics. Watch videos and TV shows about them.

Look for tutorials on how to do exactly that. For example scribbler posted about a free MIT course on dysfunctional families in fiction in the Writing Resources Group. That may be more in depth than you are looking for. It demonstrates though that there are fantastic resources free online that you can read or download for nothing.

If you find a support forum on the topic that you feel is friendly, get permission from the admin to post a thread requesting volunteers that would share their experiences with you for research purposes. Give them the option to email you or PM you in confidence if they don't want to reply to the thread in public.

For keeping your characters on track, use a character checklist. You'll find them free online.

It boils down to this: Listen. Absorb. Learn. Research. Think creatively. Then write. :)
I totally agree with Kay!
It's all about researching and learning about the issue in question.
And it's also about getting "into the character"

For example, if i was raised by my two parents my whole life, but i want to write about someone who is raised only by an alcoholic father, i would try to create the character based on how I would feel.
And it's also a plus, because if I do have a mother, I know how important she is for me. And if my character lacks a mother, then i would know how he would feel...or rather, how I would feel.
Lovely to see you again, Rowen. It's been a while. :) That's a good way to look at it too you suggested there.

I've found some things others have been through are beyond imaginable when your upbringing has been a relatively normal one like mine. I've worked with support groups before. I was saddened and horrified by the stories I heard. I'd be doing them a disservice by inaccurately portraying those serious situations if I relied solely on my own imaginative scope and didn't research it. We can't step into someone's shoes. We can however do our best when we write to honor that experience by learning from them and staying as true to their account as they wish, neither minimizing nor sensationalizing what happened.

Rowen Mahogany said:
I totally agree with Kay!
It's all about researching and learning about the issue in question. And it's also about getting "into the character"
For example, if i was raised by my two parents my whole life, but i want to write about someone who is raised only by an alcoholic father, i would try to create the character based on how I would feel.
And it's also a plus, because if I do have a mother, I know how important she is for me. And if my character lacks a mother, then i would know how he would feel...or rather, how I would feel.
Aaron I forgot to mention this. It will help explain what to do if you're writing about a location that's beyond your experience. It's incredible how much you can do if you're online. :)

How To Write About A Real Location If You Haven’t Been There
That is a really good question!

I agree with the two wise people who have already commented!

Currently I'm writing a novel (10,000 words down... too many to think about to come!) that is set in the late 1950's. Obviously I have spent a lot of time researching things specific to my plot, but before I did this I researched American life in the 1950's in general to make sure that the car they drive would have been around, what the education was like, who the President was etc. The little details are just as important as the big issues. For every tiny trait my character has, I like to be able to say why and how they developed that trait, even if it isn't an integral part of the story.

I think that a truly great author can make anything seem real... through the power of the words they use and how they use them.

So like the others have said, read, read and then read some more!

Good Luck!
Well, how do you write int he first place? I mean, the only time the author has actually lived through the experience in the book is if it's an autobiography. I mean, some people copy one or two events that happened when they were younger, or are happening now, but not too many people actually copy action for action everything that happened in their life. I do get what you mean, though. Well, you might try researching the subject, or even interviewing someone whose been through similar experiences!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sponsored Links

Most Active Members

© 2017   Created by Authors.com.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service