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What a load of old horse poop, to the first. And an upsy-downsy hand-waggle to the second with a long-drawn-out weeeeelllll, to a point.
If I wrote about what I know, then the reader would be asleep within minutes. There is a little thing called research and checking facts.
Daniel Defoe said, What I'm writing here is truer than history. Is he saying he's lying, then? What do you think?
In my own novels, I set them in places that will be recognizable (MidWest USA, Middle England) But none of the towns, cities, villages mentioned actually exist. The characters have professions (lutier, professional musician, firefighter, chemist, fishermen) that I knew nothing about before I researched them.
So, get the facts right and stretch the imagination. How's that?
Let's give the old imagination a workout. The other day here I had fun reading your dialogues between two different characters. Let's think of those characters and put them in different settings.
Characters (these are suggestions - you can make your own up):
- Winnie the Pooh (everyone's favorite, it seemed)
- Nancy Drew
- Jo from Little Women
- Tom Ripley
- Laura Ingails
- Francis Crawford of Lymond
- Harry Potter
- Desert Island
- Star Wars setting
- New Orleans (Vampire Lestat's stomping ground)
- Middle Earth
- Jack the Ripper London
- The Little House on the Prairie
- Panem (from The Hunger Games)
- The Moors of Northern England (where the Brontes set their fiction)
- Dicken's Victorian London
Here's one: Fagin looking at the Little House on the Prairie. Rubs sparse hair on chin and thinks, 'I could teach that li'le girl in the gingham dress my magic coin tricks, oh yes.'