Wednesday 23 October 2013

The Artist Unleashed: IS MY SETTING AUTHENTIC? by Dianne Ascroft

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  1. Strong post, Dianne. I definitely write easier and more concisely when I 'know'--feel the setting--in my bones. Like it's a part of me. I'm currently finishing up with my MG novel, which encompasses Norse mythology. Although I love mythology, the Greek is what I was most familiar with, not the Norse. So, despite not being able to travel there, I spent the last months delving into as many research papers, books, and articles about that world. Can't say I'm living and breathing that setting just yet, but I'm closer. It's starting to feel more natural.

  2. I can't imagine the research that goes into writing about a real setting. And all of those dialects must've been challenging. I'm grateful I get to make up my settings.

  3. Great points! A fresh perspective often balances out what 'locals' see and do. So many people move to the South (in the U.S.) and think they have it right after years of living there and, so, think of themselves as Southerners. Truth is, one has to be born into the culture to get it right as so much of what they don't know results from not understanding the nuances of 'Southern speech.' Your ability to remain who you are yet write about what you experience is a recipe for success!

  4. I need to immerse myself in a place I write about too, SA Larsen. If I can't visit then I read everything I can get my hands on about it. On a rather flippant note, I've been immersing myself in farm life tonight before I replied to these comments - nursing a goat with a sore tummy (she's feeling better now). I'm sure my experiences will find their way into future writing.

    It would be great to be able to just make it up, Alex! Guess I shouldn't have chosen to write historical fiction as one of my main genres....

    Yes, Kittie, understanding the nuances of speech is crucial. It's the same in Northern Ireland. I'm sure I still miss some things but I understand much more now than when I first arrived. I will never write about this country like a native but that's not really a bad thing.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris