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Behind the Scenes with a Fiction Writer

Updated on January 2, 2015

From a Question

This article was born from a question asked in my Mailbag series.

From Linda: “I am interested in your suggestion that writers should appeal to the readers' primal level--excite their senses. You certainly do that, and do it well. When one of your characters was in combat, we (readers) could see, smell, and hear everything he was witnessing as we walked with him through the jungle.

To create scenes like that do you interview people who have had such experiences, do tons of research, or do you have an incredible imagination?”

I decided that a great question like this one deserved its own article, so here we are. I suspect that a great many writers who have never written a novel wonder the same things about written scenes. How did the author know about that place? Did they visit there for research? It seems so real….how did they ever imagine such a vivid scene?

The quick answer to Linda’s question is all three. A writer needs experiences to draw upon, a ton of research, and an incredible imagination in order to “paint” scenes that can come alive for the reader.

I’m going to use my recently-published novel “Resurrecting Tobias” as the backdrop while I go into all three in more depth.

I like to take pictures of great scenes for future use in my novels
I like to take pictures of great scenes for future use in my novels | Source

EXPERIENCE

Let me begin with a passage from the book, and then I’ll explain where it came from. Okay?

"This is the underbelly of the monster we call civilization, the side of town you won’t find in the tourist brochures, and it is featured each night in every city across the Red, White and Blue. Take a deep breath and inhale the aroma of piss and vomit, ten-day old trash and fear. Hope flows from the building gutters. Misery pools on the streets below. The politicians ignore it and hope it will go away without affecting tourism too badly. The “decent folks” avert their eyes and drive just a bit faster on their way to Grandma’s house, and the residents sentenced to life without bars just keep on keeping on, waiting for nothing and expecting less."

In this scene, my main character is walking home through a tough part of town, and he’s describing it to you. Yes, this is based on experience. I was homeless for a time, so I’m well-acquainted with the seedy parts of a city. Also in my novel I mention places like New Orleans, Vermont, Charles City, Iowa, and Washington D.C., all places I have visited and experienced firsthand.

A writer's job is to paint a picture
A writer's job is to paint a picture | Source

RESEARCH

For most writers, actually visiting locales for your book is next to impossible. I mean, who has the money or time to go jetting off to gather information? I certainly don’t, and there is no way, even if I had the money or time, to visit a scene that plays out during 1971, as this following scene in Vietnam does.

"The A Sau Valley is twenty-five miles long, one mile wide, flanked by vertical jungles to the east and west. The main vegetation that day was elephant grass, in places chest high, making it damned nearly impossible to see ten feet. A bit eerie that grass, slightly swaying in a gentle breeze, deceptive in its calm appearance, sort of like a rhythmic dance of death. There’s nothing quite like marching into enemy territory and not being able to see further than a drifting fart in any direction, all the while knowing that if the NVA is there, they are having no such problems with sight. Your asshole puckers, your jaws lock, and you swear you can hear every single one of your heartbeats.

Sentries were posted while we all grabbed a breather and drank from our canteens. It was miserably hot that day. Bugs, sweat, dirt, rank body odor….it all added up to a lovely walk in the countryside."

I’ve never been to Vietnam. Never served there during that war, but I have friends who did serve there, and a few interviews with them provided all the information I needed to paint the scene above.

Again with the research:

"I once witnessed a stoning. I was in Iran covering a political story and had just left the Shah’s palace. On my way to the hotel, I noticed a crowd forming in the public square. A woman, dressed in traditional Islamic hijab, was buried to her shoulders, and ten men stood about twenty feet away throwing stones at her. The stones were about the size of a football, or maybe slightly smaller, all with sharp edges. The woman had several cuts on her face by the time I arrived, and the pain was obvious, but she did not cry out. Stone after stone hit her head, and the cuts increased, and as time passed, her skull appeared, and then brain-matter, and her blood flowed down to the dust, turning it red under the scorching sun."

Nope, I’ve never been there or done that, but reading accounts by those who have seen actual stonings was all I needed.

Can you imagine what is happening inside that fog?
Can you imagine what is happening inside that fog? | Source

IMAGINATION

And sometimes, the only thing we have at our disposal, is our imaginations.

“Cold night, Pete! That wind coming off Lake Erie goes right through you. No way to stay warm in the winter. Hell, there are probably summer days here that are cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass Indian.”

We were walking down Buffalo Road about ten blocks from the lake, and the wind was brutal. We stopped at the first café we could find, the Boiler Maker, to warm our old bones and get a late snack.

The waitress wasn’t wearing her years well, but she mustered up a late-night smile and asked us what we wanted.

“I’ll have a cheeseburger, thanks, and a Diet Coke. Petester, what are you getting?”

“I’ll take the same, thanks. Give me a side of whatever soup you have available.”

She plodded off to place our order, filling several coffee cups on the way to the kitchen. She was a nondescript woman in a nondescript café in a nondescript part of town, the same scene playing out in thousands of cities across the country at that very moment. Open twenty-four hours, a refuge for the creatures of the night, the call girls answering the call, the hustlers hustling anyone standing still, the lost, the found and the unsure, they all called the Boiler Maker their home away from home, a way station where no questions were asked and few answers were found.

For the record, I’ve never been to Buffalo, and I certainly have never visited the Boiler Maker Café. I doubt there is one, but I’m quite certain there is one like it. There is in every city in America, the all-night hangout where locals congregate to get away from whatever it is they are running from. I’ve seen enough of them to imagine what the Boiler Maker Café looks like, and so have most of you.

And Then, All You Have to Do Is…..

Remember the five senses! Your readers are experiencing the scene through your words, and they need your assistance if they are to really see the scene. What does the scene look like? What does it smell like? Taste like? Sound like? Feel like? If you don’t tell them then nobody will, and they will leave your scene feeling cheated.

You all have the ability to do this. You have all had experiences to draw from during your lifetimes. You all have the ability to do some research, and you all have imaginations. In other words, you have everything necessary to write a dynamic scene.

So, what’s holding you back?

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, very funny about the booking requirements, and very true. Imagination is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Thanks my successful friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As always, excellent advice. I have found that scenes are easy with those imaginations that are about to travel to any part of the world at a moment's notice. Luckily, there is no booking required.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, if I were to write a travel article about a place I had never visited, I would feel the same guilt. A fictional story? Not so much. :) Thanks for your thoughts and I hope all is well in your little corner of the UK.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for this, Bill. I always feel a twinge of guilt writing about places I've never been to but only read about on the Internet or books. I guess the imagination is what makes these places real to the reader.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Glimmer, but not all writers understand that as you do. If our goal is to improve our craft, then we need to take lessons from all genres of writing...at least that's what I believe.

      Thank you and Happy Thursday to you.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I enjoyed this article, but I read it as a craft/recipe writer and could easily apply all 3 sections to that. Amazing how almost all types of writing are intertwined.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I've got a new exercise coming Wednesday that you can try...I think you'll find it helpful.

      Almost as helpful as I find it when you and other friends stop by and give me support. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, if it were easy then everyone would be a writer. :) I like to think that writing is still a craft, and only people like you can really excel at it.

      Blessings my friend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Voted all but funny. You've got my imagination running wild! I haven't traveled extensively like I wanted to but I have done some traveling and now I can see where it will all come in handy.

      I'll never be King or Koontz but you know I'm going to go down trying. All those descriptions are what makes any story real.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Just brilliant! You forgot to say that not everybody could do this. (smile)

      Masterfully crafted stuff! Keep on keeping on, Bro. A great help here to many Hubbers, you are. Peace.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, you have told me a bunch of times, and each time I look to the skies in anticipation. :) Sending those busy beings back your way with blessings, love and thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Flourish. I echo what you said about good writers. The imagination is key...the ability to see beyond what is in front of you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that, Nell, and I hope you pull that book out and take a look at it with visions of finishing it. A good book should never die a death of neglect. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They do for sure, vkwok. Thanks for sharing some of your inspirational sources.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      I love to read these articles because you include excerpts of your writings which I so get caught up in.

      Your suggestions and thoughts are well taken and pointedly given.

      I am not a fiction writer but find this information both enlgihtening and engaging.

      happy new year to you and yours...if I have not told you so a bunch of times already

      Angels are headed your way this morning ps

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Writers must have vivid imaginations, taking small details and embellishing them so that they weave stories worth reading. The stoning excerpt is excellent.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      I remember many years ago writing a book about the black death, 1349, never got it published, still in the drawer, but spent many days in the library reading stories, true stuff and so on, add that to imagination and off i went! lol! I really must get that darn book out and rewrite it! great advice as usual Bill, thanks, nell

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the really helpful article, Bill! I, myself, write through feelings and sensations I've felt, and other times draw from what I've seen on other stories from sources like TV, books, movies, and comics that manage to move my hearts in several directions, both negative and positive. Stories have ways of teaching you about yourself, don't they?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Greg. I appreciate it, my friend.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Great advice from a great writer. Thank you again Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Bill. It's hard to leave teacher-mode for this old educator. Happy Sunday to you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, DDE, and Happy Sunday to you.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is very helpful Bill. You explained things clearly with excellent examples. You continue to help all of us with your knowledge, expertise and experience. Have a great Sunday.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Brilliantly written hub and as always you know best of how to inform all writers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Alicia.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is interesting and very useful, Bill. As usual, you've created a helpful and inspiring hub for writers

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Smilalot....I think that's normal for most writers. Sight dominates our use of senses, so obviously we rely on it much more when writing. It does take training and practice to write about the other senses.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, I am humbled by such praise. Thank you so much. I have a long way to go to be the writer I want to be, but at least I think I have a chance at it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. That's music to this old teacher's ears. :) Happy Weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Twin, good to see you my friend, and Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you. Now that they are in the rearview mirror, I can get back to a regular schedule of writing, and that makes me grateful.

      Thank you for the kind words, and blessings to you in 2015.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron. Homeless on the beach still counts as homeless....just project that to homeless on the streets and run with the images that come to you.

      Happy New Year to you and yours, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop. I can see a political thriller in your future. You would be a natural at it....and no, I'm not just saying that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I can definitely see many of these tools alive and well in your writing. You are such a good poet, and I think that ability to create visions in poetry carries over into fiction. At least it does for you.

      Thank you, Eddy!

      billy

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      Smilealot 2 years ago

      Working with all the senses isn't easy as I find one (visual) dominates the others, but learning to focus on them all really does help...some really great advice Bill..as usual:-))

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great, and thank you, along with all the other comments. You draw out exceptional comments, of course. I enjoyed that of Will Starr, and your response, especially. Use of the senses is critical. I try hard to remember to use them each, well, but still leave something for the reader's imagination to create, as well. These characters and scenes belong to the reader as much as to me, I believe. ;-)

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Wow the more I read your prose the greater fan I become. Impressive doesn't even cover it. Your writing awakens the senses to a point of realism that is beyond adequate description. To reach such heights as a writer is a remarkable achievement. Thanks for another outstanding lesson,

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      You are such a wonderful teacher. Your lesson about using all five senses has helped me tremendously. Thank you.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Happy New Year Bill and thanks for another helpful hub for writers. I've always seen how well you bring the senses to life in your stories. It helped me tremendously how you gave us parts of your book and broke it down for us. Made it easier to understand by doing this. Just popped on your writing blog. I agree with you that it's always good when the holiday's are over. I love the holidays, but I'm always ready to say goodbye to all the hustle and bustle. Thanks for all the writing suggestions you give us. Hugs to you :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Bill, this is awesome, most of what I write has some basis in fact. I have never been homeless except when my family ran out of money and we lived on the beach in Huntington Beach, California. That was more of an adventure than anything. I love how you describe things and hope to gain the knowledge to do that (not from experience first hand, but by imagining it). I enjoy everything you write. Voted up, UABI and shared.

      Blessings and hugs to you dear friend and Happy New Year.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, I might add that you just wrote one heck of a sentence. That was a beautiful description of what I do. Thank you!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I have tried my hand at fiction. I have to admit you give me the urge to try it again. Up, useful, always interesting and completely awesome.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      Another great lesson to digest and use . I certainly will be doing so and will draw on as many of our senses as I can. I guess this is why it is never a good idea to read a book before actually watching the film, because a good writer will actually give so much and much of this will obviously be missing from the film. I am at the moment on the fourth chapter of The Silence of The Knowing and I hope that you will be able to see that I have followed your advice when I publish it in a week or so. Great hub once again and here's to an awesome New year.

      Eddy.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Your sensed sensations and sounds create a cinematic effect of an environment with fear and edginess bubbling just beneath the grimy exterior. You made it real.

      Sound advice, expertly illustrated by example.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and you are ready to hit the ground running in 2015.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, it is always my pleasure. A community of writers should always help each other so we all improve. Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Excellent write Bill! Your prose bites at the imagination here--and I love how you linked up the prose to your examples of research!

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, you never let us down. I appreciate that you took the time to answer this question (and it's not even Monday). Thank you again for teaching and encouraging us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Ann! "See" you soon.

      bill

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I know what you mean about structure. It's great to interrupt routine for a while but reassuring when normal service resumes.

      Looking forward to Monday's offerings!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann. You are right when you say it isn't difficult. It's all in the detail.

      Glad to see the holidays in the rearview mirrow. I need structure once again, so I'll rest up this weekend and then hit the ground running on Monday.

      Have a splendid time with those granddaughters.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cristen, thank you very much. The restaurant in Boise....there are so many places across the country that are like cookie-cutter samples of the same thing. I don't think a lot of writers realize that what they see in one city is probably very similar to what they would see in another city. As for the stoning....I have no idea. I wanted to portray the horror but at the same time almost describe it in a clinical way, as if the writer has just seen too much horror and he's almost...almost...immune. Anyway, thank you my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      The five senses aren't used enough. I know I often go back to make sure I've made the most of them in any description I write. In fact, if I can conjure up a memory, it's not that difficult, it's just a matter of not missing one single detail.

      Great stuff yet again, bill.

      Hope the new year is going well for you. Two granddaughters' birthday parties await me in the next week so I'm still busy on all counts.

      Have a great Friday eve and a peaceful weekend, bill.

      Ann

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      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      In one part of "Resurrecting Tobius" the scene is a restaurant in Boise, Id. As you know, I live in Boise. And I know that restaurant. Your references and description was so good I thought you must have visited. Something in discussions elsewhere I realized that you probably haven't been here. I was impressed all the more.

      And your description of the stoning is what made my buy the book.

      In all seriousness, that snippet is one of the best pieces of writing I've ever read. It will stick with me forever.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thank you. Here in the States, that is no laughing matter. The FBI scours the internet for domestic threats, and everyone is fair game. Sad but true.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. I really appreciate your kind words, and I'm glad these are helpful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, I would absolutely love to visit that town. I'd sit on a stump and listen to the wind blowing across the land, and hopefully hear the stories of those who lived there. Thanks for sharing that, and Happy New Year to you.

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      John Messingham 2 years ago from East Kilbride, Scotland

      Another informative hub, thank you Billy.

      With regards to researching subject matter, Mrs M. gets worried that the UK secret services will pay us a visit because of the information I look for on the internet.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for this great share. You're a very effective teacher; I'm learning very much from your valuable lessons.

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      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      There's a small ghost town called Columbia, about 50 miles north of Phoenix, accessible only by four wheel drive and situated in a narrow ravine next to a normally dry stream bed. The crumbing walls of two crudely constructed stone cabins still stand, and silently tell hundreds of stories if the listener is content to sit and open his mind.

      There are still flakes of the same gold that created the town to be found in the gravels if someone has the patience and the time. Not enough to make a living, to be sure, but enough to create a dandy story of those lost times.

      Excellent Hub, Billy, and my experience exactly!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, thank you very much for the kind words. Writers like King and Koontz have imaginations I can only dream about having, but it gives me something to work towards. :) Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catherine, you are a good writer and you are fully capable of painting beautiful scenes with your words. Keep practicing and believing in yourself.

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      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Happy New Year! Being a fan of horror and dark fantasy, I often wonder where the author found inspiration for things--and then fervently hope they don't have any first-hand experience or knowledge. You are an extremely talented writer and I appreciate all that you share with us.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Very good encouraging words for anyone (who me?) afraid to write something because he/she hasn't lived it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Ruby. I don't know where it comes from, but I'm glad I've got it. :) Happy Weekend to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I know people who believe strongly in that, and have visions and/or vivid dreams, and I think those would be fantastic aids in writing scenes. Great suggestion, actually. Me....I have to work a little harder for my inspiration. :) Happy Weekend and thank you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is great Bill. You are a master writer. I think you could write any scene from your imagination. I especially liked the Vietnam scene, I could see it and feel the danger. Have a great day...

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Okay, I'll throw out another airy-fairy possibility. Maybe you can research your past lives (if you believe in that stuff) to get ideas. Would that be imagination or memory? Not sure. :) But sometimes exploring the spiritual and hidden realms of our psyches can provide insight and inspiration. Happy Weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, I always find it interesting how other writers work their magic. Thanks for sharing your techniques with us, and sorry about those videos. I don't know what the problem is there....since I have no tech ability at all, I'm a bit lost. :)

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      I'm struggling with the closed captioning on the sidebar videos because the words don't make a lot of sense and there are no transcripts. There ought to be humans and not robots doing the CC on any video. lol

      But I got the gist of what you meant just from your narrative, although the videos I'm sure would have been helpful, as you intended. I tend to envision the scene first then add dialogue to show how the character reacts to it. Sometimes, but not usually, I will turn it around and put a character in a situation and then build the scene around that to see if it works better. It usually doesn't. lol

      Thanks for the great insight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha. It is not easy for me to do. In fact, I think, for me, it is the hardest part of writing. I appreciate you saying that.

      Happy weekend dear friend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I love the way you describe scenes, Bill. They're always very colorful with words etching the lay of the land across the canvas of the reader's mind.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I'm convinced that many writers are delusional...or is that just me? LOL Happy weekend, buddy.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Or we could all just be delusional and think we have really lived it and stay in our psychosis while we write -- or is that just me?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, you are right on...and good morning. All we need to paint a scene is accessible to us....everything except the gut feelings and insights. Thanks for mentioning that, and have a superb weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, you did slide in first today. Thank you for your vigilance. ;) You need no help with this topic, but thanks for reading and Happy Weekend to you.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Great information, Bill.

      With the internet, we can float down most any street, in any town to get a feel for the area.

      Research is at the tip of our fingers, thanks to the computer age. But, it is those feeling from the gut that brings a scene to life and makes it jump right off the paper.

      Thank, Bill.

      DJ.

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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Bill, am I actually first to comment. This is a great explanation of how a fiction writer blends a mix of experience, imagination and research to form the background of a story or novel. Loved it. Have a great day.