by Rhianna Urquhart, UK North Blogger jaBlog!
Artwork by Katie King
The best thing about going abroad is that no matter where you go, everything is going to be different, and it’s going to be different in a good way. Places might be hotter or colder, or the food might be amazing, or the beaches might be bigger, or the buildings are crazy shapes, sizes, and colours. No two places are ever the same, and that’s what makes the world interesting.
If you go abroad somewhere, or even if you stay in the country instead of the city, or vice versa, you will notice the subtle and the not-so-subtle changes. You will notice culture and language and things that happen in one country that don’t happen in another. Maybe there are more bikes. Maybe the traffic jams are longer. Maybe there are different animals.
I think one of the most important things for a writer is to observe the world around them. Little details make writing realistic and easy to relate to. Remember all the wonderful and weird things you come across when you are abroad or on holiday. You can use all of these wonderful and weird things in your writing.
I find that most people tend to write in a setting that they are familiar with, which is fine but repetitive. Now you’ve been to this new country, you can try setting all or parts of a story there. If you’re still not confident enough, you can always use Google to find stuff out too.
Writing in a different setting has always helped me personally. I wrote about countries I had never been to, and I had to do a lot of research and work. I didn’t want anything to be stereotypical, or vague, or plain wrong. The research involved made me get to know my plot line and characters better, even though the story itself was short and simple. Some stories are better suited to being set in foreign countries anyway.
Wherever you go on holiday, take the experiences you have and add them to your writing when it’s appropriate. Think about what it felt like when you went on your first plane, write about that time that it started raining heavily and you were soaked to the bone in seconds, let the character in your novel discover a stunning place like you did.
If you’re going somewhere on holiday or even if you’re just staying at home, enjoy yourself and be inspired.