The girl who hates winter …


You’ve probably noticed this month we’re running with a winter theme here at Aussie Owned and Read. To be honest … I hate winter. Apologies to all the icicle loving, Jack Frost fans, but I do. For me, it’s the worst time of year because I really struggle with the cold. And you know what else usually comes with winter? Wind. Yep. I hate that, too. Wind makes me a grumpy bear.

jack frost

He is kinda cute though. Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians.

Because I travelled last year, I haven’t had a winter in two years. We basically chased the warm weather, which wasn’t too hard considering the top end of Australia has only two seasons: the wet and the dry. Now, I’m sitting here all rugged up with two pairs of bed socks on, and my feet are still cold. But you want to hear something crazy? Guess where the person who hates winter is going on July 1st?

Tasmania.

Yep. I’m going to the coldest state in Australia in the middle of winter.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post … (there’s a point? I hear you ask.)

I may not like winter, but I love exploring new places. Every time I go somewhere I pay lots of attention to everything I get to do, see, touch, taste, and smell, because I never know when I’ll be able to use an experience in my writing. Research methods such as reading, looking at images, and using Google are wonderful, but being able to take inspiration from our experiences enables us to make our writing more real.

For example, imagine writing a scene about a snowball fight. We know it’s cold. We know the snow will probably hurt if it hits us in the face. But if we’ve never done something like have a snowball fight, how can we inject genuine life into our writing? There are so many details to consider. The way the snow tingles on your cheek, the sun glittering off the snow’s surface, how your breath smokes out in front of you, the clammy feeling you get from running in a snow suit, how hard it is to grip anything with thick snow gloves on. Of course, everyone’s experiences are different, but you get the idea. And you’re probably wondering how the girl who hates winter knows about snowball fights … I had a lot of them when I was a kid. It’s not much fun copping one in the ear from you brother’s accurate right arm.

So, even though I hate the cold, I can’t wait to explore Tasmania, because I’ve never been there. I might not like it, and I might love it, but I’ll definitely come back with more experiences and memories that will help with my writing.

What’s your opinion? Does having experienced something first-hand help you?

 

K. A. Last hates the cold, but has decided going to Tasmania in winter in an awesome idea. She is the author of Sacrifice, Fall For Me, Fight For Me, and Immagica. She drinks lots of tea, is obsessed with Buffy, and loves all things purple (it used to be pink). K. A. Last hangs out on Facebook or you can find her on twitter and Goodreads. She’s also been known to blog once in a while.

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7 Comments

  1. Great post, KA 🙂 I love the focus on writing descriptive scenes and elements even when you’ve not experienced certain things that your characters might be. I think experiencing things first hand is definitely an advantage when I write, but there’s a lot in an experience that I can miss.

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    1. Thanks Alex. The details are why I love carrying a notebook around with me. Do you do that? Maybe it’s just a case of jotting a few things down so you remember later 😄

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  2. I definitely think first-hand experience helps. I’d love to go to Tassie, but in winter? No thanks! It’s cold enough at home.

    Next week we’re going to Alice Springs and Uluru, so that will be my chasing of the warm. (And my new experience!)

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    1. I know, I’m crazy, right? Alice and Uluru sound amazing. I’ve never been but they are on the bucket list. Although I hear it’s been pretty wet there the past few weeks. I know the Simpson Desert copped a few storms that turned everything to watery sand/mud. I’d like to see it either way though 😄

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