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Old 03-04-2011, 02:16 AM   #1
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Looking for a help with a word or a phrase? Get some help here!

I have seen this type of thread in some other forum and it was great success.

So the idea is to ask for help when you are in need of a word, a sentence or fact about something related to what you are writing.

Since there are a lot of us that want to write in English but don't speak it natively, it would be of a great help for those of us.

So let me start out this thread by asking you this: What is the area called or how can it be described where there are lot of trees and bushes but it's not like a full-grown forrest? In my story a guy is driving a car along a road that is in the middle of this kind of area and I would like to describe this area as such.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:02 PM   #2
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I'd probably use terms like woods, or woodland.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
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I'd probably use terms like woods, or woodland.
Yup. A wooded area would fit perfectly.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:50 AM   #4
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It might also be scrub, or scrubland. Maybe brush if there are only a few trees and a lot of bushes. And to make life more confusing, what it's called is specific to who's involved. The word "bush" means something different to an Australian than an American, for instance.

One thing every writer needs: a good thesaurus. Nowadays you can find them online, which is good. Despite this I have three of the paper variety (organized differently) within reach.

Another thing that's important not to forget is research. We have the whole Internet at our fingertips. Look up some of the area in question in the country your POV character is from -- national parks, etc., generally have their own websites. What do they call it? And is that really what you need, or do you want more trees, or maybe fewer? If it's particularly important to the story and there's an example within range, why not visit it some Saturday afternoon, soak up the ambiance, and write? Getting away from home can be good for your "writing muscles" and you don't need more than a pen and a notebook to sit under a tree and take notes, sketch, or write a chapter or two.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:46 AM   #5
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Another important thing: get your terminology right! I find it very distracting, for example, when American authors write books set in Britain, but use American terminology: I'm sure it's equally true the other way around, too. I recently read a (modern) "Sherlock Holmes" story by an American author, who had Watson using words like "sidewalk" and "block" (to measure urban distance); neither or which would ever be used by a British person.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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Another important thing: get your terminology right! I find it very distracting, for example, when American authors write books set in Britain, but use American terminology: I'm sure it's equally true the other way around, too. I recently read a (modern) "Sherlock Holmes" story by an American author, who had Watson using words like "sidewalk" and "block" (to measure urban distance); neither or which would ever be used by a British person.
What Harry said x10.

Get it right for your location and for your time. The word "scheme" does not mean the same thing in the US as it does in Great Britain. The word "stunt" does not mean the same thing in the US today as it did 100 years ago. People who talk like inhabitants of different times or places from the ones they're supposed to inhabit not only break the reader's immersion in the story, they smash it to bits and jump up and down on the bits. Someone who is supposedly in the RAF of World War II speaking like a modern American (something I read recently in amateur work) is just as jarring to someone who sees that as the same person with a cell phone. Or mobile.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Heh... what Harry and Worldwalker said x100!

Excellent advice, all of it, and I can only hope that lots of "just starting out" authors read it and take it on board.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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Another important thing: get your terminology right! I find it very distracting, for example, when American authors write books set in Britain, but use American terminology: I'm sure it's equally true the other way around, too. I recently read a (modern) "Sherlock Holmes" story by an American author, who had Watson using words like "sidewalk" and "block" (to measure urban distance); neither or which would ever be used by a British person.
Something they used to do, which has probably gone the way of proof-readers in an attempt to save money, is translate American books into English when they are published here. People going on about garages when they mean car parks took a while to get used to, and someone buying a "serve cone" had me stumped until I looked on Google images for one.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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The bits to either side of the road would be hedgerows.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
DMSmillie
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The bits to either side of the road would be hedgerows.
Only if they're actual hedgerows. Random conglomerations of trees, shrubs and/or bushes do not a hedgerow make.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:37 PM   #11
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Looks more like a hedge than a hedgerow. Hegerows round here aren't anywhere near that regimented, they're only held back by tarmac.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:07 PM   #12
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The pictures are more "hedge" than "hedgerow", I agree. But the definition is pretty accurate:

"A hedge or hedgerow is a line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, planted and trained in such a way as to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area. Hedges used to separate a road from adjoining fields or one field from another, and of sufficient age to incorporate larger trees, are known as hedgerows."
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:38 AM   #13
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Perhaps "a stand of trees" might apply, depending on the nature of the particular collection of trees/forest being described.

"Stand" applies to any crop or planting that grows vertically (e.g. "stands") according to the OED.

Also, as a forestry term:

stand - a group of forest trees of sufficiently uniform species composition, age, and condition to be considered a homogeneous unit for management purposes.
(source: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/gloss.html#s)
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