So, I'm a guy from the Netherlands, but most of my writing is in English. I don't know exactly why I chose to do so, English just seemed more comfortable and expressive to me compared to Dutch. Perhaps it's because most of the things I read and watch are in English as well. For me it just seems more natural when it comes to fiction. I don't think I make many grammar mistakes, and it probably wouldn't be much better if I switched to Dutch either.

Anyway, a problem I've been having with this is that due to this my stories either take place in a fictional English-speaking world or a real English-speaking place like the UK or US. I've only been to London once when I was a teen and never visited America. Basically, everything I know about these places is from tv or fiction. Now, I don't think this is necessarily bad, but it also means I've never experienced these places from the perspective of a native or even a tourist. There's probably many details that I just don't know about, such as things like accents or just everyday stuff. The way I solved this was mostly by avoiding to name the place the story takes place in, even though it is obviously inspired by a real place.

I thought about writing stories that take place in the Netherlands. However, it just seems awkward to talk about Dutch things in English. Also I think many things just don't translate very well due to cultural differences.

I was wondering how other people who have English as a second language deal with this. Do you write in English or in your mother tongue? How do you write about a location that you've never visited or only briefly?

Read:  I feel like I have written most of the interesting parts of my main character in the back story.

Source: reddit post


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