July 30th, 2007

Blood, vellum, and leather.

Ok, I have searched WebMD, Wiki and done some googling. What I can find the most of are things that are described as smelling like old leather and parchment, or things that smell like blood, but I can't find anything to concretely say what those smells are. This is a short story set in a future where they've stopped using organic materials because they realized they were depleting the earth's resources, so the main character would not likely be familiar with the scent of copper. It's turning a bit into that exercise where you have explain the color red to a blind person. >.>

Basically, I want to know what human blood smells like. I'm assuming it smells a little like iron and a little like salt, but I've never been very near large quantities of it. I want to know if there are undertones too it though, like refined smells that someone could pick up on behind the iron. Does your location and the things you eat change the smell of your blood like it does with other bodily fluids? Would lots of different people over different time periods and places have blood that smelled in conflicting ways, or would it all be almost the same?

What happens is that the character can smell blood on this artefact that is in his posession, but he doesn't recognize what it is. I'm just going to describe what he smells to the reader, and let them gather what it is. I might describe a bit of a deathy smell too, depending on the turn of events, but then again, maybe not. The other side to this is that the blood in question will have been dry for quite some time, so it's really more of an emotional or collective conscience sort of whiff that he gets of it anyway. I'm thinking that if that's the case, then it might just be best to stick with the things most readers will understand as characteristics of blood without him having to understand them.

Also, the artefact in question is a very old book. Does anyone know what old parchment would smell like, assuming that it's the animal kind of parchment and not the vegetable based kind? What does leather smell like when it rots? What does it feel like when it rots, for that matter. The most descriptive thing I can come across is mustiness, or mold/mildew which the character again, would not have had contact with. I have journals that are leather and I know they tend to get soft over time, and if they've ever been wet they're shiny and a little hard in those areas, but I haven't had any of these books for hundreds of years.

Thank you very much for looking over my nitpicky questions. I will experiment with a lot of things for my writing and catalog a lot of experiences, but I'm not willing to bleed for this story. Not yet. It's going to have to shape up first. :p
  • Current Mood: curious
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Sweden questions.

Google Searches: sweden, popular swedish culture, swedish customs, swedish language, swedish body language, living in stockholm sweden, stockholm news, cultural differences between usa and sweden, swedish national character, dating in sweden, gay culture in stockholm sweden, gay in sweden, major swedish events, what i hate about stockholm, what i love about stockholm, scandinavia, foreign language swedish schools, http://www.thelocal.se/, various blogs and message boards.

So, my character is from Stockholm, Sweden and he's moving to Las Vegas, Nevada. Present-day. He'll be between the ages of 20-25. I have never been to Stockholm, Sweden (or Sweden in general) and I don't know any Swedes. I've done my fair share of Google searching and I've learned a lot, but now I'm looking for little details. I'll include a few questions to get the ball rolling, but any information is welcomed.

Questions.Collapse )

Thank you in advance! Sorry if any of these could be found with a simple search.

Stereotypical American expressions

Setting:  Modern day London.  

Okay, so, in America, if people want to "imitate" an English accent they'll probably say something like, "Cheerio, old mate.  Would you care for a spot of tea?"  Or, an Australian accent is often done involving the phrase "shrimp on the barbie."  My question is if a Londoner, or anyone from England really, were to affect an American accent, are there any phrases that they would most likely use, that are deemed distinctly American?

I've tried googling phrases like "cliched American expression"  "stereotypical American accent expression" but I wasn't finding anything too useful.  I also think it would be better to get actual personal experience.