Hello. I saw you saing once you work in another language, if you don't mind my asking, where are you from? Since I saw that, I kept asking myself how do you write, I mean, I'm a writer too, but I have to do it first in my language (portuguese, I'm Brazilian) then translate it. So, how do you do it? I love your stories by the way, they are fucking awesome :)
Awww, first off thank you for the compliment. Writing in another language is a strange thing that happened to many authors by accident.
And my response turned out to be an essay of 800 words, so I am putting it under a cut so as not to clog people’s dashboards.
Edit: had to take down the tax note because it didn’t work on my mobile and eats the text, lol
So, about writing. I’m Polish. Right now I work in american connected company so I use english work, but I started writing in english, hmm. about 17 years ago? I actually write first few novella length stories in my native language (before I discovered fan fiction) but I quickly realised I had nowhere to show this work. There was no audience, no real place for me to show the work off. Just the few friends that I was brave enough to show my works. I am saying ‘brave’ because from the very beggining I was interested in the darker themes. I wasn’t interested in the run of the mill romance story. And back then I was very aware that non-standard things were not always well accepted. Around that time I stumbled onto something called ‘fan fiction’ on the internet. It was Sailor moon fandom of all things. And boy. My mind was blown. I read like there was no tomorrow. Anything and everything. By the time I reached x-men fandom I was dead set on writing a story. At that time I had a CAE (certificate in advanced english) which meant I could communicate, even teach the begginers. BUT. I tried writing my first story in english. No translating, straight up english sentences from mind to paper… and it flopped so horribly. Turned out writing prose in another language wasn’t as easy as writing an email in that same language. I read fics in english (and books) for about 7 months longer before I wrote the first story I posted, Second Chances for x-men and it was long fic from the very beggining. I also immediately invested in a beta. Actually two betas, because there was too much to do for just the one :D
Now we are reaching the meat of your question.
The thing about languages is: do not translate. Seriously. Just don’t. I spoke russian before I started learning english, and the only trick I learned was: think straight in the language you intend to use. Translating doesnt really work. First is that words flow differently in languages. Some languages are high context, some are low context, some have words with multiple meaning (english) some are very specific (polish) Also, there is a theory of ‘emotional connection’ - example is that you will curse much easier in another language than in your own because in your native language words have emotional impact, some are bad words, shameful words and you are less likely to use them. The same words, but in foreign language do not carry the same emotional impact which makes them easier to use. It’s nt only about the bad words. FFrom personal experience I can tell you that writing explicit sex is so much easier in english than in polish. First because english is better equipped in sexual vocabulary and second because it doesn’t have that ‘embarassed giggle’ factor my own language has.
It was strange and unbelievably slow at first, but oly the first chapter or so. After a little time (and it happens very, very fast) the odness passess and thinking in another langiage comes easier and faster. On some level there still is translation, but that translation happens on a subconscious level that doesn’t tax your conscious mind. Also, thinking traight in your targeted language makes the stry sound better, flow better because you subconsciously use better forms than with translations. And be completely honest with me - translating is boring. I did some translations for people/money/projects and damn, booooooooring. Start with thinking up conversations, short scenes in english. Make the sentences in your head, get a feel for how they sound. You read a lot, I bet you have all the vocabulary, all the grammar. You have it. You just need to open that one door in your mind that leads to changing the way you see other languages. Look at bilingual children, or really anyone, they don’t spend any time translating, they just do. because in their heads they just switch from language to language as needed. Try it, try a smaller story, a scene. Simply change tracks in your head and it will all come to you easily. I promise.