Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pick a Time, any Time. Pick a Place, any Place.

I'm looking for a time.
And I'm looking for a place.
And they both have to be just right.
I have a rough idea of the time.
I have a rough idea of the place.
But a couple of hundred years, a couple of hundred miles, give or take, doesn't really add a lot of detail to a story. It's hard to describe stuff if you don't know if you're dealing with Normans or Jacobeans, barley fields or inhospitable mountains.
For The Toad Lord, I know I want a place at least bordering countryside. I need mossy glens, nettles, wells and ancient stone. I know I want to avoid (as much as possible) any major religious squabbles or wars. Seeing as we're talking about Scotland, this narrows my search a lot.
While I was originally thinking about setting my story in Medieval times, I'm now debating whether that's too brutal and harsh a time for my story. I want to be able to concentrate on the story and not on the politics. However... I don't want it too modern. Decisions decisions!
And place... I'm debating between up near Elgin, around Birnie, around Aberdeen, or around Glasgow or Edinburgh. I've only seen Birnie in the snow, so Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow makes more sense... but there's always Google. I definitely want the language to be English, rather than Gaelic, so that cuts out the highlands and Island. I want the religion to be Protestant rather than Catholic - which also means post 16th century.
I'm interested in the industrial changes and the tobacco lords. But don't want to get involved in slavery and tobacco ethics.
Looks like I need to do more research before I can start. Back to the drawing boards...
But... I'm thinking... maybe outskirts of Edinburgh around the Enlightenment?
Possibly... possibly.
Or maybe the 'Newtown' of Edinburgh? Hmmm.
Let me consider.


  1. Bill says what about Cramond outside Edinburgh where the Bissets came from. It has a long history, there's a Roman fort there, and a river for trade and Bill has heaps of books on Cramond

  2. I did toy with Cramond but as I haven't been there I decided against it. Oban was a possibility as that's where I first had the idea (that time we went back when I was 15) - but I think they would have spoken a lot of gaelic there around the time I'm thinking... Maybe Bothwell or Aberdeenshire... At this rate I'll just write it and then work out the time and place that fit best!