Candice: I’m sure Phil will explain that somewhere along the way we had to come up with a setting for the book. There needs to be an office for company it’s about and a suitable setting for HIA – the vegetable research people who are the comedy value of the book. Office – that’s easy as we were both based in Solihull at one point, with an empty office block next to us – that becomes KOD’s home.
But back in the quango days Phil comes in with the venue of March, described as in Norfolk. March, strange name but innocuous sounding place so that’s fine by me.
However, this weekend I pop off for a night away with the other half in Cambridge. We are busily driving down the A14 (within the speed limit, of course) and I see a road sign. March – this way. Hang on, says I, we aren’t in Norfolk yet. So I get the map out and discover that, though in the Norfolk direction, March is in Cambridgeshire. So, my job for today – changing all references to Norfolk to Cambridgeshire in the book. Research – it’s an important thing – makes you realise there are so many things to consider when writing a book, not just downloading what’s in your brain.
Its OK though, that’s what find and replace is for, thank god, because otherwise I’d go bonkers typing Cambridgeshire over and over again, it’s bl*ody long compared to Norfolk.
4 responses to “Um – someone moved the borders…”
I find Google Earth is very handy for this sort of thing, especially when used with Google streetview. The story I’m working on is based in Newcastle, because it’s the only city in the UK I know even vaguely after ten years in Germany, and streetview is how I check I’m not talking nonsense: or at least not Geographical nonesense…
Sounds like a field trip is in order – you want to be sure of the layout of the town, key landmarks, charcteristics etc – you never know, you may do wonders for its local tourism one day, but not if you get it wrong. Local folk tend to be a bit unforgiving if you mess too much with their town!
Luckily – it’s just a name, we have set it in a fictional stately home outside the town so its unlikely to offend. But knowing the area having just been there all helps, and obviously the right county is key!
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