The Wednesday what, who, why, when, where…

When I’m planning a new story, which comes first – character or plot? This is a question I’m often asked, but with me it’s usually neither of these. It’s the setting which gets me started, thinking about a place where I would like to see my characters acting and reacting, and watching them as they go about their loves and lives in a particular place.

Cliff-top - murder - accident - or what?

Cliff-top - murder - accident - or what?

My current novel-in-progress is set in Devon, where I live. In fact, I’m setting it just up the road from where my own modern house (it’s ten years old) sits on a tract of ancient, previously undisturbed farmland which clearly hasn’t been ploughed by any human agency, because just below the surface of the soil there are river pebbles still sitting in their clay matrix, pebbles which were put there by a river which was flowing a million years ago.

So now I have my setting, and my characters are coming to life and acting in my story. The cliff-top in the photograph is only a mile or two away from me. So I’ve walked there often. Cliff-top, hmmm – someone is going to have fall off, aren’t they? Or be pushed?

9 thoughts on “The Wednesday what, who, why, when, where…

  1. Hmm, yes, what is it about clifftops that makes you think that way? Personally, I can’t stand heights so wouldn’t go anywhere near the edge, but it’s tempting …

  2. See a cliff, see a tower, see a waterfall – why does my mind work that way?

  3. Maybe I’ll keep a few steps away from you Linda, if I happen to be on a clifftop with you! Actually, it’s the thought of your modern home on its ancient tract of land that intrigues me… what lies beneath?

  4. Oooo, perhaps they lose their footing and are rescued by a handsome stranger? Or perhaps the handsome stranger lets them fall :) I’m with you on this one! Moohahahaha! A lovely place to live too. We hope to move to Cornwall next year. Not sure where though.

  5. Beautiful photograph, Margaret, but it made me realise that writers are scary people, with all the who, why, what, wherefores etc. Probably best not to cheese us off ;-)

  6. I soooo love the sound of where you live Margaret. Wow. No wonder you start with setting. Perhaps a Stone Age romance is on the cards :) X

  7. Mmm, not sure about Stone Age, but maybe Romans and Celts one day! Or Saxons and Celts. My six year old grandson asked me if there were any dinosaurs in my books. When I said no, he lost interest, can’t think why :-( .

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