An Uncommon Setting

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If you find yourself a bit stuck creatively, feeling stale, or worse, suffering from “writer’s block,” my advice is shake yourself up with a fresh experience or two. (Uh, but having an affair is going decidedly too far!) I’ve already written about my “inspiration” recently on the road to Geneva. The other day, I’d had another moment: our day in Chesham.

Wandering around there on Monday looking at the historic buildings got my mind going: a great location, outside London and still relatively rural. It was also an important business location during the late 18th century time frame I’ll be using in the new novel.

What also caught me is Chesham is an uncommon setting. I had been thinking of using Bath, but 18th-19th century Bath always seems to be in novels and films. Doesn’t it? Maybe that’s partly because Jane Austen lived there for a few years and included it in two of her novels – Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. (But I’ve also read that after she moved she wrote that she hadn’t liked the place.) As wonderful as the city is, it feels now almost like a literary cliché, so I’ve decided on Chesham instead: I spent a good part of yesterday doing some rewriting.

But that’ll be just one locale…

Jacques-Louis David (French) (1748-1825). "Portrait of Madame Adélaide Pastoret." Between 1791-1792. [Public Domain. Wikipedia.]
Jacques-Louis David (French) (1748-1825). “Portrait of Madame Adélaide Pastoret.” Between 1791-1792. [Public Domain. Wikipedia.]

Trying to fit yourself into the mindset of a dramatically different world compared to our own, and being faithful to it on the pages, is a huge challenge. As you may know, this is truly new writing territory for me. I promise 1780s-90s America, England and France, real history woven among the fiction, and some romance, of course.

Attributed to Alexandre-Jean Noël (French) (1752-1834). "A View of Place Louis XV". About 1775-1787. [Public Domain. Wikipedia.]
Attributed to Alexandre-Jean Noël (French) (1752-1834). “A View of Place Louis XV”. About 1775-1787. [Public Domain. Wikipedia.]

Beyond that, I’ll say no more for now. However, I will admit I still don’t have a title: I can’t seem to come up with one. The “inspiration” for that is obviously still due to hit me from some unexpected direction. 🙂

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