Story location

One of the biggest issues I have had with my story is location, or more specifically, deciding on where , exactly, to place my story. I have a rough idea in my mind or what I want, but trying to pin down a location has been problematic. I wanted mountains but also a flat(ish) landscape, a city or two, a seaport, but also an overgrown and unkempt landscape, which is quite a lot to throw together, but in my mind, it is together.



I knew I wanted to base my story in the United Kingdom as a) I write in British English and b) this is one occasion where ‘write what you know’ will work in my favour. I have visited numerous places across the UK throughout my life – cities, and countryside alike – so it makes sense to tap into that knowledge and experience. The need for mountains turned my attention to Scotland – and then I got stuck.

The cities I originally had in mind (Glasgow and Edinburgh) aren’t close enough to the mountains for what I want, nor are they near the sea, although they both have a river running through them. However, if I go ahead with my plan to increase the height of the oceans by several feet, they will flood, which will rule them out of the running for optimum story location.

I looked further north instead, to the Highlands. It has the mountains (lots of them), wide-open space, forests, and as I’m writing fiction, I’m sure I can squeeze a city in there somewhere. I also want a network of caves, and as part of my research, I came across an article about the discovery of a new cave system that might well connect to another, making it the longest in Scotland, and it is located slap bang in the middle of nowhere (or the map, at least):

cave system Scotland


Story elements to consider:

I would have preferred to use the North Sea, but I think I can work with the Irish Sea.

There are both mountains in this location and caves, so this location fits in well. 

I shall have to build a city in this location to suit the story

As an added bonus, I spy an Island to the left of the mainland – Isle of Lewis – which will come in extremely handy.

This is one occasion where my research has led to a positive outcome – usually, I fall down one rabbit hole after another and end up researching completely random (but possibly connecting) topics.