Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why the printed word is best

Today, I spent an hour searching the internet for a map of Scotland from the middle ages and an outline of one so that I could sketch the action. I went out to my sleep-out to get my complete works of Shakespeare (just to check some details from Macbeth) and what should a find amongst a large pile of books lent to me by John Roxborogh? "An Historical Atlas of Scotland c.400-c.1600" Brilliant! Thanks John. Not only does it have maps of all sorts of things but it has detailed discussion of the contents of the map.

I have never written a fiction before where I had to do some much research and about a place I have never been to. I have a huge map of Scotland on my wall and often times the family can find me muttering in front of it while I try to work out which route my intrepid hero(s) would take.

Fleur Beale once said when asked about writer's block that one is 'blocked' because you don't have enough information - I can grind to a halt over a simple thing as the name of what they carried their water in. Any ideas? The cowboys used canteens but wrong time and place.

3 comments:

flavia said...

a bladder of some animal, probably. might have had animal fat or something in it to stop it leaking.

or maybe a gourd? (like the pumpkiny thing)

or a flagon? they date back to roman times.

fleance (aka TK Roxborogh) said...

Yeah, but for travelling - wouldn't the gourd be cumbersome? It's not a gourd but it would be the bladder of an animal - the bible talks about wine skins. Guess I'll have to leave it up to Mrs Wainwright to find out.

lozza said...

just a water skin?