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Doing What Your Character Demands…

June 15, 2010

One of my characters has decided to come back to England from Turkey, causing me untold anxiety in the research department…especially since he’s due to give a ‘lecture’ about his travels to the Royal Society in about three scenes from now…

I have tried to negotiate this. How about a country I’ve actually been to, Mr. Elliot? Spain, perhaps? Morocco? Italy?

But no. This character won’t be dissuaded. It’s got to be somewhere suitably exotic to the English imagination of the times, a reasonable distance away, not an enemy of the state or under Napoleon’s control and preferably not the exact same itinerary as Lord Byron, who traveled abroad during the same approximate time period…

So Turkey it is.

I had no idea when I started this novel that I was going to be googling ‘Turkey in 1813’…and not getting much for it, it seems. Drat! So it won’t be handed to me on a silver platter…which means a more refined internet search, that will likely take me hours & hours and days and days. I might even have to order a ‘real’ book from the library. (Where is that Research Hot Line when I need it, eh?)

My novel is set in the Regency period. I have read a lot of history books on this era because it is my ‘thing’ (see blog: I ‘Heart’ The Regency). I can feel my way around Regency England quite well (and when in need of additional inspiration, there’s a plethora of Jane Austen adaptations to put me in the mood..) I also have a pretty good grasp on France during this time, given Napoleon’s dominance and the love/hate-on the English had for all things French.

But Turkey?

What is this character thinking?!

Actually, I already know what he’s thinking. He’s thinking:

Better get to work, writer! I’m giving a lecture to the Royal Society three scenes from now and you need to prepare my notes!

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