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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

Question about settings Empty
PostSubject: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 9:00 am

You guys know that I'm working on this new trilogy set in and around Enchanted Rock in the hill country. The closest town in existence at the time was Fredricksburg:

http://www.settlerscrossing.com/attractions1.html

This page has local attractions listed, including this view of Enchanted Rock:
Question about settings Enchanted_rock

And, further down the page, a picture of the Pedernales Falls area:
Question about settings Pedernales%20falls

Here is another picture of the falls, from my collection:

Question about settings Pfalls

All of these places are almost identical to the imaginary places I had in my head concerning the Redstone stories' concepts before I started checking the area out.

The problem is that the falls are on the Pedernales River (here in Texas we say something more like "purden-alice." It's terrible what we do to our Spanish and German place names.) and the Pedernales is more than 30 miles from the rock, which, in fact, has no significant body of water close by. The nearest river is the LLano River (we say lan-oh Rolling Eyes ) which is about 10-15 miles to the north. There was a place on that river, at the time my story is set, called Marble Falls, but it is now under an artificial lake, so I don't know what it actually looked like.

Now, there are rumors and legends about underground streams and caves that interconnect the whole area, and some of them are known to be true.

My hero - and this has been a major part of his story, which I first came up with back in '89, that, while he was on a vision quest, he stumbled upon an underwater cave entrance that led to the grotto where he found the red stone with magical healing powers, and that his life's work, as well as that of his descendants, is to protect the place and keep its secrets hidden.
And, in addition to the places shown above, just a few miles east of the falls, is this grotto:
http://www.texasoutside.com/hamiltonpool.htm

But I really need them to be closer together for the story, as I have it now, to work.

Can I do that? Just pull them closer together? Can the valley in my story be a kind of composite? This place for real has legends of portals to other dimensions, so could those portals be my means of condensing the area?

I'm at a point in the writing where Daniel, as a good Comanche should, is ready to tell his new bride his vision quest secrets, which will be a bit of flashback since the book doesn't begin until several years later. I'm trying to decide whether I can fictionalize the place, or whether I should find a way to make the distances plausible.

Any ideas?

Ann
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LC
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LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Question about settings Empty
PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 9:34 am

My opinion: if it's a good yarn, most will forgive- assuming they even recognize - such technical inaccuracies. Operative phrase being "if it's a good yarn."
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 10:18 am

And the good yarn part is my responsibility, isn't it? I just keep remembering something Louis L'Amour once said, and while I don't consider him a master of literature, he did spin a good yarn, and sold a lot of them to boot:

"My characters and plots are fiction, but when I describe a spring in the dessert, that spring is there, and the water is good to drink."

But I guess that doesn't mean he might not have moved it over a few miles.

Ann
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
Registration date : 2010-05-11
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 10:51 am

You have literary aka artistic license. Just don't use the real names of places. If you mung up the territory that someone cares about it, they will get vocal and criticize. That didn't use to matter, but today, someone tweets and the world tunes in.

I wouldn't contrive some mystical porthole just to resolve the proximity problem unless mystical portholes are an integral part of the story. Those who don't know the proximity won't understand why you need a porthole, and those who do will recognize the contrivance.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 11:31 am

Thanks, Al. The Enchanted Rock part is too integral to not use the name (actually I am using the native American name, but it will still be recognized), but so is what you've called the porthole, so I can probably refer to pools and caves, and underground passages without putting names to them, and make it work.

Ann
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dmondeo
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dmondeo

Number of posts : 1485
Registration date : 2009-02-15
Age : 64
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 11:44 am

Ann, I see no shame in fictionalizing the whole setting.
The places look stunning and the story sounds really interesting.
The fact that these places exist help you visualise your story and help the reader see what you describe. In a way it is easier to fictionalize the setting allowing key locations to be where you need them.
I can't wait till you finish it.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 5:17 pm

I can't wait, either, David. Very Happy

Ann
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10697
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySat Feb 12, 2011 11:18 pm

Ann,
go with your gut feeling. When you have the story completed, get feedback from a cross-section of readers. They will tell you if there is a problem. Then you can make any needed adjustments.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Question about settings   Question about settings EmptySun Feb 13, 2011 4:58 am

Thanks, David and Abe I really appreciate the advice.

Ann
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