How will your protagonist get around in your story? How far away are they from the place where the story will unfold? How do you measure the distance and time needed to travel?

Some stories take place all in one setting, and the characters can move around on foot, like my favorite werewolf stories by Molly Harper that take place in a little town in Alaska. Sure, they do travel at times in trucks and other hearty vehicles, but mostly they go from the saloon to home and back again. Easy peasy as long as the weather holds.

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In other stories, like my favorite Jane Austin story, Pride and Prejudice, there are carriage rides and walks, and then journeys to London and to Rosings and finally, Pemberly. Of course, Ms. Austin lived in the time she wrote about, so she knew how long it all would take. Yes, Pride and Prejudice is a contemporary romance.

My Regency Banquet series book one took place mostly in London, and not much traveling took place. But in book two, and one reason it is taking longer than expected to write up, Roland journeys to Austria in the British army, they retreat to Belgium, and then he travels with French ex-patriots to the channel where they catch a boat for England.

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They are traveling by mule-drawn wagon. Yeah, so about the same distance as a horse can travel in a day, which is 12 miles. Not too bad, lots of stuff can happen when they travel at night and sleep during the day.

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If Dust Devils ever gets a world built for it, I will be figuring out how fast a harvesting machine can go, how fast my huge creatures can go, and all the little speeders and shuttles and the big ships. Wow, my head spins just thinking of it.

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On the idea shelf in the back of my mind are the personna stories Mike and I created when we were in the Society for Creative Anachronism. The two characters meet at an inn along the SilkRoad. She steals a book from him. It’s all a big misunderstanding. But the caravan can’t travel too fast, so he can catch up with her and try to get the book back.

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Coming up with ideas are the easy part of writing for me. Getting the details right and the setting perfect, well, that’s gonna cost extra. Good thing I don’t write to become rich.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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