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Thread: Location Scouting!

  1. #1
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    Location Scouting!

    So as I'm sure I've mentioned quite a lot of times, I write books. (No, none of them are published yet. Long story.) In the one I'm working on, one of my characters is going to relocate to rural Nova Scotia for reasons that make sense in the books. However, my knowledge of Nova Scotia is almost entirely derived from L. M. Montgomery novels and therefore a bit out-of-date. Can someone tell me about a good, rugged, coastal bit of Nova Scotia that isn't too modern-looking and built up? Is there still such a thing?
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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    Re: Location Scouting!

    You might consider the Bay of Fundy part of Nova Scotia. Due to the world's highest tides, there's not much urban sprawl around there. Plus you have the addition of the landscape and tides as potential plot enhancement material. Then there are the village names, such as Truro and Economy.

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    A few maps perhaps?

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    The Olympic Peninsula of Washington will be the stand-in for Nova
    Scotia when the "book" is made into a movie, right?

    I would argue... No, I take that back. I will argue that you
    haven't written any books if they haven't been published. Stories,
    novels, perhaps. Fiction, fer sure. Problem with my argument,
    though, is what to call them if they are nonfiction. "Books", I guess.
    Ahem. Lessee, where was I? Ah, yes, working on my book. I've
    just about finished with the page numbers!

    -- Jeff, in Timbuktu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    ...you haven't written any books if they haven't been published...Ah, yes, working on my book...
    Who published it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Can someone tell me about a good, rugged, coastal bit of Nova Scotia that isn't too modern-looking and built up? Is there still such a thing?
    "Rugged" would seem to suggest the ocean side of NS, or Cape Breton.

    The real question is: is there such a place that doesn't look like that? Seriously, you can almost pick at random, you'll almost certainly be right (or right enough).

    But I might be able to narrow down some possibilities for you. How rural are you talking about? Can your character see his/her neighbors' houses? Target population of the surroundings? Can he/she see the water? What sort of land features are you looking for? What sort of commercial services do you want available? How far from "urban centers" do you want him/her to be?

    Are you going to be trying to work in a local accent? (If so, do you have a preference as to which one? There are at least three very distinct coastal accents, depending on where you are in relation to Halifax.)

    Just offhand: Sambro, Ketch Harbor, St. Peters, Lunenburg, Riverport. All are decent possibilities depending on the details (at least I can provide some information about these places.) And the tourism angle shouldn't be a big factor.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
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    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    Plenty in Old Scotia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lianachan View Post
    Plenty in Old Scotia
    Aye, well, that's where the character's originally from. (And I do mean old; she's a time-traveller.) She's going to be running a halfway house for special needs kids; she'll want as few neighbours as possible. It should definitely be on the water, and she has a wide range of transportation options available to her for when she needs supplies.

    Argue away, Jeff; however, they are book-length works of fiction that I keep in notebooks. "Books" is shorter. And frankly, I'd rather have Nova Scotia stand in for Nova Scotia; our coastlines do look different.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Re: Location Scouting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    [edit](And I do mean old; she's a time-traveller.)...
    If she's a time-traveler, maybe she could reverse the polarity of the tides in the Bay of Fundy.

    Now there's a plot device!

    Quoddy erat demonstrandum.


    BTW, I know eastern Canada quite well, but it's all based on 1960s and 1970s visits.

    A chief regret is never having visited western Canada.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Aye, well, that's where the character's originally from. (And I do mean old; she's a time-traveller.) She's going to be running a halfway house for special needs kids; she'll want as few neighbours as possible. It should definitely be on the water, and she has a wide range of transportation options available to her for when she needs supplies.
    Can you stand to be isolated but close (8 miles, approx) to Halifax? Two big houses and what looks like a trio of new houses (within 20 years? I don't remember them) across the street?

    This place is called Bear Cove. Look fast, because you'll miss it if you so much as blink. You can see two curves on this road. Both are the bottoms of short steepish hills. Those are also effectively the boundaries of Bear Cove. The centered houses are big, the bigger of the two was dark brown last I saw it, and there's a dry gully from the SE corner of the property to the private beach. I've been there once in my life. I forget the circumstances.

    Yep, that's sand. Follow the coastline north to see what a rock beach looks like from above.

    If you care to use a boat, you'll need to moor it out in the cove and row to it using a skiff or a punt.

    Younger kids living in Bear Cove would have (school) bus access to the William King Elementary School in Herring Cove. (Where I went, actually. I lived one community south of Bear Cove until I was seven: Portuguese Cove. The far end.)

    Let me know if the kids are older, I'll double-check the names of the school(s) that teach at the junior and senior levels. I know who to ask.

    You won't find Bear Cove on Google. The better known of the (at least) two Bear Coves is nearish Digby and Claire.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
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    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    You could always do what many other science fiction authors do, put the setting on another planet, call it "New Nova Scotia", and have the landscape look however you want. Just turn the telephones into holophones and call automobiles "groundcars", throw in some handwaving about teleportation or gateways or some such, and presto! Instant Earthlike setting, based on a real place but with whatever features you desire.

    On second thought, this technique sucks. Don't do it, please, it's been done far too often already.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Couldn't do it if I wanted to, Noclevername; my humans only do as much space travel as we do. Maybe more later, but that's it.

    Your location sounds great, Moose, and if you ever do end up in BC, Mak, I'm not that far away. Not by North American standards, anyway.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    sounds like you need to do some on site research. That works best!
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    sounds like you need to do some on site research. That works best!
    Hey, I can barely afford a monthly bus pass. Getting to Nova Scotia's a little out of my range--and our local passes are awfully cheap.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Aye, well, that's where the character's originally from. (And I do mean old; she's a time-traveller.)
    Time traveler, eh? I read an interesting book a few months ago, 1421- The Year the Chinese discovered America. Basically, author Paul Chiasson presents his evidence for the Chinese establishing a colony on Cape Breton, by way of the Horn of Africa, in the early fifteenth century. It doesn't have to be true to use it in your book

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    ... one of my characters is going to relocate to rural Nova Scotia for reasons that make sense in the books. ...
    Is that a polite way of saying there is no sensible reason to relocate to NS outside of a work of fiction?


    (Sounds like an interesting premise, though.)
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    I spent three weeks in Shubenacadie quite a few years back. It's inland though. Dairy and pig farms. Nice stuff. We did do the tourist stuff though. Peggy's Cove is quite beautiful - but it's touristy.

    Have them in a place near Oak Island and they could use their time travel to see what actually happened there to lead everyone to believe in the buried treasure. Just to satisfy my own curiosity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Is that a polite way of saying there is no sensible reason to relocate to NS outside of a work of fiction?


    (Sounds like an interesting premise, though.)
    It's a polite way of saying, "it would take too long to explain exactly why Nova Scotia, and I don't want to spend a lot of time saying things like, 'but that's Newfoundland, and Newfoundland isn't Nova Scotia.'" There is a good reason.

    There's also a premise in the book that time travel is a forward-only proposition. No changing the past.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    There's also a premise in the book that time travel is a forward-only proposition. No changing the past.
    *grin* Oh heck, anybody can do that.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
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    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    *grin* Oh heck, anybody can do that.
    450 years in one go that takes the character only about 5 minutes?
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    450 years in one go that takes the character only about 5 minutes?
    All you have to do is go 99.99999999992% the speed of light

  22. #22
    If she's a time-traveler, maybe she could reverse the polarity of the tides in the Bay of Fundy.

    Thanks Mak, if they do right they flood my town (on the otherside of the bay).
    Also Gillian you may consider Peggys Cove heres a wiki link on it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggys_Cove,_Nova_Scotia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It's a polite way of saying, "it would take too long to explain exactly why Nova Scotia, and I don't want to spend a lot of time saying things like, 'but that's Newfoundland, and Newfoundland isn't Nova Scotia.'" There is a good reason.

    There's also a premise in the book that time travel is a forward-only proposition. No changing the past.
    you should describe what Nova Scotia means in your book. I only learned recently.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

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    of course it is really, really simple.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

  25. #25
    oops didn't see Spock Jenkins suggesting Peggys Cove.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Aye, well, that's where the character's originally from. (And I do mean old; she's a time-traveller.)
    Do you have any particular period and area in mind? There's a good chance I'll know a lot about the latter during the former, if that's of any use. Or is it just Scotland and The Past?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hhEb09'1 View Post
    Time traveler, eh? I read an interesting book a few months ago, 1421- The Year the Chinese discovered America. Basically, author Paul Chiasson presents his evidence for the Chinese establishing a colony on Cape Breton, by way of the Horn of Africa, in the early fifteenth century. It doesn't have to be true to use it in your book
    Wrong book. :-) I read 1421, which is by Gavin Menzies. The one you're thinking of is called The Island of the Seven Cities. Apparently they have the same premise, though. I guess you probably read both.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Wrong book. :-) I read 1421, which is by Gavin Menzies. The one you're thinking of is called The Island of the Seven Cities. Apparently they have the same premise, though. I guess you probably read both.
    Oops, you're right! I meant that one. Chiasson was inspired by Menzies work, and thought his discoveries on Cape Breton supported Menzies' theory. I've never read the Menzies book, though.

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    Re: Location Scouting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    450 years in one go that takes the character only about 5 minutes?
    You been reading any Daphne du Maurier lately?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lianachan View Post
    Do you have any particular period and area in mind? There's a good chance I'll know a lot about the latter during the former, if that's of any use. Or is it just Scotland and The Past?
    It's the Borders, actually; her grandmother was getting as far from Henry VIII as she could while still being near England. The year my character leaves is well-defined, but I don't remember it and hurt too much to get up. 1553? 1558? Somewhere in there, anyway.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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