I should have known it was near enough to be that mystical day where everything is usually turned on its head.
It started with a plague of self-doubt. I’m writing a story that’s set in the dying days of world war two, in Italy, where I was not quite sure of what was happening there at the time. A little reading to check some facts showed my thinking had been all wrong.
Trust me to just write a story without due regard to actual events.
And, this is what set me thinking the worst, and then heading to the encyclopedias to do some research. I mean, we all have a modicum of general knowledge about the war, the role Germany played, and that of Italy to a certain extent.
I had read the Allies had mounted a fightback in the southern part of Italy in 1943, but hadn’t realised it only covered the bottom half of the country, and that the northern half had remained in Italian hands under Mussolini, with the help of the Germans until that collapsed and the Germans took over.
For my story to work, the allies had to be in control of the location of a particular castle, and be in a position to process fleeing scientists and useful ex Germans expatriation to Britain.
Having finally got hold of the facts, it seemed my story wouldn’t fit. Not in the southern half of the country. I just had to move it north, and now, with refugees coming over the mountains via Switzerland and the Dolomites, it will work.
What does it all mean?
You should do your homework first. Lesson learned, now it’s back to research for a while if only to get the setting right.