Elsewhere on this site I found the following remark, by another member: “It's very difficult to write convincingly in a regional setting you are not personally familiar with. Third party familiarity doesn't work well, as a rule.” I wonder how many writers avoid attempting to write about personally-unfamiliar locations. Here’s a 300-word extract from a short I wrote. Ask yourself if it reads as if I know what I’m talking about. Then have a look at the explanation. “The gravel-edged road breasted a low rise between stands of mean-looking shrubs, and suddenly the valley opened out ahead. Grenville parked the Vauxhall, stepped out, and spent some minutes gathering a first impression. The overall picture seemed bleak, with harsh grey rock rather than earth the major feature. Smooth outcrops predominated, shaped by glacial action during the last Ice Age, and still showing scrapes from the detritus pushed over them by the ice-flow. A narrow track wound up away from him, vanishing into an isolated bank of mist. In the middle distance he observed what appeared to be a standing stone, probably a religious relic of a past millennium. On the lower slopes, areas clear of rocks existed, and here a few black cattle grazed peacefully, with cultivation of crops also occurring in one or two small fields. A gurgling stream tumbled down one side of the valley to join a more placid watercourse meandering across a depression edged with dark green trees. And in places, both on the floor of the valley and on level ground amongst the rocks, stark reminders of the Famine remained evident – scatterings of stones, each group once a dwelling hut that had fallen into disrepair through lack of human occupancy. Grenville focussed intently on the setting. In his mind’s eye he could see a woman in rags digging with a sharpened stick in the shallow soil, planting or perhaps harvesting potatoes or turnips, while her husband staggered towards the nearest village, bent beneath a back-breaking load of the cut hazel poles used for thatching the roofs of the well-to-do. He thought, if one looked around Ireland, it would not be just a place of rocks and trees and rivers. One needed to consider its history. It swarmed with phantoms, with ghosts, out of its ancient past. They all drift in, and make the landscape what it is. The mist began twisting and rolling down off the higher slope towards Grenville. Within seconds the swirling damp greyness enveloped him. He became disoriented . . .” Ok. It’s meant to show a real location in south-west Ireland. I’ve never visited Ireland. I used a photograph of the valley, plus some geological and historical notes, all of which I found on the internet, as the basis for my writing. I’ve used similar methods to write about a location in England and another in the US. Again, I’ve never been there. In each case a local resident told me I did a good job. (Maybe they were just being polite) I believe if anyone wants to write about unfamiliar settings, there’s ways and means of doing it successfully.