You’d think it would be easy to simply pick an island and just go with it, but you’d be wrong my friend. So very wrong. All islands are not created equal as some have beaches, some cliff drop-offs, some rocky ground, some tree filled, and some barren as the desert. And sometimes all those options are on one single spit of land! A big chuck of my current story takes place on an island off the coast of Scotland and I really didn’t have the inclination of scouring every single Outer and Inner Hebrides hunk of land for the perfect one. Ok, scratch off the Outer because they’re too far out. Next, no weird names. I can’t have my hero and heroine falling in love on Muck (although I’m sure it’s a lovely place). Not well inhabited as an upcoming character, and a rather important one, is a hermit and they can’t have nosy neighbors poking about. Something else to keep in mind is who owns the land as this story is set around the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and it would be bad to drop my people right in the middle of a Crown loving town. Without too much further thought I settled on Rum. Maybe I’ll have a Captain Jack Sparrow meetup!!
I drew a map of Rum, including rivers, mountain peaks, and glens. My first thought was to settle them on the southern tip, but unfortunately there are too many ridges and sheer drops down into the sea with no real beach area to make a cave. Up around the western half I went until settling on the Bay of Guirdil. It has a small beach with a river and plenty of surrounding mountains that they can retreat to for their cave, including one called Bloodstone. How cool is that?! The highest population was at the end of the eighteenth century with just over 400 people, but that number quickly dropped due to the Highland Clearances. Now, roughly 30 people live there and most of them scientists as the island is now a natural reserve site.