Down the Rabbit Hole: Stone Age Research

Over the last week, I have been down the rabbit hole!

I started properly writing last week. I am now at 2 complete chapters. This may not seem much, but my feelings of accomplishment are enhanced by the amount of research and “setting” I have been able to do.

When approaching a story about the Stone Age or any prehistory, you must first work out which epoch you are going to look at? The simplest way to separate these epochs is to split them into 3:

Paleolithic (Early Stone Age)

Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age)

Neolithic (Late Stone Age)

This is a very simplistic way to look at this complicated and detailed subject area, but as a starting point it helps.

Due to the nature of the story I wanted to tell, I knew that I would be setting my story during the Paleolithic times. I knew that I wanted to explore the nomadic side of the people of the stone age – more than anything because it is so vastly different from most 21st Century living arrangements. The concept of migration due to climatic and seasonal changes was something that I felt would be an interesting starting point.

Putting it very very simplistically, by the Mesolithic into Neolithic times, this behaviour was not necessary in the same way: the highly changeable climates of the Ice Age were largely over and the climate was more settled. This meant that people were able to begin to develop the skills to build more permanent settlements, create homes and learn the skills of planting crops for consumption; a situation which is far more recognisable to modern children.

The next problem that I faced was deciding which end of the Paleolithic I was going to focus on: Lower/Middle/Upper (again very simplistic). I settled on the late Paleolithic as this fit with a lot of the ideas that I was mulling over. From millions of years of the development of early man, I had managed to bring my focus into about 40,000 years of history.

I was thrilled with this. I could generally place things in Europe and work around the discoveries and evidence of human activity from about 50,000-10,000 BCE.

What I didn’t expect; in fact never dreamed of, was to be able to pinpoint my story down to 1000-2000 years…

…Down the rabbit hole: Into the Wonderland of writing!




Frustrations and progress

So I had managed to write about 50% of the 1st of three books yesterday – and today have decided to scrap the lot!

Still, this has given me a good concept of what it is I need to do to accomplish my goals. Not least start with the longer book first and then work backwards to simplify it. This has then lead to my researching the historical background and coming across some very interesting articles about the lack of children in archaeology and anthropology.

This was why I wanted to do this…leave behind the day to day baggage of the classroom and instead fall in love with history, research and writing again.

So not a bad day overall and tomorrow I can continue with the research and begin to put together the first part of the book.

I will be blogging about the content soon. I am very passionate about this project and hope you will be too – particularly if you are a teacher…!

It all starts with a wall…

I have always loved stories. From a very small age, telling stories has felt very natural and right to me. Whether playing with toys alone or outside with friends, ideas, imagination and inspiration have always been there.
Stories are what make childhood exciting, as well as, from early on, building our picture and understanding of the world. Without stories we cannot hope to dream of new and better things.
I have a story to tell and as I sit here on a Saturday morning, it will not let me sleep before I have begun to tell it.
It is a story which will span centuries, millennia even. Taking us from the time of giant beasts that roamed the plains, while pockets of humans fought to survive (NOT dinosaurs!). To the might of the British Empire, storming across the seas and taking all without looking to the consequences.
History is the greatest story of all and through a series of books, I am going to tell it; not through the eyes of adults but the dreaming, determined eyes of some very strong children.
This is the story of us…
It all starts with a wall.