1. AriaF
    Offline

    AriaF New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1

    Choosing a real world setting...

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by AriaF, Aug 6, 2015.

    I am used to writing fantasy/dystopian fiction but am trying out writing a crime novel, set in real time/real world. I was wondering how you pick a setting for your novel? I am from Canada, and know that any Canadian setting would not be as widely accessible as something set in the US, but the only area of the US I really have any knowledge of is Western New York/ Buffalo as it is close to where I grew up.

    I need a University and a town about 3 hours from that University. I was thinking of picking a school and then just making a nondescript town near by or making up my own town name in that state. Would something like that work?
     
  2. Lemon flavoured
    Offline

    Lemon flavoured Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Newark, Nottinghamshire
    There's loads of universities in the US, so realistically you could choose any of them. If I was doing it I would choose a relatively small university in an area where the locals don't really like the students, because that gives you lots of opportunity for tensions and accusations all over the place.
     
  3. Lyrical
    Offline

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    257
    Yes, I think your idea works just fine. Picking a university, making up a plausible small town nearby. For me, it seems safer than trying to write about a small town you've never been to. Small towns are very distinct and each has its own character. You'd be able to make up everything you need to about this town because it isn't real and you don't need to restrict yourself to local culture (which you wouldn't know anyway if you haven't been there.)
     
  4. Jack13star
    Offline

    Jack13star Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    British Columbia
    In my stories they are real places and it can get a bit tricky. Lucky for me, it takes place years down the road, so if I need say, a church somewhere I can put it in without worrying about accuracy. If you don't live in the place you are writing, or have never been there, it would be smart to choose a school, then the town. I moved away from my location for a few years and used Google Earth for accuracy, maybe you can use something like that to put yourself there and write accurate descriptions.
     
  5. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    What's wrong with Canada?

    Two of my favourite recent TV shows (Orphan Black and Continuum) have been set in Canada.

    Why do you think that a Canadian setting wouldn't be widely accessible? I doubt that Hawaii is particularly accessible to somebody from mainland US.
     
    Jack13star likes this.
  6. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Canada works fine as a setting. It's pretty accessible to the US - not to mention that there's an entire Canadian publishing industry looking for books in Canadian settings for Canadian audiences.
     
    WriterodLife1994 likes this.
  7. WriterodLife1994
    Offline

    WriterodLife1994 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Most likely, in the US your average university is going to be in a city and well within three hours of several more, rural locations such as the North woods areas of Northern Wisconsin or Minnesota, Michigan, Alaska maybe, are more likely to actually have the distance you describe. However, they also tend to have extremely low crime rates in places like that.

    The more important details of your setting will be determined by your characters and to a lesser extent the plot. The setting should be make the characters and the kinds of things that they do/or have happen to them are likely. While this does involve a fair amount of research it also adds a realism to the story that's difficult to achieve any other way.
     
    Lemon flavoured likes this.
  8. Louis D. Thorpe
    Offline

    Louis D. Thorpe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    4
    Since you are from Canada, why don't you use Queens in Kingston and make Toronto your city. After all, with a former mayor like Ford, who has not heard of Toronto?
     
  9. rainy_summerday
    Offline

    rainy_summerday Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    101
    I think Canada is a brilliant location. Even if some people are clueless about Canadian lifestyle, you could turn this to your advantage by bringing your country closer to the readers.
     
    WriterodLife1994 likes this.

Share This Page