1. MeWriter
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    MeWriter Member

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    Names of the towns/cities/villages

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by MeWriter, Nov 18, 2014.

    Hi everyone!

    I was wondering if it is necessary to use real names of places? I mean I can easily use real names but then I would have to do a lot of research on that place, is that correct? Or not necessary.

    Or is it OK to just use "names" like: "She comes from tiny village and she has been always living yadada...." Would be OK to not say the real name or it all depends..

    Thanks everyone for answers!
     
  2. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    There are many examples of authors creating fictional villages, towns and cities for their stories.
    There are many examples of authors using real villages, towns and cities for their stories.

    So there is no necessary way to do it.

    Once you get down to a small enough town most readers won't even know if the place was invented or real, because they've not heard of it either way.

    Some people will use real cities, but then create fictional streets, restaurants etc within them.

    Whether you chose to name a village should come down to whether the story needs it or not.
     
  3. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'd add that for smaller settlements, I'd have a preference for using made up villages, on the basis that the thing which sets the village apart from the next village down the road will be the uniqueness of the inhabitants. I'm making up the characters, so I might as well make up the name of the village.

    Once you get up to big cities I don't have much preference either way.
     
  4. James Random
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    James Random Member

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    Sometimes people use real place names for fictional villages. Robert Rankin sets a lot of his stories in Brentford in the UK, but the name is the only similarity shared between Rankin's Brentford and the real Brentford.
     
  5. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I've used real cities, but fake towns, stores, etc.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can do it anonymously. If it's not a town you're very familiar with, you run the risk of readers who are familiar with the place being taken out of the story by incorrect information -- there's no subway stop there! That intersection isn't in this town! That fair happens in the Spring, not the Fall!

    In my story, it's set in a particular suburb of Chicago. I name Chicago, and use real things in Chicago, but I never name the particular suburb where my character lives. People who know the area could probably guess, but it's never stated. That gives me more leeway to play around with things.

    If you haven't lived or spent time in the particular area where you've set the story, do a whole lot of research and get it right. If it makes no difference, you may as well use places that are familiar to you. If the place is important, you should try to visit, if you can.
     

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