1. Holden
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    Holden Senior Member

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    Realism in actual city

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Holden, Dec 11, 2011.

    The setting for my story is New York City. How important is it to remain true to the geography of the city? I'm not sure if I should be specific in describing the locations of characters and using actual places (not major ones, like Central Park, but minor locations) or if I should keep it vague and let the reader's imagination create the visual around him.

    I'm wondering how important it is, if I say the character is on a certain street, if I describe the setting around him as close to reality as possible.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It depends on how important the specific location is. But I think generally it's better to be quite specific when using actual places. You don't necessarily need to describe the streets in detail, but you can/should name them.
     
  3. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't need to go wild with detail.

    But I'd do some research online. Always good to be armed with some facts.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    It is a story you are writing and so everything you are writing about shoud in essence remain part fictional especially places, away from the grims of reality.
    I much prefer to read of a different perfect NewYork I have never actually get to in reality.
    Bringing something new to an already exiting real places is part of the fun.
     
  5. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    get it at lest get it somewhat right. I hate stories/movies/ shows/ where they walk off Brooklyn bridge and are in central park. so i say lotsz of realism
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Do some looking around on Google street view. I have a story set in Goteborg, Sweden, where I have never been, and that was a tremendous asset.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Really?? :) that would be interesting to read. What kind of story is that?
    I think this is part of the fun, setting the story in a place you've never been, It's like travelling in a way, but I agree it's also a risk.
     
  8. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I started writing a story set in Istanbul. I spent hours and hours on Google maps, plotting my MC's walks and rides, searching nice photos on Flickr so I can describe more accurately what she is "seeing", and even meeting a couple of Turks online to discuss which jazz club should she visit! ....And after writing down 10,000 words on it, I found out that the reason she went there in the first place (some academic/genealogical work) is best done NOT in Istanbul, but Ankara!!! :rolleyes:
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you want your work [and yourself as a writer] to be taken seriously, you'd better be accurate, since too many readers will have been to or lived in nyc, for you to get away with inconsistencies...
     

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