1. Michelle7
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    Michelle7 Member

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    Setting as a character?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Michelle7, Aug 14, 2013.

    My main character is a teen celebrity who gets amnesia, therefore, the setting will be Los Angeles. My question is when I write about the places there such as the studios that she works in as well other places she frequents, do I need to name the actual places or should I make them up? Ex. make up the fictional school she goes to, or the studio she works at? Should they be the real actual ones or fictional? I'm concerned about the legal implications of using the real places, but also concerned about the fact that inserting fictional places in a real setting would not be accurate. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Fictional businesses are inserted into real-world settings all the time. That's not a problem. The fact that she works at a studio that doesn't exist in real life isn't an issue, and might be better than locating her at an actual studio. With the school, I'd probably use an actual school from the area whereas I'm happy to make up businesses. But again, either way works fine. In one story I have set in L.A. and in Oregon, I use a fictional private school in L.A. but have it set at a public school that actually exists in Oregon.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not so much the legality of using actual places as it is the possibility that you will get details wrong (or they will change by the time your story is completed), and people who know the details will be taken out of the story because they note that something is incorrect. I find it is easier to make real places "anonymous" so you can describe a real place, and people familiar with it might guess it, but it also gives you the freedom to change any details to better suit your story.

    Also, although it is fine to place your story in L.A., the fact that your MC is a celebrity doesn't necessarily mean it has to take place there. Depending on what sort of celebrity he is (movie star versus tv star versus singer/dancer) -- although many celebs spend a lot of time in L.A., they don't all necessarily live there, and some shows are shot in places other than L.A. So, don't feel that you absolutely MUST place it in L.A. if it doesn't work best for you.
     
  4. NeonFraction
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    NeonFraction Member

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    If you want to base a story in a certain city, I would suggest google street view. It's an invaluable tool for research into the look and feel of specific cities.
     

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