1. Avalon McSoley
    Offline

    Avalon McSoley Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    9

    Should I do this or not?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Avalon McSoley, Apr 27, 2016.

    I'm writing a book series, where the main character lives in Virginia, USA. So far I've basically made up the surroundings and haven't mentioned any names except very common street names such as Maple Street and Grand Avenue, plus I've named the local school, some restaurants and a store. But it feels kind of off and I think I can benefit from being more specific, especially with his city's name. So, I've looked through the details I've given so far, and it seems as if the most logical place he'd live is Frederick County, but when googling it I found that it doesn't fit what I've written about the town to far; in fact, no state would fit it perfectly and I'm like four books in so changing the layout of the surroundings would be a major task.

    What I'm basically asking is if I can simply wipe the entire Frederick County off the map and replace it with a fictional county I make up, and perhaps just mention in the foreword that the county isn't real? I've already made up a valley in North Carolina, but this is obviously a much bigger change... None of the books are published yet so I'm free to make any changes.

    I know I should've thought of all this when I started, but this was actually something I wrote without ever imagining it getting published, which caused for such problems now that it's getting serious...:bigoops:
     
  2. LostThePlot
    Offline

    LostThePlot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    343
    Yeah just make up your own county that fits. It's not a big deal. Unless your book is specifically historical or plays off it's 'real world' credibility then just make up a setting that fits what you are doing.
     
  3. terobi
    Offline

    terobi Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    You can make up a fictional one if you like, most people won't notice - including the ones who live in Virginia.

    Where you will have more problems is if your setting doesn't feel like it can fit in Virginia at all. Say, you've give the setting a frontier town feel or a large hispanic population; just things that anyone with a passing knowledge of the place will pick up on.
     
    Feo Takahari likes this.
  4. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,766
    Likes Received:
    2,396
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    @Avalon McSoley Ma'am, step away from the keyboard. I am going to need to see your operators license and proof of registration. Don't make me confiscate your keyboard.:supergrin:

    On the serious. Yeah you can change what ever you want about a real location, even if it involves wiping it off the map entirely. I remember it was pretty in the fall up in the mountains. :p Don't worry about making things accurate, unless you have a mind to. You could even make Virginia as flat as Tennessee if you want to. :D You are the creator of your fictional universe, and no one can tell you what to do within it. So go nuts, there is no wrong way to write fiction. :)
     
  5. Robert Musil
    Offline

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    USA
    matwoolf likes this.
  6. LostThePlot
    Offline

    LostThePlot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    343
    Am I the only one who read those two proper nouns as 'Virginia Woolf' and 'Tennessee Williams' ?
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  7. IHaveNoName
    Offline

    IHaveNoName Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    158
    William Faulkner invented a completely fictional county and set several books there... there's nothing that says you can't. TV shows feature fictional cities all the time. As long as it's believable, who cares?
     
  8. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    I still would like to visit Derry Maine.
     
    DeadMoon, Rebel Yellow and BruceA like this.
  9. Rebel Yellow
    Offline

    Rebel Yellow Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Quebec
    Derry is Dallas. Dallas is Derry.
     
  10. Seraph751
    Offline

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2016
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    372
    Location:
    Texas
    One of my favorite authors created a town called Broken Heart, OK.
     
  11. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    But--- but--- Tennessee ain't flat!

    Really, though, I have to disagree with this premise somewhat. If you rewrite Virginia, USA, to make it totally unrecognizable, what's the point of saying your story is set in Virginia? You'll only get your readers (especially the Virginians) up in arms.

    Find out about the typical geophysical features and the usual county and town naming patterns in the part of Virginia you're interested in, and follow suit.
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  12. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,766
    Likes Received:
    2,396
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Ok my bad, Kansas is the flat one. :p
     
  13. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Western Kansas, yeah. The eastern part, not totally. Especially when you're riding your bike down Mount Oread in Lawrence, Kansas, and your brakes go out.

    (Been there, done that, got the cuts and bruises.)
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  14. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,766
    Likes Received:
    2,396
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    It has been many a year since I have been across country. :p I know this Utah goes on forever... :p
     
  15. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    There are no rules when it comes to this kind of thing. Rename away.

    As for mentioning it up front, I wouldn't bother. The standard disclaimer about characters not being based on real people is enough, I'm sure.
     

Share This Page