1. Libbi
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    Libbi New Member

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    To create or not to create my own?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Libbi, Sep 20, 2015.

    I am writing a story and my protagonist has to go to the hospital now I am stuck, should I create my own hospital or use a hospital near were the story is set? I have created my own schools but not town which I am thinking maybe I should create my own town now.

    Sorry for the title I couldn't think of one....
     
  2. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    I think there are pros and cons to either.

    If you're targeting a local audience, including real landmarks can give it a more realistic feel, and you may need less exposition (not necessarily though). If you mention that the setting is in the middle of the Sahara, or on an Antarctic station, the reader can conjure up a fair image from their existing knowledge. But you have to do your research: it's irritating to read a detail and think, That's now how it is at all!

    If you're targeting a wider audience, on average they're less likely to refute inaccuracies, but a real location they've never visited won't be familiar and you'll have to explain it so much that there's no functional difference between it and an imaginary one. You may also get some readers who will hear of a real location and assume that only locals will 'get it', even if you describe it well.

    From the opposite direction, you may be able to widen your audience by using imaginary places and describing them well enough that anyone can conjure up a good mental image (perhaps that's one reason why the fantasy genre is popular). The balancing act is in deciding the level at which the real/fantasy divide occurs. World? Continent? Country? Town?

    I'm afraid I don't have any concrete answers, but thinking about who is likely to read your story may help. Or the sneaky option is to write a description of a real place, then just change it's name to an imaginary one so that no-one can complain :twisted:

    Hope my rambling thoughts aren't entirely useless. Good luck!
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Just make up a hospital in/near the town where the story is set. Simple solution and authors do this all the time.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If you've already made up schools I would simplify everything and make up a new town name.

    Having said that, I've set my story in a real place and it features a visit to a real hospital. I didn't describe the hospital in detail - there's no need, since we all know what a hospital looks like - so I didn't think of it as an issue.
     
  5. Emberi Homa
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    Emberi Homa New Member

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    An author is the authority of their story. The reader expects the author to lead the reader, have a deep understanding of the world the author has created (even if it is not shared with the reader), and be dependable.

    Characters must be consistent, stories must feel true, settings must make sense, and the author cannot make mistakes. Much like how a reader does not want to see awkwardly phrased ideas and sentences nor incorrect grammar and typos, a reader does not want to find incorrect details and facts.

    If you use a real town, you should be accurate. Somewhere out there, someone will notice if you're mistaken about which schools and hospitals belong to a town. Even if being caught in an "untruth" of setting will not ruin you, it is something that should not happen at all.

    Furthermore, you should be consistent. If you have created your own schools for a setting, you will want to create your own hospitals.

    In short: If the schools are fake, so is the town, and thus the hospital. You can model your hospital after another hospital, but your hospital will not be that hospital.
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    1/ In House, they use the imaginary Princeton Plainsboro Hospital

    2/ How much detail do you need to go into in the hospital? Just make sure that what you write is accurate to general hospital procedure, not just copied from what you've seen on TV (my daughter's a nurse and nothing infuriates her more than TV nursing!).
     
  7. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Depends on what type of story this is. Is it based off a real-life experience or is it a made-up scenario?

    Personally I'm always up for a fictional location over a real-world location. :)
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Just make the hospital real. But it doesn't have to be a real hospital. I use my hometown as a base for a lot of towns in my novels but I never name the town. That way I get to make it realistic but also have the freedom to swap or change things.
     

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