1. AndiPandi91
    Offline

    AndiPandi91 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1

    Would American readers read a story set in Toronto?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by AndiPandi91, Jun 21, 2015.

    I'm writing a adult contemporary romance set in both Toronto and Jamaica. I'm choosing to set it in Toronto because it's a fantastic, underrated city not seen much in fiction, and personally I'm getting a little tired of books set in California, New York ect. But I've been warned that books not set in an American setting don't sell well with American readers.
    So my question is, if the plot intrigued you, would you pick up a book set in Toronto?

    Thanks!
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Location:
    Boston
    I've read stories set in France, Germany, England, India, China, Japan, Egypt, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Israel, Jordan, and the Dominican Republic (just to name a few countries). So yes, I would read a book set in Toronto or Jamaica.
     
  3. The Mad Regent
    Offline

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Wirral, England
    I'm English so I'm not sure if my vote is valid, but I'd rather it be set in Toronto than California or New York. Personally, I think anyone who rates a story based on it's location is slightly weird.

    However, saying that, I think it's important that your setting compliments your story; for example, if it was about business and finance then New York and London would be ideal locations, or if you wanted to portray a character living rough then you'd choose a city where violence and corruption is commonplace.

    As far as I can tell, though, it's a perfectly fine idea.
     
  4. uncephalized
    Offline

    uncephalized Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    58
    This American will read a story set anywhere as long as it's interesting.
     
  5. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I read books set in different countries all the time. I'd read a book set in Toronto.

    What an odd concept to discount a book because it's not set in America. :meh:

    As long as it's universally relatable, I don't see a problem with it.
     
  6. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Why would we not? Don't take this the wrong way, but there are times when I have to hold back a small amount of umbrage at what seems to be a pervasive perception that we yanks are a different species or something of that ilk. The fact that Americans tend to set their stories in America falls under the "write what you know" paradigm, not the "write what is acceptable to readers" paradigm. Books and shows written by Brits tend, by and large, to take place in the UK. I don't see anyone worrying that Brits won't want to read things taking place outside the UK.

    </rant> :ohno::-D
     
  7. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,664
    Likes Received:
    5,159
    I'm Canadian and write for a mostly American audience. I set quite a few of my stories in Canada, and it was never an issue while I was selling books to smaller e-first publishers. But when I started shopping a novel to the Big 5, one of the first requests was to move the story from Muskoka to somewhere in the US. Anywhere, really, as long as it was in the US.

    Now, that was for a Small-Town Romance, which is a sub-genre where readers have a pretty specific set of expectations. I'm not sure if the same request would have been made if I'd been writing in a different genre.

    So, if we assume that publishers have a good idea of what readers want (which may or may not be a safe assumption), it seems as if setting a story in Canada may sometimes be a disadvantage. How's that for a vague answer?
     
    Lyana Carol likes this.
  8. Tim3232
    Offline

    Tim3232 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    UK
    Louise Penny does fine with her books set in Canada. I was just reading a snippet from the Crime Writer's Assoc - 'Penny, 57, is a former Canadian radio journalist who draws on her country's culture and history to add heft and interest to books that are more whydunits than whodunits.'
     
  9. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,032
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    I think if you were writing about Kathmandu, a reader, especially American, might expect lots of local flavors and descriptors to help them visualize (As Kathmandu is very different from, let's say, New York) but Canada and United States are basically the same country when it comes to the sort of cities and lifestyles people lead. Yes, there are differences, but similar to a fault.

    I personally read a lot of fantasy set in Maine. God knows why, every author seems to think Maine is the holy land of fantasy settings (I think it's the trees) but most people wouldn't even think twice of where a story is occuring when you're thinking US vs. Canada. I sure wouldn't and I doubt most readers would bat an eye unless every Canadian character is going "Ron ron, la poutine et champignon bleu!" and think you're racist up the wazoo.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    But, and just to play Devil's Vague Advocate, all of Robert J. Sawyer's very good science fiction novels take place in Canada*. And not only do they take place in Canada, Sawyer goes out of his way to ensure in the mind of the reader that this is absotively, posolutely CANADA, and not the US, not unlike an overly sensitive Canadian traveler spending an irrational amount of time ensuring that everyone around knows he's not American.

    And his books are great, the somewhat heavy-handed inclusion of exclusively Canadian things notwithstanding. ;)

    *The ones that take place on Earth.
     
    minstrel likes this.
  11. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,220
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Ssssh! Don't give up our secret, Wrey! We're really Minbaris sent here to spy on the puny Earthlings so that one day the glorious Minbari Empire can invade and declare Earth a Minbari colony!!

    Um... You saw nothing, puny Earthlings. ¬ ¬'

    ANYWAY, yeah, I've read historical fiction/mysteries that aren't set in America and I'll continue to read them. That person's got some issues, clearly.

    So long as the story is good, who cares where it's set. :> Now gimmie a historical mystery set in Feudal Japan, I've a hankering for some of that now.
     
  12. EmptySoul
    Offline

    EmptySoul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    A coffee shop where it is always 3 am.
    Yes, as an American the setting doesn't matter nearly as much as the story itself. Sell me on the characters and you can take me anywhere you want.
     
  13. The Mad Regent
    Offline

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Wirral, England
    I was dying to say that, but felt I needed to elaborate. ;)
     
  14. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,220
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I think this could be a good discussion for the Setting section. :)

    Personally, the setting has to serve the story. Don't put it in America for the sake of a few of my fellow Yankees who won't read books unless the setting is America. Please, I'd rather read your story set elsewhere.
     
    minstrel and The Mad Regent like this.
  15. EmptySoul
    Offline

    EmptySoul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    A coffee shop where it is always 3 am.

    *Checks a globe made in America* But ... but ... but America is the center of the world and universe.
     
    minstrel and Link the Writer like this.
  16. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Damn Yankees.
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  17. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,220
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    *checks map of universe*

    Funny. I don't see a giant planet in the center of the universe called 'America'. :p We're just one country out of 200+ countries on a small blue dot hurdling on an endless loop around one out of trillions and trillions of stars in the vast emptiness of space.

    @No-Name Slob : I know, right? I like to call them Johnnies, though. Y'know, Johnny Rebs=Confederates=The Side That Lost The Civil War? :p :D ;)
     
  18. EmptySoul
    Offline

    EmptySoul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    A coffee shop where it is always 3 am.
    *GASP* Are you one of those Communists I have been taught to fear and loathe without actually trying to understand?:superlaugh::superlaugh:
     
    minstrel and Link the Writer like this.
  19. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,220
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    You could say I'm a liberal. :read: Fear me.

    FEAR ME, DAMMIT!! :supermad::twisted:

    @ The Original Poster- Sorry we sorta took over the thread like this. :] Here, let me steer 'er back on course.
     
  20. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    That's it. I'm calling for Texas to secede.
     
  21. EmptySoul
    Offline

    EmptySoul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    A coffee shop where it is always 3 am.
    BY THE POWER OF RUSH LIMBAUGH, I REBUKE YOU!!!

    lmao - OK I'm done derailing this thread.
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  22. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,220
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Because it worked out so well the first time, eh? :p

    And yes, let's return this thread to its original station. Sorry 'bout that everyone else. :D
     
  23. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    LOL :) Because, of course, according to the Big Book of Urban Mythology (2014 edition), secession is still totes on the table. Just needs a signature. ;)
     
  24. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    That's why we have to get a 'publican in Office in 2016. Obama'll never sign off.

    #ThanksObama
     
    Link the Writer and Wreybies like this.
  25. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Nonsense.

    I wonder what that would be based on. It's doesn't even make sense.
     

Share This Page