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Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 8:19:22 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 21
How do you choose the location/setting for your story? Do you only write about places you've been yourself, or do you research locations on the internet? How concerned are you about capturing the essence of the locale/setting? How important do you think the location is to a story?

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Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:50:08 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 81
Location: Wonderland
Story locations, to me, can make or break a story, especially if i'm reading something that takes place in a locale i know well. having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, if i'm reading a story that takes place there and it's got it all wrong, no matter how good the story is, it will ruin it for me. And, for that reason, it's very rare that i will write stories in specific exisiting and named locaitions unless i'm familiar with them. Fantasy locales are easy, you make them up, or generic locales. Some of my stories take place in the suburbs without naming the specific cities they are in. I've written plenty of tales set is SF or Oakland, because i know those cities by heart, but would be careful of writing something taking place in New York or Amsterdamn, having no personal expericene in either city.

i think that, a location, when properly written, really gives a story flavor and brings it to life. it makes it real. these are real people in a real place, not just some made up characters. location can be a character within the story, all by itself.

The Nightmares Begin Here -
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 11:28:46 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 23
Location: Dallas, Texas
I agree with Rachel- it makes it so much richer when a location is painted carefully into a story. Without that, I damn near picture it taking place on a stage set. It needs to be 'somewhere' to come to life.
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 2:22:21 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/12/2010
Posts: 1,045
So far I've only written about locations I've visited. I need to be able to include sounds and smells and I'd find that too difficult if I'd never been there.
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 4:24:27 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/15/2010
Posts: 9
It depends - I love New York but I fear I'd never do it justice to include it. Most of my stuff tends to take place in places I've visited, mostly through my slightly shady employment history...or in the industrial heartland of Middle England where I've grown up...
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 5:06:13 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 21
So far I've only written about places that I'm familiar with. My novel takes place in NYC and I've spent quite a bit of time there on and off since I was in my early teens both for pleasure as well as for professional reasons. Details even down to restaurants, party locales, and living spaces have all been taken from my own memories. The city itself is very important to the theme of the story so I chose it carefully. It wouldn't work in any other city. And I started writing the story just after I returned from NYC a year ago after having been a little inspired.

There is a shorter segment of my novel that I'm writing now that takes place in a foreign locale that I haven't been to yet (yikes!). I've actually been doing quite a bit of research online, watching travel clips, and trying to get into the vibe of the locale. It's exotic and tropical and nowhere I had already been would have worked for this plot point so I'm going out on a limb with this one. Hope it works... happy8

Everything else I have written has always used a location I'm familiar with. I'll typically use hotels and restaurants I've been to as well to keep things as authentic as I can.

*** Click Here to Read Chapter One

Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 9:31:24 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 434
Location: Chicago
I've written most of my stories to be set in the cities I've lived in: Chicago, Detroit, and Houston. The bulk of my stories takes place in Chicago, since I grew up there and know where everything is.

Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 6:49:45 AM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 6
Location: Boise
for the most part I try to not to pin point my story in one specific location so that it can take place just about anywhere in the readers mind. The only time I would pick a location is if it's essential to the story. If that's the case then the first choice for me are places I've been to before. If that is not possible then I'll do some research and try to pull it off.
Posted: Sunday, October 24, 2010 7:16:43 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 21
Location: The Great Wide Open
I have always avoided trying to pinpoint an exact geographic location as a setting for my stories. Primarily because as was noted in the Ask The Readers (of this same question) - my experiences at certain locations are most likely going to be different than what anyone who has ever visited a location I'm trying to describe, may well be different.

I've been to the Big Apple, but my experiences there, were mostly in industrial areas around The City. Nothing of much consequence has ever occurred in those areas. I might use my memories of the factories or settings to describe in future stories, but I won't identify them as specific locations.

It does not bother me as a reader, to see an author set up his or her story in a specific location. I realize that their perceptions will be different than my own.

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. I heard this from Steve Sabol about his father.
Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010 11:31:29 AM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
I've used locations I've been to, and I've researched locations on the net once or twice...I think usually the location isn't that important to my stories, but I think if you get details wrong, like even a cross street a certain restaurant is on, someone may notice and you lose your credibility...
Not that I necessarily had any...

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

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