Wednesday 28 February 2024

Nowhere you would know

 Setting - we have all read those reviews that say that the setting is almost a character in the book, but sometimes using real places is problematical. If you are writing fantasy, the place doesn't exist, if you are writing crime, residents might not take kindly to the idea of a succession of serial killers in their midst, or you might need to alter the geography a bit for reasons of plot - put a house where no house exists, or something bigger - a beach, an office block. That's where authors start messing with the landscape. It has a  posh title - world building.  Completely necessary in the case of fantasy writers. The rest of us - well, it's useful. 

The sea and the shoreline will be in the WIP
but not quite where it is now. 

It's in my mind because I'm doing that in the WIP. The geography is very loosely based on where I live, but there were lots of features I wanted that I have to add - and it's fun. It also occurred to me how many of my friends  and fellow authors do the same thing.  A setting that is real, but invented, if that makes sense. 

I've read reviews that have taken a very hard line with writers who interfere with real geography - I remember one, a long time ago, pointing out that a particular stretch of highway did not have a shopping centre alongside it. I think that, sadly, the book only got one star as a result. Although most readers are a little more forgiving - suspension of disbelief - anything that pulls a reader out of the story is a bad thing, which is why authors take refuge in "I made it up."  

And as I said. It is fun. It can also involve a lot of displacement activity - like the afternoon I spent drawing plans of the location of a house and garden that does not exist. And you know about authors and displacement activity ...

No comments:

Post a Comment