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Old 05-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #16
taosaur
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I've written a few stories set more or less in places I've lived, and always took the approach of fictionalizing the location in the vein of Faulkner's or King's fictional counties bordering their real life stomping grounds. I tend to add some allegorical magical realist or full-on fantasy elements to the setting (I hadn't really thought about it before, but thinking about the stories, it's definitely a trend ).

I don't expect to read anything set in my little hometown unless I write it, and only rarely see any mention of the nearest substantial city (I don't think I've ever read anything fully set there). For the city I'm in now, American Splendor was a lot of fun, and there was even some appeal to the Wilderness Empire series being set all over the state where I've lived most of my adult life, but those are autobiography and historical fiction, respectively. I'm aware of a set of detective novels set in Cleveland, but that genre isn't really my thing, a certain wizard-for-hire being the exception
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #17
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It doesn't really bother me. London is always changing. With constant developments and re-developments its pointless to get annoyed by inaccuracies in location details.

Having said that, there is one book written in the mid 1990's which really aggravates me. There's a scene which takes place at Heathrow Airport and what's described is logistically impossible. Its obvious that the author concerned knows nothing about how the airport is organised or operated. The web existed back in the 90's. How long would it have taken to check the details or phoned the Press Office there to check?
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #18
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I like reading books set in places I have or will visit, those add to my experiences.

I had to give up on a story set in a nearby town. I was listening to it and the reader pronounced the name of the lake and region (same name) wrong, which made me want to throw my iPod at the wall.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickiTee View Post
It doesn't really bother me. London is always changing. With constant developments and re-developments its pointless to get annoyed by inaccuracies in location details.

Having said that, there is one book written in the mid 1990's which really aggravates me. There's a scene which takes place at Heathrow Airport and what's described is logistically impossible. Its obvious that the author concerned knows nothing about how the airport is organised or operated. The web existed back in the 90's. How long would it have taken to check the details or phoned the Press Office there to check?
Was the book a novel? If so, then it was a fictionalized version of Heathrow that was organized and operated EXACTLY how the book said it was....

But seriously, I get it. If he bothered to refer to a real place, then there has to be a little effort to make the place seem real. Suspension of disbelief has to be encouraged and cultivated, not assumed.

Last edited by ApK; 05-14-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:18 PM   #20
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I enjoy reading books that are set in the cities that I've lived in. It's easier to get the insider jokes, understand the stereotypes, and learn things that I never knew.

Then again, I live in Canada. It seems as though books that feature Canadian cities are written by authors who have lived in those cities. It's not like the US, where even a small town can be used as a trope by an author who has never even visited the place. I don't think any of our cities have earned reputations internationally, like some of the metropolises of the world have (e.g. Paris, London, Moscow, Tokyo, etc.).
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #21
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I find it interesting to read books with the story taking place where I live or have lived, and am not to upset about inaccuracies (I am talking fiction, which is after all fiction)

I read a couple of books placed Inuvik when I lived there and they were terrible books but I did recognise all 2 of the local bars from the description alone

Same with TV shows such as Corner Gas and TRailer Park Boys. People think these are pretty far fetched, but I swear I have known those Trailer Park Boys and the TV show is much understated.

Helen
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:43 PM   #22
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The only one I've ever seen set in my town was "Tom Clancy's EndWar". There was a blurb in the paper about it. Apparently, the Russians invade Canada, occupy Edmonton and blow up the High Level Bridge while we Edmontonians sit, cry and wait for the Americans to rescue us.
I gave it a miss.
On the other hand, I'd love to read something well written set in Edmonton.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #23
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Apparently, the Russians invade Canada, occupy Edmonton and blow up the High Level Bridge while we Edmontonians sit, cry and wait...
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #24
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I've never read a book that was set in my home town, but I have read a number of stories that are set in my state and I've always enjoyed them. It doesn't really matter to me if the names were changed to protect the innocent or if distances are lengthened or stretched. I enjoy when the characters see or experience the same things that I have.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:09 PM   #25
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There's a recent series that isn't set in my exact town, but close by. It's kind of fun, despite the occasional logistical liberties.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:17 PM   #26
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I don't mind it when authors get details wrong in cities I'm familiar with--Google Maps and streetview notwithstanding--because most of them are by definition set in alternate universes.
In fact, the case can be made that all fiction takes place in alternate universes. So if the author has the White House painted pink or puts traffic circles where they don't exist... well, obviously things happened a wee bit differently in that timeline.

Of course, if the story sucks, *then* I'll be offended at their sloppy research...
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:25 PM   #27
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I can see playing games with the geography in big cities, but when you're setting your story in a small town (like Ann Arbor), it pays to know where the university is located, and which streets go one way which direction. If you can't do that, make up your own small university town, and don't pretend it's someplace where you want to have solid local color.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:56 PM   #28
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I can see playing games with the geography in big cities, but when you're setting your story in a small town (like Ann Arbor), it pays to know where the university is located, and which streets go one way which direction. If you can't do that, make up your own small university town, and don't pretend it's someplace where you want to have solid local color.
When authors are inaccurate about details in big city settings, though, more people are likely to notice--namely, all the readers who are residents of that city or who visited it.

I don't mind if authors blend fictional locales into a real city--like making up a hotel or restaurant name or residential address and plunking it into the city--and I don't mind if they play a little fast and loose with things like how long it might take to get from one place to another, but I do get annoyed if they tell me someone rode the F train for six stops to get from point A to point B when it's actually four stops on the E train.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:05 PM   #29
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The only books I have read set in the DC suburb I grew up in were obviously written by people who lived here and probably grew up here. Caryl Rivers was sneaky enough to try to disguise the name, but I knew it anyway. So there were no moments where I was jolted out of my suspension of disbelief.

I read a book once set at my college. It was obviously chosen for the name only and the author knew nothing about the school or town--disappointing...
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #30
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when it's actually four stops on the E train.
Hmm...Penn Station to the AMNH. I just made that trip on Saturday....or was it five stops....
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