Welcome Wednesday – How Real is Your World?

Welcome Wednesday – How Real is Your World?

Welcome to this week’s edition of Welcome Wednesdays!

Today let’s talk about the real world vs. your fictional world.  Exactly how “real” is the world your characters inhabit?  Talk a little about how you build the city or town or village they live in.  Do you use real-world locations and happenings?  If they stop for a coffee on the way to work, do they go to Starbucks, or to a coffee shop of your own invention?  If they have a little celebrity crush on an actor, is it Chris Hemsworth, or is it someone you invented for your own world?

rite and let the characters take you wherever they want to go, and hope it all makes sense in the end?

I’ll begin…

My books are set pretty firmly in the actual world.  My new series, the Jane Barnaby Adventures, is set in the early 1990’s, and when my heroine thinks of an actress, she thinks of Julia Roberts.  When she visits her friend who works at a fancy department store, she goes to Bergdorf Goodman.  And so forth.

Now it’s your turn!  Tell us all about your fictional world and be sure to leave a link so we can learn more about you!

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7 Replies to “Welcome Wednesday – How Real is Your World?”

  1. Thanks for the opportunity, James! My settings are also firmly grounded in actual places. My debut novel, Phantom Traces, takes place in the fictional town of Caldwell, N.C.–but the town is fashioned after Lenoir, N.C., where we lived for a short time. Hearts Unloched is set in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., and the story concept was actually born while we were visiting there. My Love at Lake George series books will all be set in and around Lake George, N.Y., a lovely region where we still vacation.

    You can find out more about my books here:

  2. This real/fictional world divide is always fascinating. I could go on and on about it (and often have) but here, I’ll just offer 2 thoughts.
    1. I’ve tried in the past to base characters on real people but it never works. The problem is that the ‘real’ person gets in the way of the fictional one and the latter can’t develop properly.
    2. I find my fictional characters more ‘real’ than those in the real world. We see inside our characters. know how their minds work, what their motives are (even though they occasionally surprise us), but once I switch off the computer and return to reality, I’ve no idea what’s going on in the minds of those around me. We can never know ‘real’ people in the way we know fictional ones.

    More about me and my books at http://www.billkirton.com.

  3. I prefer to write my setting in a real place, always doing so except with Gylded Wings (to be released by The Wild Rose Press) and in the beginning, I based the setting on a vaguely medieval world in another dimension. Otherwise, I’ve set books in Miami, Houston, and a few places in England. If I haven’t visited the location, I’ll research the internet, or in the case of Gylded Wings freed my imagination to do the “research”. Visit my website (www.lindanightingale.com) for a sample of my books and a free, continuing vampire story.

  4. There is a real-life model for the books in my “Gang” series, and most of the characters are drawn, to a greater or lesser degree, from those I knew in my childhood. The World War II background was also all too real and helped to provide material for some of the conflictual situations. That said, despite the drama, the stories take, in the main, a cheerful optimistic stance. http://www.peterstjohn.net/

  5. My scifi romance novels are set on alien planets, but I use various parts of Planet Earth to inform my choices, and the civilizations I create. For the books set on an interstellar cruise liner, I did a lot of research into the cruise industry, the Titanic, life aboard aircraft carriers, etc. My ancient Egyptian fantasy novels,on the other hand, are set along the Nile in 1550 BCE, with a LOT of research to back the story up. I don’t base my characters in either series on real people. It’s just part of my creative process to ‘know’ my characters and what motivates them and how they’ll react in a given situation. But in either series, there’s always a Happily Ever After!

  6. My first two novels, and my upcoming third, are all set in the real world. The first two are set in Hakodate, Japan, while the third takes place in the Aokigahara Forest at the base of mount Fuji and in Shinjuku in Tokyo. While the first has mild fantasy elements, all three aim to keep the elements of Japan as real world as possible.

    I have Google Maps for each showing the locations of the various places mentioned, and while some key locations like houses and schools are made up, I also reference many local sites like Mount Hakodate, the Red Warehouse District, and so forth and took pains to describe them as accurately as I could. I also made sure all food eaten is food available and at least somewhat common there 😀

    It’s fun making the maps because they become a nice sharable for fans too! If anyone wants to see them, here are the maps for Aisuru and Deviations (still tweaking this one).

    I actually seem to use the real world a lot for my novels, though I do have two WIPs that are in a fantasy world.

  7. I write light-hearted superhero novels and stories based on a variant of this world, with a major divergence point around the Vietnam War era. Generally, I like to keep it real… enough to suit the story. Real world references help keep the details right – no saltwater fish in a freshwater river or running across the entire US in under an hour unless superpowers are used.

    Locations are fictionalized to suit my plots, but any major location is based on an actual place. Some are more fictional than others.

    Characters might borrow quirks or an attribute from a real person, but they’re all imaginary.

    Cultural references are mostly the same. Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, etc. all happened and get referenced, either directly (as in the movie name) or indirectly (pet fish named after anime characters). I try to use any trademarked words correctly.

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