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Writing Books/Using existing streets, towns and villages.


Hi there,
Thank you for taking time to look at my question.
I read the question that you answered about using existing companies and shops in a fiction novel and I would like to ask what the rules are about using actual towns, streets and villages? And also annual events within the towns and villages?

THank you in advance,


It's all fair game, Anthony.  Using actual towns, streets, and events can give a very nice atmosphere to your story.  However, it's not always the best idea.

Consider first that your chosen street (for example) might not be a perfect fit for what you need, plotwise.  So you decide to tweak it a little bit... maybe add a furniture store.  What you now risk is anyone familiar with that street saying, "Hey, there's never been a furniture store on this street!  This author's an idiot!  I'm never reading his stuff again!"  Extreme?  Sure.  Possible?  Definitely.

This leads me to the real point: your setting must be right for your story.  If you choose a real location, you may find yourself changing key elements of the story to fit your setting, and that may be detrimental to the story.

Or it may not.  You never know until you take a crack at it.  

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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