Tips for writing about real places

1:00 AM

In writing the Kate's Case Files series, I've learned a lot about writing about real places. I still am learning, but I thought I'd pass on a couple of tips to you, my fellow storytellers.

Talk to someone who has lived there. There is nothing like having an inside source. I've been blessed to have found people for each location that I've discussed who have lived at least for a time in each location. Author Facebook groups can be a great resource for this. 

Use street names and location names. In both Kate's Case Files and in A Different Kind of Courage, street names and names of parks and landmarks helped to keep people rooted in the place. It's also a way of making it feel authentic. I mean, think about how often you use street names or the names of common landmarks in your day to day speech. 

Keep in mind the visitor vs, native mentality. Whenever you are writing about a location, you need to know if your character is a visitor or a native. That is going to drastically change how they perceive things. I don't often visit tourist sites in my home area. Also, if you're not from an area and having someone who is a native to draw on is really helpful.

Stay positive or make it up. If you are going to mention a real place/business, stay positive or make up a name. You don't want to be sued for slander.

What is a location you would love to write about?

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  1. Oh, this is a good list of tips! I love when a writer makes you feel like you've gone to the place they are writing about!