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With Google maps and Google street view, you can get a lot of detail about the layout of a city and just what it looks like at any given point that would have been very difficult ten or twenty years ago. That said, sure, if you set a story in a place that you have never been to, it is very likely that you will make mistakes about things that you didn't ...


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If you do web searches on movies cities and books cities (and similar searches), you get lots of hits that you'll probably find helpful. Stuff like "Top 10 cities on film", "Cities as characters in film", "50 Coolest Fictional Cities". Also, searching for videos using travelogue CityName (e.g., travelogue "New York City") gives useful hits. The web is ...


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"...how I can believably place a fictional city in the real United States (like replacing smaller towns, or just finding an empty stretch of coast or riverside without angering people that I've "erased" their hometown from the map)?" I think you have answered your own question. Just get out the map and look for a good site for a city, and if there isn't ...


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Two approaches to researching existing cities without travelling there: Read about that city. A lot has been written about New York, from travel journals to biographies to history books to fiction to science fiction to politics to newspaper articles. Everything about New York has been written down somewhere, including the smells. While New York is ...


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Consider setting your story in a place that doesn't exist now, but exists in your mind. Do what DC and other comics do, and create a 'bit like reality but not exactly like reality now' setting that works for your story. You can create whatever place you want. If you want to have an American influence, do so. But be prepared to create your own world.



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