Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Location, Location, Location


Just now, on Twitter, I came across a sketch by an artist of two imaginary children on a bike in a London street. Marshalsea Rd.  It was very specific. Exact.
  
Minutes earlier I’d answered a question from a publicist about my settings – were they real – had I imagined them?

I had to admit that I’d amalgamated several different places. Yes, there was a spot in my head, but it wasn’t perfect.  Generally, I like to take a place and make it fit.  Bring the quarry a little closer to the farm, lug the river up the hill a bit, add an extra storey to the house. That kind of thing.
 
And it made me wonder – does it matter to the reader if the location is real or imagined?
Obviously, a fantasy adventure set in space is an imagined location – but for all the terrestrial stories do we unconsciously or even consciously try to work out where they are? And does it matter if the story changes those places a little, or a lot?

When Phillip Reeve wrote his Mortal Engine books, he messed about with London, which was fine, because it’s fantasy – but would we have stood for Anthony Horowitz doing the same in his Alex Rider series?

Which got me thinking about using real people -  was I the only person who felt a delicious sense of something naughty when James Bond trotted through Buck palace with the Queen at the Olympics? or even when David Walliams cast the Queen in his Gangsta Granny book?
 
Historical fiction is full of real figures, it’s totally fine to use them – but apart from the Queen – or “the Prime Minister” I don’t know of any other examples of real people being stolen by contemporary children's writers. 
Do you? 

And, what do you think about locations?  Is using a real place a little bit naughty? A little bit exciting? Or – as it’s a work of fiction – would you rather have fiction all the way?
I’m interested.  





Latest book from Fleur Hitchcock, MURDER IN MIDWINTER out October 6th from Nosy Crow. 

6 comments:

  1. As a reader, I like reading about real places, especially when I've been there. I don't mind the author fiddling with them a bit, as long as they say they have done so. Real people - as long as they don't play a real role in the story. I suspect Queen Elizabeth is used to being a part of fiction by now, from Matilda to Dr Who. It might be another matter if she had been shown having an affair or there was a story in which she was murdered. You should ask permission- and remind yourself that you'd appreciate that if someone wrote YOU into a story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thoughts! But do you get a weird fiction meeting reality feeling when real people pop up?

      Delete
  2. I usually have a vision of a real place in my head, but I like to make it new. That said, I have no issue with real places showing up in novels, as long as they fit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really want to thank Dr Emu for saving my marriage. My wife really treated me badly and left home for almost 3 month this got me sick and confused. Then I told my friend about how my wife has changed towards me then she told me to contact Dr Emu that he will help me bring back my wife and change her back to a good woman. I never believed in all this but I gave it a try. Dr Emu casted a spell of return of love on her, and my wife came back home for forgiveness and today we are happy again. If you are going through any relationship stress or you want back your Ex or Divorce husband you can contact his whatsapp +2347012841542 or email emutemple@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is another testimony on how Chief Dr Lucky cured my HIV disease. Do you need a cure for your HIV disease? Do you want to be cured from your cancer disease? Or you want to be free from any type of disease. Kindly visit his website https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/ . He just cured my HIV disease and I’m very grateful to him, he is the only herbalist that can cure you.  
    WhatsApp number : +2348132777335 
    Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
    Thank you all for reading,
    God bless"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my wife have been having a lot of problem living together, she will always not make me happy because she have fallen in love with another man outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my wife leave this woman but the more i talk to her the more she makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because she no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my wife again. this spell caster who was a man told me that my wife is really under a great spell that she have been charm by some magic, so he told me that he was going to make all things normal back. he did the spell on my wife and after 5 days my wife changed completely she even apologize with the way she treated me that she was not her self, i really thank this man his name is Dr ose he have bring back my wife back to me i want you all to contact him who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem he will solve it for you. his email is oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com  he is a man and his  great. wish you good time.
    He cast spells for different purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dream
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) HIV/AIDS CURE
    (10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery

    Contact him today on oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com or whatsapp him on +2348136482342.  https://www.facebook.com/Dr-odion-spell-temple

    ReplyDelete