Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: The Setting... Does anyone really care?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Setting... Does anyone really care?


The third book in my O’Fallon series, I’ll Be Seeing U, is out and the setting is O’Fallon’s Landing (a little river town on the Mississippi I made up) right outside Memphis. I loved writing about these four great guys but now it’s time to move on and the next books are set in Savannah, meaning I’m going from made-up place to an actual place. What was I thinking??

And I’m here to tell you that using a made up place is one heck of a lot easier then the real deal! If you make it up, it’s name the streets whatever you want. Put the police station, library, grandma’s house wherever it suits you.
But now...holy cow...it is Savannah! It exists, I cannot put a bank where St. John’s church stands and I can’t put a rowboat on the Savannah River unless I want it run over by a freighter.

As I sit here looking at the map of Savannah plastered over my computer I’m thinking...holy moly, is it worth it??? Okay, I know Savannah is worth it but is me setting my book there worth the effort. If I just made up Savannah, call it Sweet Tea or something equally southern would that work as well?? Sure would be easier. ‘Coure I couldn’t use all the neat stuff that makes Savannah unique either. Hummm...

So, the question is… What do you all think? Do you like reading the made up towns? Or...do you like reading about New York, Las Angeles, Vegas, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Ohio?
What works for you all?
And...what is your favorite setting?

Dianne

17 comments:

Erin the Innocent said...

It doesn't really matter to me if the place is made up or not. If it's a real place, though, I want the details to be as true to life as possible. (hope that makes sense)

Jenni Kidwell said...

Real cities.. made up cities... they both work for me... just as long as they are memorable characters.. like these O'Fallon brothers (*SIGH*). This is the first I'm reading of this series.. but I am loving it, Dianne!!! Can't wait to get my hands on the former stories of these guys!! Jenni

Jennifer Y. said...

It doesn't matter to me if the setting is real or made up...I like all types of settings. I usually care more about the story though than the setting, but I know that the setting can play an important part in the story and can really bring the story and characters to life.

I do agree with Erin that if it is a real place, I would want the details to be accurate.

Jodi said...

I don't really care about the setting. But if it's an actual place, then, you are correct, the details have to accurate.

Stacy~ said...

I agree with everyone here. Doesn't matter, but if it is real, it better be accurate.

I'd like to read about places that aren't written about as much. I love reading about Chicago, New Orleans, Vegas, but we need some new places too. Cities in Canada, Vermont, Oregon, Wyoming, South Carolina, Minnesota, etc. I want somewhere new with some interesting true facts about those places.

Amy S. said...

I like to read both. Favorite settings are New Orleans, Miami, Seattle, Vegas, Hawaii, and Australia.

Cryna said...

I am with the rest of the posts, it doesn't matter to me if the place is real or made up. But if it is a real place than the facts have to be correct.

The characters come alive in the story no matter where the setting.

I love to read about different places, but I can imagine places like O'Fallon's Landing, because you know that even if it is made up that somewhere there just might be a place that is similar.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Diane,

I don't really have a special or favorite settings, but I like Floridian setting because I know the places. LOL

Kathleen said...

I enjoy reading about small towns and as for the setting...it doesn't matter to me if the town is made up or not. I think it actually more fun to read a made up town b/c of al the fun possibilities they can have.

And Dianne, I'll ready any book you write no matter what setting is!! :)

Diana said...

Just reiterating what previous posts have already stated. I don't have a preference when it comes to settings. I like both real places and made-up ones. I like reading about San Francisco because it's where I live, and I think it's fun when I recognize streets or places that are mentioned in books. I also like reading about small towns because as someone who's only lived in a city, it's fun for me to imagine what living in a small town would be like.

kim said...

i don't mind, as long as it is entertaning and fun.

Judy F said...

I like both real and made up. It is kinda neat to have a story about your home town or a place that you know well. In those cases I want them to be as acurate as they can be.

Niny said...

It really doesnt matter to me, real or made up the characters are the most important. Of course, depending on the story the setting is important too, and if is a real place accuracy is important. Hope this makes sense to you. As long as it is a fun story I will read it, and yours always are!

Lee Hyat said...

Ditto on what everyone said. It doesn't matter to me if the setting is based on real cities or totally from your imagination but if it's a real setting, accuracy matters.
True, characters are more important than the setting but personally I like to get a feel for the surroundings/time frame the story is based in so I can identify (or try to) with the characters more.
As for favorite setting - as long as the story/characters/plot is engaging and fun, I don't care where the story is set.

spyscribbler said...

I absolutely LOVE when an author makes a setting so vivid that it actually becomes a character in the book. Love, love, love ... like Bangkok 9 or Barry Eisler's incredibly detailed research. Evanovich, too.

I don't care if it's real or made-up, as long as it's vivid. Real is more fun, because I get to feel like I've been somewhere, even when I'm stuck at home.

Tempest Knight said...

I don't mind reading about made-up towns. For me, the important thing is the plot.

Jen said...

It doesn't really matter to me if the town is real or not. As far as accuracy goes, I've probably never been there so I wouldn't know if the details are accurate or not. What matters to me are the people in the book and the story.

That would be a hoot if you changed the location of your book from Savannah to a small town called Sweet Tea. Hey, there is a little off-shoot community from my town here in SC named Cheddar (pronounced shedder). If we can have a Cheddar, you can have a Sweet Tea.