Monday, October 30, 2017

Mistakes of the Past Blitz! - guest post about creating a fictional town

Thornwood: Creating a fictional town

I have a habit in my writing, I don’t often use real places. In my YA, Snapshots, the city Cyc lives in, I didn’t have a name until one of the very last drafts. I picked a name along the lines of Los Angeles and had a bit of meaning. In Path of Angels, and Abducted Life, there are no names for the towns the characters are from. It just wasn’t important to the story.

But when it came to Mistakes of the Past, I needed a town name because it matters to Rose. She wants to escape the town and the tragedy attached. Plus, the characters kept talking about the place. When I introduce Rose, she’s looking at the name to the town!

Many writers will use real places, but that has its downsides. You gotta get details right. That’s hard if you don’t live near the place. And trust me, someone who lives there will let you know. This is the main reason why I often make up the places where my characters live. I can arrange it how I need it to and don’t have to worry about getting it wrong and throwing readers out of the scene.

Of course, that’s not to say I don’t get inspiration from real towns and cities.

Thornwood is actually a mix of two towns I grew up around: Newberry and Curtis, Michigan. Curtis is a tiny, little tourist trap. You can drive through it in a minute. Newberry is bigger, but not by much. I mashed them together to get a small town where most everyone knows each other, but it’s also big enough for a hospital. Both aren’t too far from where I currently live, so the inspiration for the city (which I never bothered to name) is inspired by that. Although, that city is much bigger than the one I live in.

Will I ever use a real life place for a story? Yeah. It will probably be somewhere I have visited or can easily. That will allow me to make sure the streets I use are accurate and makes sense.

Luc seeks atonement for the actions that banished him from his home. Living as a priest in a small town, he strives to show how much he’s changed with the hope that one day he can return to his family.

Haunted by the guilt that destroyed her family, Rose has shut her heart off. She vows to never let anyone near again lest she hurt them. When she meets Luc, she can’t deny the draw she feels to him.

But the past is not easily forgotten. When Luc’s past finds him, Rose is caught in the middle. Forced to face who he used to be, Luc must decide if he’s willing to give up his chance at redemption to save Rose. But doing so means he won’t be able to hide who he is. Will Rose be able to reconcile the man she knows with the devil he used to be? Or are the mistakes of the past too damning?

Buy the book:

About the Author:
Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Find Patricia on: Twitter * Google+ * Website * Newsletter * Wattpad * Goodreads * Books


  1. Great idea to take two towns that you knew about and put them together to create a town. Congrats to Patricia on her book!

  2. Congratulations, Patricia!
    Nothing wrong with using a fictional town. As you said, no details to mess up.

  3. I've only used real towns and it's a lot of work to get the details right.

    Congrats on the release, Patricia.

  4. So far I have only used made up towns and worlds for same reasons but I have had a story where I referred to a real town but story does not take place there.

    Congrats and Nice Book Cover.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  5. Congrats to Patricia on her release.

    I can't imagine using a real town. I'd be scared I'd get something wrong. So much easier to make things up.

  6. It depends on the book, I'm writing. Sometimes, I create a town specially for the story. Other times, I just go with an existing place.

  7. Congratulations to Patricia!

    I flip back and forth on this. I like to take inspiration from real places for a made up place, I also like to completely make up places, and I also like to use real places. I write paranormal, and I think that makes me feel like I can take liberties with the landscape. LOL! I'm not opposed to making up street names and businesses for example. But if I'm going to name a real landmark, I do try to get it accurate. The most important thing to me is getting the weather right. Everything else I mention is probably going to be made up anyway.

  8. Cheers and congrats on the release!

    Lucky for us, we just set all of our stories in Colorado. Places we know. Not just because of laziness, but because we don't see a lot of stories set around here. So it's unique. But... also lazy.

  9. Thanks to everyone for stopping in today! It's an awesome read. :)

  10. Thanks for the thought-provoking post on setting, Patricia! I have to admit I've been struggling to figure out if the place my characters are from and having most of their story in really needs a name. At first, it was located in my home city, but then I realized there are some "needs" of the story that don't quite fit life here. I thought, maybe further out in ... a town I won't name ... but now, I wonder if I really need to name the place at all. It might be better if I didn't. What about naming a region? Does that work?

  11. Thanks for having me, Christine (as I finally remember to go visit all the blogs that hosted me a month later. LOL)

    Thanks everyone for the comments! <3

    Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine


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