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February 26, 2018


Kathy Lynn Emerson

Great post. One other problem with relying on maps and photographs is that they don’t always show how hilly or flat a place is. And as Catriona mentioned, only by being there do you really get a sense of what you can see or feel (or smell) from a certain vantage point. Much easier to invent a town!


I don't know much about most places, so I take authors' word for it most of the time.

One exception was a book I read where the action led the characters to the town where I live...and the authors got the freeways wrong. How hard is that to look up on Google Maps? Seriously! I was already annoyed by the book, and that did nothing to change my mind at all. (And there was no reason plot wise to change it. This was just a lazy mistake.)

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Kathy, so true! And I always find something I wouldn't have--it always advances the story!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Mark, so frustrating! And more so in that it would have been just as easy to get it right. What a coincidence, though, for you to be reading it!


Argh, Mark. That's such an easy thing to check too. Some things are very difficult - like whether people in Edinburgh would by ready-made fondant icing in 1984. Still my thorniest research question ever.

Storyteller Mary

Oh Hank, I pity the poor tourist trying to find Linsdale . . . because I know you will make it THAT realistic.
I do love reading books set in places I have been, extending the travel with literary adventures. <3

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