Fictional location

Fictional locations are places that exist only in fiction and not in reality. Writers may create and describe such places to serve as backdrop for their fictional works. Fictional locations are also created for use as settings in Role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. They may also be used for technical reasons in actual reality for use in the development of specifications, such as the fictional country of "Bookland", which is used to allow EAN "country" codes 978 and 979 to be used for ISBN numbers assigned to books, and code 977 to be assigned for use for ISSN numbers on magazines and other periodicals.

Fictional locations vary greatly in their size. Very small places like a single room are kept out of the umbrella of fictional locations by convention, as are most single buildings. A fictional location can be the size of a university (H.P. Lovecraft's Miskatonic University), a town (Stephen King's Salem's Lot), a county (Raintree County), a state (Winnemac in various Sinclair Lewis stories), a large section of continent (as in "Lord of the Rings", which supposedly represents Europe before 'western' sections sank), a whole planet (Anne McCaffrey's Pern), a whole galaxy (Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" books), even a multiverse ("His Dark Materials"). In a larger scale, occasionally the term alternate reality is used, but only if it is considered a variant of Earth rather than an original world. Austin Tappan Wright's "Islandia" has an invented continent, Karain, on our world.

Locating a story

Within narrative prose, providing a believable location can be greatly enhanced by the provision of maps and other illustrations. [cite web | title=Mapping a fictional location | author=Elsa Neal | work= Fiction Writing Site | url=http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art9382.asp | accessdate=2007-01-05 ] This is often considered particularly true for fantasy novels and historical novels which often make great use of the map, but applies equally to science fiction and mysteries: earlier, in mainstream novels by Anthony Trollope, William Faulkner, etc.. Fantasy and science fiction novels often also provide sections which provide documentation of various aspects of the environment of the fiction, including languages, character lists, cultures and, of course, locations.

In an online article on writing Dawn Arkin writes about the importance of location to the author's art.

"Setting has become a very important part of most novels." (Dawn Arkin) cite | title=Location, Location, Location - Or What Should Your Story's Setting Be? | author=Dawn Arkin | publisher= "Writing-and-Speaking/Writing" | date=2007-01-05 Please note: this was taken from the following external link:
www. ezinearticles .com/?Location,-Location,-Location---Or-What-Should-Your-Storys-Setting-Be?&id=293268 ]
But if the location is real that can bring discipline to the creative process or a straightjacket from which some authors will need to escape.

"Creating a fictional location has many advantages for the writer. You get to name the town, streets, businesses, schools, etc. Everything inside your town is under your control." (Dawn Arkin) cite web | title=Location, Location, Location - Or What Should Your Story's Setting Be? | author=Dawn Arkin | work=Writing-and-Speaking/Writing | url=http://ezinearticles.com/?Location,-Location,-Location---Or-What-Should-Your-Storys-Setting-Be?&id=293268 | accessdate=2007-01-05 ]

Maps are an immediate necessity for some works, as they do not take place on our Earth. Writers need working maps to keep straight at a glance whether the castle is north or south of the river, and how long it takes to get between valleys. Lin Carter, in Chapter 9 of "": "Of World-Making: Some Problems of the Invented Milieu," dealt directly with fictional geography, and how to prevent snags.

Authors are as forgetful and absent-minded as the lesser breeds of humankind, and a simple precaution like taking a moment to sketch out a map helps prevent such errors and inconsistencies (upon which eagle-eyed readers are bound to swoop with gleeful cries, thereafter sitting down to write nasty letters to the poor author).

Sometimes an actual geographic corner is used as a model for "getting it right," and identifying these can become a game for readers. Authors may turn an island into a continent or vice versa, rotate orientation, or combine two similar locales to get the best (for the story) of both.

ee also

* Amalgamation (fiction)
* List of fictional locations
*

Footnotes

References

*cite book | title=The Atlas of Fantasy| first=J. B. | last=Post | authorlink=J. B. Post | publisher=Mirage Press | location= | edition= | date= | id= [ISBN 0-345-27399-0] - it includes science fiction and mainstream maps, as well as maps imagined only for their own sake, lacking any literary connection.

*cite book | title= | first=Lin | last=Carter | authorlink=Lin Carter | publisher=Ballantine Books | location=New York | edition= | date=1973 | id=


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