Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Must Everything Be Real?
I believe I know the answer is no as long as it's believable. To me that's using creative licence, but I'd like to hear from you. For example, if you had a murder at a Holiday Inn, I don't think you'd want to be saying it was the one in Toronto, on such and such a road. Or if a murder happened in a house, you wouldn't want to give the number of an existing address.
But when it comes to locations such as restaurants and hotels, is it okay to stretch reality as long as it's feasible?
Currently, I'm editing my novel ELEVEN, and it's set in real locations with Salt Lick, Kentucky being one of them. While there are two hotels there (most are cabin rentals), the one I was considering having my FBI team stay at doesn't have a restaurant. I had wanted a restaurant in the hotel, but I also pictured more of a motel - single story with the parking lot in the middle. I believe it's the type you can picture in a small rural town like that, and if so is that invention alright to use? But if I go with the lodge that's there, I'd have to pick a restaurant. And then, the question comes up, do I really what to "advertise" all these businesses?
What about you? How would you handle it? I want to stay as true as possible to the location, but is it alright to compromise, as in my case have a hotel like the one that's there (no on-site restaurant), but assign it a different name, for example? Would something like this be better than inventing a complete new motel with an on-site restaurant?
What are your thoughts? If you pick a real location, must everything be real, or just believable?
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.