real vs fictitious place names

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ari
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real vs fictitious place names

Post by ari » October 7th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Hi Mr. Bransford,

I have a YA novel that, when I first wrote it, was set largely in Palo Alto and on the campus of Stanford, where my MC's older sister is a graduate student. Several people have suggested to me that setting it at a real university might be a problem, so I've gone in and changed my place names and renamed my college. However, I do think it loses a bit of its impact this way.

Do agents/editors generally dislike the use of actual college names, as I've been told? Or is this incorrect?

FWIW, I have taken a few liberties with the insides of buildings, but apart from that my settings are accurate.

Thanks!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: real vs fictitious place names

Post by Nathan Bransford » October 7th, 2010, 9:35 pm

I think there are varying opinions about this. I think as long as it's a neutral and/or accurate portrayal of a place, a real location can add to the atmosphere. If however you're fictionalizing it, I might think about inventing a fictional place. I'd go with your gut, and if it's a problem down the line for an agent or publisher you can always change it.

ari
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Re: real vs fictitious place names

Post by ari » October 9th, 2010, 10:52 am

Thank you so much! I appreciate your taking the time to answer my question.

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