Location, Location, Location
by, March 28th, 2011 at 08:15 PM (1112 Views)
London has certainly made its mark on fantasy. There are depiction of it alongside a parallel world in both Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and China Mieville's Un Lun Dun. We see echoes of London in Mieville's New Crobuzon and Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork.
All of those authors are British, of course, which brings up an interesting question. How much of our secondary worlds are based on the places we're familiar with? While we might re-imagine them, how often do you find yourself adding personally familiar elements when creating a fantasy environment?
As for myself, I do this fairly often. I've based fictional cities on places I've lived, and incorporated architecture from those places. I've used the same general geological make up a few times, and based other places on the terrain I grew up around. Obviously, there's also a purely creative element when coming up with locations, but I do take bits and pieces of that puzzle from locations I know or have experienced.
Some of that is conscious, but I also find myself doing it unconsciously. After all, we all work from our own experiences and we all have particular images we associate with words like "temple," "market," or "village." Even if they're images of places we've never actually been.
Do you find that you incorporate familiar elements into your secondary worlds?