Monday, April 21, 2014

Why Readers Hate the Generic City

The “Generic City” is a much-hated writing mistake that results when writers are too lazy, rushed, or intimidated to fill in an actual setting for their fiction. So they keep the setting vague and unnamed to avoid spending much time on it. Please read on for Why Readers Hate the Generic City.


  1. Totally with you on a lot of that. Give your characters a sense of place.

    One thing:
    While residents of the city or the town might not think of it in those terms, folks from the suburbs or the nearby countryside will.

    Back in Peculiar, it was always "I have to go into the City for [shopping, dr appointment, see the inlaws]." and the City was always Kansas City, which started about Grandview and ran north to about Kearny.

    Now that I live in a bedroom community, it's "I have to go into town for [work, meeting, shopping.]" Town is Memphis, anywhere from the River (the Mississippi River) out to the far eastern suburbs, because I live on the west side.

  2. Angelia! How cool to hear from you again! Thank you for your comment. These are good points about people in the surrounding areas having a different viewpoint.

    And I still remember a comment a few years back that you made about enjoying specific locations in fiction, especially if they match up to places you've driven through and are very familiar with. Me, too. In fiction, movies, or tv shows. I think specific locations add so much.


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