I like to imagine the towns I write about in varying detail, sometimes I will create a town in my head that is just boxes representing buildings and lines creating roads. But, sometimes, I put a lot of detail in, I’m talking about a lot of detail here friends, even down to grass texture.
I’m working on my first series of books, I’ve finished the first (it’s with an author buddy of mine, shout out to Fizzypop!), and I’m on to the second. Same set of main characters, same location, which is a made up town. I can imagine every little part of this town, if I shut my eyes I can walk through the streets and see the lake, or the police station, or the local farm. I can see it all. And let me tell you friends, it’s beautiful here, towering trees, open grassland and hedges surrounding the farmers fields where mice play in the undergrowth. The beautiful town of Puddleford.
Today I decided to attempt to draw what I can see. I discovered very quickly that my hands do not cooperate when I try to recreate what I can see! So this is a semi detailed map of Puddleford. I will add more detail, lots more detail when I can.
I wanted to share it with you because often I see people asking how to create fictional towns or villages and how you know where you are book after book. Creating it in my head is the easy part for me, transferring it into paper is not so easy. But a tip I will give you for creating a fictional town is to imagine a very small part of it in great detail in your imagination and begin to spread out from there. Maybe even just start with a single house, or a tree, anything that is relevant to your story. Watch it bloom and come alive as you imagine it more vividly. Visit it daily, even if you are not writing, still visit it. What does it look like in each season? How does the terrain change? Are there any landmarks?
My favourite time in Puddleford is Autumn, the leaves are changing, the farmer has grown pumpkins and the local school has a mini Halloween parade through the streets where the children dress up and carry lanterns and the shops pass out sweets as they go by. The wind has a certain nip to it and the end of my main female characters nose goes a little red. It’s the only time of year my main male character relaxes, as like me, he loves Puddleford in Autumn.
Imagine it in any way you want, but the more you think about it the more alive your writing will become.
See you soon!