Fictional Versus Real Settings in Novels

Saint-Florent, Corsica

Saint-Florent on the island of Corsica appears in my books under a different name.

A sense of place in fiction is very important to me, both in my own work and in the novels I read. Some of my favourite authors, such as Hannah Kent, Helen Dunmore and Tracy Chevalier, excel at weaving the setting seamlessly into the story. Novels are about people, of course, but they are the product of their environment and culture, so the setting is an indispensable part of the story.

But should you write about real places or make them up? There is no right answer. Both of those alternatives have pros and cons.

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Festilitt – Parisot Literary Festival

Parisot perched on its hill

Where’s Parisot? It’s a hilltop village in Tarn-et-Garonne, Southwest France. You could be forgiven – but would be mistaken – for passing it by. Mistaken, not only because it has some interesting historical sites to see, but also because it hosts an Anglo-French literary festival every October. Continue reading