#MondayBlogs Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations

24 Aug


I’m passionate about many things, but writing and traveling top my list, and I find myself combining them all the time. Need a location for a story? Hey, that place I saw last summer would be perfect. Need something more exotic ? Maybe something surreal? Combining and creating comes into play. Today, our guest blogger, Natacha Guyot, is talking about just that.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

#MondayBlogs: Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations

I have loved imagining worlds and stories since I was a kid. I think I was a storyteller even before knowing how to write. From a young age, my passions have been Science Fiction and Fantasy. These remain my favorite genres to read and write. Even my nonfiction projects often focus on these genres.

I wrote my first novella and novel when a teenager. Even during my ten year break from original fiction, I still took notes about new universes. I love world building although my stories most often start with one or more characters when I only have a vague idea of the settings.

I still write about imaginary locations but end of 2014, a shift happened. I started writing a short story collection, which will be the first of a series. It is a Supernatural / Urban Fantasy universe. Most of the events take place in the UK. While all locations in the stories exist, I decided to focus a lot of my characters’ lives in the London area and Oxford. In 2008-2009, I lived in London and it has been my favorite city since then. As for Oxford, I visited it in 2012 for two conferences and fell in love with the place too.

I make sure to look up for some details (without getting lost in them) even for real locations I am familiar with. One of the funniest things about the scenes in London was using Google Maps to check on some streets and places. One character lives near where I used to and I was shocked finding out that my student residence had closed!

Mansfield College in Oxford, where I went to in 2012 for 2 conferences. It inspired my Fae character Dylan's estate in Clairvoyance Chronicles

Mansfield College in Oxford, where I went to in 2012 for 2 conferences. It inspired my Fae character Dylan’s estate in Clairvoyance Chronicles

This experience made me want to write more stories in places I love, regardless of how many Science Fiction and Fantasy universes I’ll keep creating! My home town still has a special place in my heart, so I decided to write a series about vampires taking place there! I am only at the note taking stage now but am excited about “Vampiric Versailles” (very tentative title). I studied in Paris but I am not a big fan of it. I have always preferred Versailles and its direct area. Most tourists come for the palace, but I like its gardens better. I hope to include lesser known parts in my story.

If it wasn’t enough, I am currently developing the early outlines for a YA Fantasy trilogy which will take place in Perigord, where I spent most of my holidays when in high school and a few more years afterwards. I will create imaginary castles that are related to families in my story, but I am looking forward to blend made-up and real places.

What about you? Do you prefer writing imaginary or real places? Do you include a mix of both?


Natacha Guyot is a French author, scholar and public speaker. She works on Science Fiction, Transmedia, Gender Studies, Children Media and Fan Studies. She is a feminist, a fangirl, a bookworm, a vidder, a gamer and a cat lover.

Her released titles include Feminist Bloggers: The 2014 Collection (editor), Before Mako Came Yoko: Comparative Study of Pacific Rim and Yoko Tsuno and La Cité de Sharianth. She is currently working on a revised version of A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars with additional content and other nonfiction titles

She also writes Science Fiction and Fantasy stories.

Connect with her on natachaguyot.org, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook.

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.


11 Responses to “#MondayBlogs Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations”

  1. Natacha Guyot August 24, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    Thank you very much for having me here today. 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson August 24, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Thank you for coming on today! Great topic! I write about both real and imaginary places. In The Timely Death Trilogy, the main location isn’t real: Hayworth, Kansas. But the name is a combination of two towns in Kansas: Hays, Kansas and Ellsworth, Kansas.

  2. theowllady August 24, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

  3. alanasiegel August 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    I like a mix of real places and imaginary places. Magical realism is my favorite genre!

  4. Icy Sedgwick August 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    I like doing both. My first novella is set in the Old West and I did a lot of research into 1880s Arizona, while my second novella is set in a world of my own creation, which is based on the Victorian slums of London! It’s good to be able to try both, but even if you use real locations sometimes you have to fudge the details to make things work for the story.

    • Natacha Guyot August 26, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Finding the right way for each and every story is important. I have some projects delving into more historical aspects and the research is useful, especially when I went for places I am not familiar with.


  1. #MondayBlogs Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations | careabouteducation - August 24, 2015

    […] #MondayBlogs Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations. Yeah i might mix both. to writing especially don’t have a personal category. In the start i’ll write about what my mind think and flow it into the paragraph until an article. Nice share Thom, Thanks […]

  2. Next Week on the Blog | Natacha Guyot - August 29, 2015

    […] And if you missed it this week, I was a guest on Shannon A. Thomspon’s blog on Monday, where I discussed writing about real an…. […]

  3. August Ketchup | Shannon A Thompson - August 31, 2015

    […] Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations: Written by Natacha Guyot, this post covers exactly what the title talks about—real and imaginary locations. […]

  4. August Recap | Natacha Guyot - September 1, 2015

    […] Writing About Real and Imaginary Locations – Shannon A. Thompson […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: