Fun With Maps: Now…where do those homes go?

Yesterday I shared my floor plans for one of my novels and yeah, that was fun. Today I’m talking about another facet of setting, and that’s where, well, the story actually takes place. (Or, where the houses and apartments that yesterday’s floor plans represent actually go.)

The CROSS// series takes place in a fictional, alternate universe version of San Francisco. This pretty much means that I base as much as I can on the actual city (without ever calling it by name, to boot) but don’t feel bad about taking creative liberties when I need to. I’ve never lived in the city, and I’ve never spent more than a few (really, really intense and exhausting) days in nor nearby it, but damn if I haven’t been spending most of my research time on San Francisco and its geography and culture. I think the only thing I research more for this series is the American military. And that one’s just really confusing most of the time.

One thing I’ve been focusing on a lot lately is figuring out where exactly in San Francisco my characters live. Now, I started writing like a dumbass before figuring all this out, and then I decided about a year ago that I actually did care. So I had all these “rules” I had for myself – so-and-so lives downtown, so-and-so lives in an affluent single-family neighborhood, so-and-so lives near the university (where is the university omg), and so-and-so lives in an abandoned warehouse on the water – and was determined to stay with while also coming up with logical neighborhoods for everyone to live in. This week I finally sat down and wrote it out on the hand-dandy map I printed out and took a picture of above. While doing this I found out that in reality my characters really can’t afford the neighborhoods they live in, and hey! I don’t care! In my fictional version the cost of living is slightly cheaper! Oh, and I have an entirely fictional military district in the middle of downtown. Yeah, I’m sure that’s totally feasible. (That would be “M-Town” on the map.) Also, damn if Devon doesn’t move a whole damn lot in the series.

I originally wanted to buy an actual to-scale map with labelled neighborhoods and streets while I was in SFO last week, but the only one I found was almost ten dollars! LOL~~ So yea, I just printed a crappy one off from the internet.

So, readers, you ever go to this extreme before? Tell me about your fictional Detroit. Even better, tell me about your fictional Portland, because even though I’ve lived in Oregon my whole life (minus this past year) I know like, nothing about it. You could totally fool me.