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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: CC on September 07, 2011, 01:40 PM

Title: pretend town name
Post by: CC on September 07, 2011, 01:40 PM
I'm drawing a blank.  Anyone want to throw out a pretend town name -- for a small California town.

I like Greenville but that's already a town in NC.

Or Fairfax, but again, already a town.


Something with "Green" in it, of "Ville" attached to the end? Anything will be useful.   :help
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Lwrites on September 07, 2011, 01:55 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with using the names you like, even if they are names of real towns. It would be jarring to the reader if it were a famous name - "Sally lived in the small town of Philadelphia in California" - but from what you described, you're not in any danger of that.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: AnnH on September 07, 2011, 01:56 PM
I think it's okay to use Greenville, since it is in a different state and there is not one in CA. After all, there something like 26 states which have a "Springfield," and The Simpons takes place in Springfield.

Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Sam Hranac on September 07, 2011, 01:57 PM
Is there any way to conjure up a town history to help? Is it old and based on some industry (Copperville or Loggerton)?

... Or named after a natural feature like Heather Lake or Twin Bluffs?

Is it new and developed all at once with a made-up-ish name like Pine Grove or Meadowville?
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Jaclyn Dolamore on September 07, 2011, 02:08 PM
There are tons of Greenvilles if you Google it! It's pretty generic. But there already is one in CA.

I threw the name "Kent" in my latest manuscript as the name of a small town in Maine, but then I googled it and there already is a Fort Kent, ME, so I changed it to Holt. A lot of the names in the book for both people and places come from historical figures who were radicals or spiritualists because it's a ghost story of sorts, so that's always an idea--maybe pick names based on people with some vague connection to the book's themes.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: C.K. on September 07, 2011, 02:16 PM
I sometimes look at maps of other countries for ideas. Is there a Hastings or Greytown in Cali? We have an Orangeville up here you can borrow if you like  :moose
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: RJ_Anderson on September 07, 2011, 03:14 PM
What about Greensbury?
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: olmue on September 07, 2011, 03:14 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with using a town name that already exists somewhere else. As has been said, there is a Springfield in nearly every state, it seems! Sometimes I browse maps for town names in other states and see if I can insert that town into a new state.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: 217mom on September 07, 2011, 04:24 PM
There's a town in Australia called Townsville. I love this name. I looked it up and they are having some sort of project they call 'Verde Townsville." Not only a town, and a 'Ville," but you get 'green' in Spanish to boot.
California has many Spanish names. Just a thought.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Lill on September 07, 2011, 04:39 PM
When I make up town names .. I google to make sure there isn't one in the state in which the story is set .. other than that .. I don't worry. There are so many duplicate town names .. of even famous places. I think somebody once thought I was being snooty or deceitful when I casually mentioned something about our old apartment in Athens. I never fathomed that I sounded pretentious .. I'm from Georgia for Pete's sake.  (Athens, Georgia is where the University of Georgia is located ... and I guess somebody thought I was talking about Greece.) And I "think" there's a Paris, Texas around her somewhere.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: AnnH on September 07, 2011, 04:56 PM
Is there a Cottage Grove in CA? It's a small town in OR.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Jaina on September 07, 2011, 05:47 PM
I think there are Greenvilles in almost every state, but I happen to be from the one in NC.  I hereby give you the name.  From now on, the town formerly known as Greenville will be called "Jainaburg."
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: CC on September 08, 2011, 06:01 AM
I think there are Greenvilles in almost every state, but I happen to be from the one in NC.  I hereby give you the name.  From now on, the town formerly known as Greenville will be called "Jainaburg."

Wow, thanks.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm furiously writing them down...   :turtlego:
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Eric Hammond on September 08, 2011, 06:25 AM
Lush Arbor?
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: literaticat on September 08, 2011, 06:58 AM
I would just keep in mind the climate / topography. In much of California, you'd be looking at beach, desert or mediterranean climate zones, or mountainy, or redwood forests - all pretty dry. To me, "Greenville" sounds more humid and lush (maybe bc I am thinking of it in terms of the South, tho!)  Also, as mentioned above, so many places in California have spanish-influenced names....

Santa Carmela
Verde Beach
Rocky Point
Plumdale
Almendra (if they are in central cali where almonds are grown - Almendra is Almond in spanish)
Sierra Grande
Great Pines
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Liz Straw on September 08, 2011, 04:59 PM
Green Acres.   (couldn't resist)

Fort Greensburg
Greeneburg
Green's Point
Green Pines

Mr. Greenjeans

softly leaving... :inbox:
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Melissa on September 08, 2011, 09:31 PM
I'm going to agree with this:

I don't think there's anything wrong with using a town name that already exists somewhere else. As has been said, there is a Springfield in nearly every state, it seems! Sometimes I browse maps for town names in other states and see if I can insert that town into a new state.

but also Jennifer's comment on the Spanish influence & also region.  Are you talking more desert? SoCal? Bay Area? Greenville  is great for the desert. It has that hopefulness-dashed thing going on. I like playing with "Verde," especially in the San Diego area.

I make up my towns. My WL series is in Huntsdale, named thus bc of the Wild Hunt.  My adult is Claysville (bc of the life/death, return to the dirt/clay/soil thing). So, regional or plot are my suggestions. . .

Admittedly, I hear "Greenville" & think "which one? NC or SC?" The one in SC is one of the largest cities in the state, so I think it's not a name I'd pick . . . but that could be a regional reaction.    
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Wonky on September 09, 2011, 12:10 AM
Why are you worried about this? No one is gonna sue you or anything.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: CC on September 09, 2011, 06:11 AM
I'm not worried about it. Just drawing a blank and thought I'd ask the smart people of the BB to fling out some interesting names, rather than stare at my paper with 800 names of my own .  :fishing

Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Wonky on September 09, 2011, 03:55 PM
I'm not worried about it. Just drawing a blank and thought I'd ask the smart people of the BB to fling out some interesting names, rather than stare at my paper with 800 names of my own .  :fishing



I think naming towns/cities is just about as hard as naming characters!
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Eric Hammond on September 09, 2011, 04:44 PM
Some town names are not at all reflective of their areas or atmosphere, and appear inspired by irony. We all have driven through some desolate tumble named Euphoria or Paradise Hills or Ambrosia.
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: AbigailW on September 27, 2011, 10:23 PM
There are lots of mountains and valleys out here. Green Hills? Mountain Green? Mountain Ville. Green Valley?

Have a shamrock  :)
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: yellow_submarine on September 27, 2011, 10:47 PM
A couple of years ago I wrote a manuscript requiring quite a few imaginary town names. Just for fun, I built the town names from variants of friends' and family members' names (eg. [Name]ton or [Name]ville). My sister was very excited to find a subtle reference to herself in the manuscript. If all else fails, perhaps you could do something similar as a sneaky "in joke" for a friend or relative. :)
Title: Re: pretend town name
Post by: Jeff Smith on November 18, 2011, 03:01 PM
I have lived in California my whole life. We have a huge hispanic influence so what about Verdeville? Verde is green in Spanish. NAILED IT!