Sometimes authors invent regions, which are very similar to real ones, e. g.
- Gabriel García Márquez's Macondo (which is similar to real city of Aracataca) or
- William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County (similar to Lafayette County).
I understand the benefit of using an existing region as a scene for fiction because you know it well, and you can describe it in little details, which makes the reader feel that you know the place intimately.
But what's the benefit of inventing a fictional region, which is based on a real one? Why not use the real one in the novel?
I'm asking because I'm writing a story, which plays in a region I grew up in. I need to decide, whether I should use a fake city based on that real city, or use the real one in the story.
Benefits of inventing a new city
- Easier pronounciation. The real city is in German-speaking part of Europe. My target audience is English-speaking and is likely to break their tongues, if I use real location names in my story. In a fictional city I can name the places so that English-speaking readers can remember them more easily.
- Adaptability of the world. I can bend the history of the fake city so that it suits the needs of my story in the best possible way (even if in reality the history was different).
- No stereotypes. If I say that the story plays in Moscow (strongly stereotyped place), the reader will have ideas about the characters and the settings, incl. those I don't want her to have. If I have a fake city based on Moscow, it's me, who decides, which ideas come to her mind based on the geography of the story.
Any other benefits?