General, writing

NaNo ’18: City Building

Since I’m being a rebel this year, a huge part of my NaNo Prep is actually getting the notes together to make sure my rewrite goes smoothly. The biggest part of that has been building the fictional city for my project. Because of the sheer amount of work I’ve been doing on that end, I thought I’d share some of that process, both to help anyone else in the same boat and as part of my NaNo ’18 Chronicles.


Once I picked out a name and relative location for the city, the biggest part was actually going through and picking out any details I’d put down in the early drafts. That left me with a list of locations and people’s names, which gave me a good place to start on figuring out my rough size of the city. After a little research I figured the city would have a population of around a hundred thousand.

With that figured out, it’s down to the map. That is turning out to be an adventure.

I’ve done continent maps before, and even sketched out little village maps, but a modern city map is something slightly different. I’m still in the early stages of figuring that out, but I’ll definitely have a post on that later, and hopefully it helps someone else out! Here’s a sneak peak for now.


As I’m going, I’m also building up a list of names to use for shops, streets and parks. some of my current (favorite) picks include:

  • Redden Blvd (I’ll also have Yellowed, Greener, Darkener and Lightened as street names)
  • Petite Palate
  • 3rd & Central (these are both a street name, and eventually the name of a coffee shop on the corner)

One of the big things I’m also running into is the exact placement of various city services such as police stations, fire departments and hospitals. Both response time and ease of access heavily affect these particular buildings.


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