Using Real Locations While Writing


Hello everybody! I’m currently developing a new game idea that I have, though it’s definitely no where near ready to post. I already have a good idea of how I want the story to pan out up until a certain point, but that’s not the problem.

The question I have is whether it’s okay to use real specific locations while writing or rather make a new place inspired by the one I have in mind. I’m worried that I might need permission while doing the first one, but I’m not quite sure.

If you have know anything regarding this, I would love to hear it. Thanks!


Umm… that’s quite a question.
But think about it. Which location specifically you’re talking about?

Most, if not all, narrative or stories takes place in our blue planet “Earth.” Sure there’re some fantasy which takes place on alien planet and alternate-earth, but then they’re based on “Earth.”

Unless your location is located at someone’s fictional world/universe, you don’t need any permission at all.


The place that I have in mind is a real place on Earth, nothing fantasy about that lol. It’s technically a shinto shrine, so I’m not sure if it’s kosher for me to use it or just make a new shrine based off of it.


Aha, I see where your concerns are coming from.

If I put myself in your situation, I think I’ll…
IDK? I guess I’ll just go ahead.

Why it has to be that specific shrine, if I’m allowed to be curious?


Many authors use real locations, even if they need to “modify” those for their stories and make it a “fictional” location, most still base their locals on real life locations.


Through shenanigans (I’m trying to be really vague until I actually post a WIP thread) you are sent to the domain of a Shinto god, and they eventually send you back to Earth by dumping you in one of their most obscure shrines in Hawaii.


Alright, I think the best course of action is to just make a shrine based off the one I have in mind.

Thanks for the help!


I can’t imagine being kicked by a god out of their domain all the way to Hawaii :rofl:


Tell me about it! The god does act nicer if you show respect to them, but that’s up to the player. :grinning:

You still end up in Hawaii though, and the local Hawaiian gods aren’t pleased to see you either.

I think that’s all I’m gonna say about what I have planned for now, but thanks for showing an interest!


I feel like it’s fine to use real locations…? I mean, as long as you do your research. All anyone can do is tell you you’re wrong, and then you just do your best to fix it. Like, for instance, I’m kind-of-sort-of writing a game based in London and I name drop real places. I’ve never been to London, of course, but that’s what google is for. Hopefully, people will tell me when I’ve got the details wrong so I can make it better-- that’s the beauty of forums!

Sort of off topic, but I’m from Hawaii! I visited like two months ago and went to two different Shinto shrines with my Nana. If you don’t have first-hand experience feel free to hmu, dude. :smile_cat:


I think if you were to use real life locations that you should stick to ones you are familiar with; however, if you feel brave enough to use locations you’ve never been to then obviously research is important. I don’t think anyone will dog you too much for making a mistake about a location, at most they would (hopefully) just kindly let you know.

You don’t legally need permission to use a real life location in your story. If you were to moan and whine about a certain place and say it’s the worst place ever I’m sure some people would take issue and maybe even call it slander, but otherwise you should be fine. I would just be careful and avoid misrepresentation (i.e, saying something akin to “(this real place) is the dirtiest, most crime-ridden, hateful place ever”).


I would prefer to use the real locations since it makes the story seem more “real” but I’m not that far into the writing yet so I’m still flexible about it.

:astonished: And do you mind me asking which shrines you visited?


I see what you mean! And I’ve been trying my hardest to look up stuff about the shrine I’m using! This whole thing I have planned out has me doing a bunch of research honestly, but I’m enjoying it!