If it’s set in London then I’ll feel the need to include certain London landmarks to establish that yes, this is indeed London. I may even feel the need to set certain scenes or situations in and around famous places. Because if you’re going to use a recognisable real world location, you might as well, you know, use it. But did I really want to do that?
I mean, it might make the setting more interesting I guess, give it a little historical flavour…but do I really need that in this novel? I often think of the setting as a character itself, and I don’t want the setting in this case to overshadow the plot or the actual characters.
I asked myself - would establishing the city as London, or indeed, any real world city, in any way add to the plot? The answer was no. And so, the city in WTFD is just that - ‘the City’. No name. No famous landmarks. It doesn’t need them.
Because it really doesn’t matter what city it is. It could be any city, anywhere and that’s sort of the point. That’s the feeling I want for the setting. This could be happening to you. This could be your city, or a city near you. How would you react? How would you survive?