Basing your setting on a familiar location

In order to avoid the distracting 'street map' scenario, an effective alternative is to throw in one or two well-known evocative names. This encourages the reader to use their imagination to fill in the blanks, as demonstrated by the following rewrite of the previous City of London example:

Leaving the Bank of England, Barnaby made his way from Threadneedle Street towards St Paul's, feeling a flicker of excitement as he read off the historic names of the roads he passed. Old Jewry, Bow Lane, Bread Street, Cheapside. Barnaby recited them to himself as he tried, in vain, to block out the intrusive din of the modern-day traffic.

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