Striking a balance

Another problem with using a well-known location is that of striking the balance between instant recognition and distracting realism. The following passage details the progress of a character through the City of London.

Leaving the Bank of England, Barnaby made his way to St Paul's Cathedral. He followed the route from Threadneedle Street to Cheapside, passing St Mildred's and Grocer's Hall Courts, Old Jewry, Ironmonger Lane and King Street on his right and Bucklersbury, Queen Street, Bow Lane and Bread Street on his left.

Whilst the famous names mentioned provide an unmistakable London setting, there is very little atmosphere in this passage. There is the added difficulty, too, that anyone familiar with the area may well begin to wonder if the route and road names are correct. At best, this will distract them from the storyline and at worst, they may put the story down while they go off and search for their London A to Z.

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