How to write address?

by Kushal

Question: My question is basically that when writing certain addresses, should real house numbers be taken or we should fabricate entirely different numbers so as to reduce any chances of getting sued?

Answer: Unless a building has historical significance (such as the White House), it's usually best not to provide real house numbers.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave Sherlock Holmes the address of 221B Baker Street, London, which caused a lot of trouble for the bank which was located at that address.

For decades the bank received letters from people all over the world who thought Sherlock Holmes was a real person and wanted his help tracking down their lost jewelry, pets, spouses, etc. The bank actually employed someone to write back to all these people and explain that Mr. Holmes was engaged upon other matters, so perhaps they should try their local police.

Today, 221B Baker Street houses a museum dedicated to Sherlock Holmes, which is a fun solution to the problem.

However, just in case your book becomes famous, you don't want to cause a headache for real life occupants of an address. It's best to make something up.

Even if you want to name a specific neighbourhood because of its cultural distinctiveness, you should probably invent a fake street or just be vague about where a character lives.

After all, in most cases it doesn't matter so much to the story.

Best of luck.

Comments for How to write address?

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 28, 2016
your instructions to how to write a book
by: anita montoya

wow wow wow is all I can say for the information I learned from you tonight. thank you. I am lost for words, I want to write a story about my son. he's doing life without parole. this will help dramatically.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.