Tuesday, February 28, 2012

21st Century Reminder

As an author, it is important to describe the world around my characters, to give the story a sense of place. I suck at this, at least during my first drafts, so I always have to go back and add scenery to make my worlds feel real.

One thing I've noticed about my writing, as far as scene-setting goes, is that I tend to forget what century my characters are in. No, I don't end up putting characters from a modern-day fantasy into Biblical times or anything. However, I can sometimes displace them by twenty or thirty years.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s, with just a dash of the 90s at the tail end of my teens. My novels, for the most part, are set in the present day, which roughly translates as the year in which I'm writing them. I draw upon my memories for information on teenage life, which is why I often forget about tiny little details about the current millennium.

Like cell phones. Nobody had one during my high school days, but they are plentiful now. Same with iPods. And the Internet. I don't think there is a single cellphone in Epoch or Evil. A cell plays a major role in the beginning of The Cupid War, but that's it. No iPods. Very little Internet usage. My books are stuck in an era that pre-dates the Star Wars prequels!

But they still work, I hasten to point out. The themes in my novels are universal, and I rite reel guud, tue. However, readers will wonder why Stuart Bradley doesn't have a blog, or why Trina Porten's friends don't mention each others' Facebook status updates.

I'm getting a lot better at it. The novel I'm working on now has websites and texting and everything. If I can remember to do that with every story, then who knows? I might just achieve relevance.

Okay, that's enough about my flaws for one post! Here's a picture of my adorable cat Ron to send you off on a good note. Isn't he cute? You bet he is!

1 comment:

Booklover2 said...

Well technology and I are not the best of friends but adding things like a Facebook post or Ipod will definitely age a story. I like stories to feel timeless unless it is a period piece.

When I read your stories, I get more wrapped up in the story, the characters. I just let the words take me to the next part. With anything there will be a coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Anyway, thank you for your work! I always look forward to the next book.