Thursday, September 15, 2011
To Error By Era...
I didn’t have to worry about whether this time overlaps the particulars for quite some time, you see? Until Anon goes and figures out all the math accordingly (from story data) and also from the calendar. [The book takes place over the course of a month, each chapter is the subsequent day.] Anon located which year the dates matched up to the book and told me WHEN it happened. Interesting, no? Given that the world of the book is a fictional version of Chicago, it didn’t matter to me so much when the calendar aligned... I’d aligned it with the events/circumstances of the book. Again, it had been a time frame. If it hadn’t been meant to be a real city, did it have the same cycles of days as us?
That's the rub of writing what (at the time) is contemporary - advances render the book into a bygone era. But that’s the essence of this post. Things we now take for granted must factor into new storytelling. Why can’t she just use her cell phone? Did they record it in HD? Why is he using TAPES? Don’t they have security cameras placed at the top of the lampposts or something that would show the killer? Well, once upon a time all these didn’t apply.
Just one more way in which authors need to keep up with the times -- and it can be argued that such techno newness is ruining the options in a good book. What would Agatha Christie do with DNA matching?! From another angle, though, it opens up a lot more, too... always a trade off, Isuppose. For when writing in a past era you've got to REMEMBER (or research) what could/couldn't be done and what did/didn't exist.
We’ve got a lot more to contend with and control and make up excuses for (if you’ll pardon the expression) as to how it all went down in our stories.