It’s been a while since my last post but I have been making significant progress. Pride’s Children is beginning to take shape. I’m now working on chapter five and I’m finding that the story is beginning to take on a life of its own. So much is evolving with the writing, things I had not thought of while planning and outlining. Yet it all seems for the better. It’s beginning to feel organic.
It’s really surprising to see how many new paths and options open up as the writing progresses. For one thing, writing in the near past, I’ve learned, still requires a fair bit of research. While the story is fiction, it still takes place in a real-world setting. So if I’m thinking of including, for example, a home theatre system, I have to ensure that I don’t include technologies that didn’t yet exist. I’m sure if I did, at least one knowledgeable reader would call me on it. It’s one thing to fictionalize details about government and locales, but I’m sure readers will expect that anything that would have touched their lives more personally, should be accurate. Otherwise, when it occurs to them that Dolby Digital didn’t exist in 1992, they’ll stop reading to think about it. And if they stop reading, they’ll start thinking and recall that only Dolby ProLogic existed at the time. Some things just have to ring true for readers.
It would be interesting to know how readers feel about this. How would you feel about an author using a fictitious president or prime minister in a story set in your lifetime? Would that be acceptable? How about things more close to your real life, like a specific model of car? If I mentioned a “new Chevy Lumina” in 2005, would you lose enjoyment of the story when you know that the Lumina had, by then, been replaced by the revived Impala?
I think it’s important that an author make the reading experience as comfortable as possible for the reader. So it’s important to know what readers would find discomforting, unbelievable or down-right inaccurate. I’m trying to be pro-active, but it would certainly be interesting to hear how you, as a reader, expect a story to flow. How accurate do you expect an author’s description to be of a particular point in time? Feel free to share that with me.