Wednesday, February 22

Lydia Nyx: Technology and fiction.

Lydia Nyx: Technology and fiction.

Fellow (and fabulous) M/M romance author Lydia Nyx on technology in fiction....

I really enjoyed Lydia's thoughts on the subject; there is so much that those of us in the 30 (or in my case 40) something age range need to remember when we're writing--especially someone like me who really is not hip on the latest gizmos and gadgets.

I use my cell phone to make calls. Usually only in an emergency (loosely defined as "Honey, while you're at the store, could you pick up .....?" or "I think I'm lost...." or "I'm out and was thinking of getting...for dinner, how does that sound?")  I don't take photos with my phone or ask it to find me a restaurant (although maybe if I did ask it to find things for me, I wouldn't get lost!) I don't need a phone that's smarter than I am. I can check my email at home. I don't text. (Although I do instant message, so go figure...)

I was writing a passage in Bound where my MC comes home and is contemplating the creature comforts in his dad's house and found myself stumped. My creature comforts are my creatures (my four legged friends), my favorite blanket, and a good book. But the guy I was writing about (the father) is... well, A) male and boys like toys and B), in my age bracket, but totally into "keeping up with the Jonses" (I'm more into keeping up with the Engels... you know, the family from Little House on the Prairie).  I knew the basics, DVR, Dishnetwork (they live in a more rural area, where Dish is more prevalent than cable), and a big flatscreen television, but...what else? I had to ask. I don't really know what says "opulence" when it comes to electronics.

And then someone pointed something out: if I get too specific (I was looking for the more hip version of an iPod, because my daughter, age 15, informs me that "nobody uses iPods anymore!" I will apparently never make the "cool mom" awards.  LOL.)  At any rate, if I get too specific, the device that I name by name may be just as outdated by the time the book is published, because technology is evolving so quickly. So on the one hand, it's good to be specific if you're a writer (don't call it "a car", call it a Mustang or a Lamborghini, or an Escort, because those convey very different things to the reader), but on the other hand be careful what you're specific about (or your cool character with a neat new iPod will suddenly seem like an out-dated dork!)

Talk about a Catch-22!

1 comment:

Stewart Sternberg said...

Keeping up with technology in writing can kill you. I started a novel many years back, and when a beta reader took it, she pointed out the prologue had someone writing a letter..why not email. And later? She pointed out the lack of cell phones in the novel.