Saturday, January 25, 2020

Rapid World Changes and Contemporary Fiction


It’s the first group blog of the year and we’re talking about how can contemporary fiction cope with the rapid changes of today’s world?

I find it an interesting topic because I’m having a challenge keeping up with all the changes, the affect computer technology has on everything. In writing it’s difficult. When you write contemporary you have to consider who will be reading, (age group, male or female) and then, when will they be reading it. Will it be this year, or will your book still be available in five years and will it be relevant?

For example, maybe five years ago people till used a landline. Now your h/h better be using a cellphone and how advanced is their cellphone, does it keep up with today’s technology? What about vehicles? Do they drive an electric car? Is there a charging station available?

Then there are the serious challenges like climate change, nutrition and diseases. Five people were not seriously addressing climate change. In the next five years what affect will it have on the earth? And will you address it as part of your novel, avoid it? What about nutrition? A lot of novels, contemporary or otherwise, have multiple scenes centered around food. Does you heroine only eat plant-based foods? Is he vegetarian? And what will they still be eating in five years if your book is available?

How do we cope with the changes? As writers we need to do our research, be aware of today’s culture and how our h/h fit in to today’s lifestyle and then project how we think or hope a reader will consider our book five years in the future.

Me? My head is spinning, I’m thinking of writing historical.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Now I’m going to read what other writers have to say on this challenging and stimulating topic.

6 comments:

  1. Oh Beverley-- what you say bout writing is so true. I must admit though... I still have a land line. Need the DSL as don't get good service otherwise. Everything is changing for so many, and not enough for others. :)

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    1. Actually I still have a landline, too. But I look at the younger generation these days, often they don't cook, they order in or go out. They only have a cell, their lifestyle is very different than mine.

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  2. It sounds like we are on the same wavelength. No way to keep up with the head-spinning speed of changes. Depends on your definition of historical. Even last year could feel like history. So just write a great love story.

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    1. Historical - like 200 hundred years ago. But you're right depending on the changes last year could be historical. So we'll write the best story with the best characters and hope readers love them. Thanks, Sskye

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  3. In a book that I published back in 2010, I had a blind hero who gets hit by an electric car, because he didn't hear it coming...they're much quieter than gasoline engines. So he tried to cross the street in front of it. His wife is a journalist, and decides she must write an article about that danger, suggesting that maybe they need to add some kind of distinctive sound to the electric motors, or teach blind folks what to listen for. But I was guessing that electric cars would become commonplace, whereas it's 10 years later, and still they're novelties. How are we to cope?

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    1. You made me laugh because we had a company that made electric cars in our area almost fifteen years ago and was sure thy'd catch on. It's like Skye says write the best story with the best characters and perhaps small discrepancies in setting, etc won't be noticed - kind of like putting he said, she said, tag lines in.

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