1. John Carlo
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    John Carlo Active Member

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    Date or no date

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by John Carlo, Jan 23, 2010.

    Hey all,
    What's the general consensus on this? Is it acceptable to never say the exact time period the novel is taking place? But only allude to it by clothing, scenery, cars, and so forth - this way the reader gets a feel for the time but it is never plainly stated.
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've written many short stories where the time was not stated directly, but the type of technology or what was happening at the time gives the reader an idea.

    Both of my novels, by their nature, the year (or close to it) is revealed, but I often see novels where it is not necessary.

    Take a look at published novels similar to yours (genre, content, etc.) and use them as a judge if you remain on the fence.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  3. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    I think it is better to just allude to it, unless the exact date/time period is crucial to the story.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's a writer's choice. Many novels pin down the dates precisely, many others leave it as vague as they can. There is no general best answer.
     
  5. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    I agree that it's your choice. I only put dates in my novel for time keeping purposes, but otherwise I would have never mentioned them.
     
  6. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    By the scenery, time change, etc, etc, you can elude to it without making it a huge part of the plot. However, books & movies like 2012 are essentially, well... You know. :rolleyes:
     
  7. love2listen
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    love2listen Member

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    I think its fine. I almost never state the date. but you can tell the date like, by a character using a laptop as opposed to a typewriter. or pulling out their GPS when driving, as opposed to using a car phone to get directions.
     

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