1. whitelighter27
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    whitelighter27 New Member

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    Dates in fictional stories

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by whitelighter27, Mar 19, 2016.

    I was wondering if there was some general rule in writing fiction not to use dates that could have ever actually occurred - for instance, in one novel I'm reading, it states that Aug. 17, 1989 was a Thursday, when it was actually a Wednesday. Is there a reason for this - kind of like the 555 phone # rule in tv or movies - or is this more likely just an oversight on the writer's part?
     
  2. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmmm. I try to keep my dates accurate. In fact, I was getting a kick out of the fact that up until Leap Year Day, my novel's days and dates and the days and dates for 2015 - early 2016 were the same.

    Does the author in question get the days and dates accurate in the rest of the book? Or are they consistently off?
     
  3. whitelighter27
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    whitelighter27 New Member

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    So far I haven't found any other reference to a specific date, & I haven't read any of his other novels. So would you guess there is no such rule?
     
  4. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Think it is a minor mistake. I have never gone back and date checked something!
     
  5. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's an oversight. Personally, if I have to use a real date, I look it up. They aren't too hard to find through Internet search engines.
     
  6. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    It's an error with a lengthy pedigree, at least. I've seen people conclude that no time period makes sense for when Oliver Twist could take place based on the days of the week and month it mentions.
     
  7. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Definitely not. The reason the '555' thing exists is because, I'm not kidding, they want to avoid using anything that could possibly be real because people actually call numbers they see in shows and movies "to see if it's real". As there's no real equivalency to using calendar dates, there's likely no reason you couldn't use past dates that actually existed.
     
  8. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I've never heard of any deliberate policy on that. My personal inclination would be to get the date and day synched with a perpetual calendar.
     

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