1. khawlaazwar
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    khawlaazwar Member

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    Mark of past

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by khawlaazwar, Jun 2, 2014.

    Sometime, we love the past stories. Like time period of 1970s or 1940s. SO, we can develop plot for that time?

    Some has suggested me, to study the clothes, economic activity and social and religious mentality of people of that time. I find it very difficult. Any easy way to go, which can be more accurately represent the mentality of past time period.
     
  2. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Pinterest? We are lucky to live in an age of the internet, so you do have a lot of info at your disposal. My story is set in the 1970s, but I was only a little kid then, so I don't really remember what it 'felt' like.
    You can browse magazines on Google books to get a real feel of products, clothing, and people in general. I made a Pinterest board with images that have felt important to me from my WIP. It is just pictures of products, places, clothing, songs, etc. I love looking at it before I write to immerse myself in my creation!
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    study documentaries made in and about the period you want to write about... that will give you the look and sound of people and places, plus the mindset of the time...
     
  4. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    +1 mammamaia

    Read books written at that time. Those are more authentic than books written nowadays about the past.
     
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  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good addition, vandor!
     
  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Find something that interests you about the time period you've chosen. It will make the research more fun.
     
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  7. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it is after 1930 or so, films are a good source of general language, clothing, environment etc. and an easy way to start. Lots of the black and white films are available on Youtube. After that you start reading.
     
  8. cynthia_1968
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    cynthia_1968 Active Member

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    Another tip, talk with older people. Sure, memory fades away over the years, but it's always good to hear what they've to say. Bonus points: elderly people love it to see a youngster come by who shows interest in them....
     
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  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Books written at the time will give you the advantage of immediacy, of someone in that time and place. In this, you would do well to read the fiction of the time (not sure if that's what @Vandor76 had in mind). The references, descriptions and language used can be of immeasurable assistance.

    Books written more recently will lack the sense of immediacy but will provide perspective. For example, if I were to write a novel based in the US in the late 1930s, I would be sure to study Richard W. Ketchum's The Borrowed Years, first published in 1989.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I like the idea of talking to older people, because you can ask direct questions. How did you feel when Kennedy was shot? What did you think would happen when WW2 started? Did anybody you know die fighting? What kinds of clothes did you wear to school? Were there any kinds of clothes you really hated? Did your parents try to make you dress differently? Did you have a summer job when you were a teenager? What did you do to celebrate Christmas? What was your experience with your first date? Your first dance? What teachers do you remember? What kind of family did you have? Just ask everything you can think of. What was your first car like? Is there anything about your early life that you particularly miss? Where did you go during vacations?

    All these kinds of stories will be very personal and will really enrich your perspective. Of course you need to keep in mind that any one person has only their own experiences and the wisdom of hindsight to guide what they say. So for an overview, ask as many folks as you can.

    It's a good idea to come up with specific questions to get people started. Not just 'tell me what your life was like when you were young.' But once a person gets started recalling memories, ANYTHING can happen ...so be ready to ask and remember as much as you can!

    And good luck. Remember, these 'old people' won't be around forever. I still consider myself on top of things, but just came to the realisation that in 15 years' time I'll be 80 years old. That kind of puts everything into perspective. I need to stop mucking around and start finishing off my life in style!
     
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  11. cynthia_1968
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    cynthia_1968 Active Member

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    Not only that, I'm sure that they really enjoy the attention :D
     
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  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, yeah. Everybody like talking about themselves, don't they? If they have an attentive and appreciative audience!
     
  13. cynthia_1968
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    Yes indeed, my dear. But I suppose that older people appreciate it even more. Just imagine yourself when you're the one sitting in a chair. Staring at the birds in the garden all by yourself without anyone to talk to. No one seems to care for you. Sure, your children come by from time to time and that's what you've been looking for all day. You look at the clock and watch the time go by. Your children don't come no more. Well, only when it's your birthday and even then they all talk with each other. The only thing they ask you if you want something to drink.

    I can imagine that this scenario goes for most elder people. So when someone comes over to talk with you about the past, it's a welcome distraction in their daily routine.
     
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, most of us who were around in the 70s (I finished University in 1971) are still pretty lively, but I think the people who were children or teenagers in the 40s, are getting a bit thinner on the ground. And if you're going back farther, to the 1920s or so, these folk will be well into their 90s just now. It's your last chance to get first-hand interaction with people from that time period.

    When I was young, in the 1950s, I remember friends and relatives of our family who had been born in the 1880s. I wish I'd asked them all the questions I'd love to know the answers to now. But of course I hadn't written my book then, had I? What a resource wasted!
     
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  15. cynthia_1968
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    cynthia_1968 Active Member

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    I know what you mean.

    When I was a teenager, I didn't pay much attention for people older than 20.

    When you grow older, you start to realize how wrong you were.

    I had a good connection with my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace. And she told me a lot about the 1930s and 1940s when the Germans invaded The Netherlands.

    Also my mom, who came from Indonesia, told me stories - horrible stories - about the time when the Japanese invaded Indonesia. My grandpa was put away in a nazis-like Japanese concentration camp. I never knew my grandpa. He passed away in the early 1960s... but I wish I talked more with my grandma. She was born in 1910.

    But I was too young to understand and too busy with being a teenager that I never paid much attention. It's a regret I have to carry in my heart forever :(
     
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  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What a shame. Each generation has a story to tell, I suppose, but some lived through more desperate times.

    Or times of great change. Like me, I suppose. I mean, I remember when transistor radios (the kind you could hold in one hand and were operated by battery) came out. They were the big innovation at the time, and every 1950s-60s teenager like me either had one or wanted one. And I also remember when stereo record players came out, along with the 33rpm (long play) vinyl records to play on them. These replaced the old 78rpm records that were heavier, clunkier, easily broken, and only played one tune or song per side. 78rpm 'albums' were huge ...exactly that. A great big book with sleeves for each record, and each record contained a single song on each side. My parents had a huge collection of these, mostly big-band stuff from The War and Pre-War era. The 33s and 45s of the 50s and 60s were a huge innovation at the time. They are history now.

    Quite a jump from that to an iPod or MP3 player, which are kind of standard devices now for music collections. And never mind smartphones ...heck, I remember back when you had to tell an operator what number you wanted to call and she (it was always a she) connected you. Quite a jump from that to the internet!

    And I'm only 65 years old in a few days' time. What an older person, one who is in their 90s would be able to tell! Amazing.
     
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  17. cynthia_1968
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    cynthia_1968 Active Member

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    Wow, I can only imagine how it much have been.

    I'm from a younger generation and took all those things for granted. But my parents didn't had a phone - no money for it - and when my mom wanted to call my grandma she always walked to the payphone at the post office in the village were I grew up. Payphones don't exists no more nowadays in the area where I grew up. There are a few at Central Station - Amsterdam - but that's going to change rather quickly. At the end of the call she gave the phone to me so that I could say hi to my grandma....

    We had a black & white television and it was somewhere in 1978 when my parents bought a color TV. Wow, a new world just opened. I could enjoy Carl Sagan's Cosmos in the 1980s and he was an inspiration for me and started to read a lot about Astronomy back in the days. I also watched space 1999 and Blake's 7.

    Back to the now: my husband turns 60 in July and he has seen a lot more of the world than I. We can debate if an age different between husband and wife is an issue or not, I would say no. But that comes from the heart. If you're on the same wave length age shouldn't matter. Though I know that I proberly will outlive my husband :( which is sad.

    But for now we support each other, listen to the same music although he closes his ears when I play the guitar or listen to Jimi Hendrix...
     

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