1. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Setting period

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by SwampDog, Jan 3, 2015.

    My WIP has the tale starting in 1968 with an unsolved murder (one chapter). It then jumps to 1978 in which the rest of the tale is set. That is now thirty-seven to forty-seven years ago.

    Although not a 'period' piece, would that relatively recent past sit easy with readers - no mobiles, no computers, no political correctness, hard slog detective work instead of a keyboard - or could there be merit in bringing up-to-date? I can write it either way, but what may readers prefer simply with reference to the time setting?

    Cheers
     
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  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I would find it refreshing. As much as I enjoy current technology, too often the ease of communication and research spoils a good detective story.
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd want it to have period flavour, if it was set that long ago - I'd want the characters to have different attitudes, I'd want little tidbits from news of the day, appropriate fashions and clothes, etc. Assuming I got those, I'd like to read something set back then, for sure.
     
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  4. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Me, too, but that's a fine, fine line to try to walk. Too much period detail begins to look gratuitous and gets in the way of the story. Too little can be confusing.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, lots of people write historical novels from OTHER time periods. I assume the same balance they use would work for this time period?
     
  6. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Sure. My point was that lots of people aren't always successful in that endeavor. If one can write a good story set in Elizabethan times, I'd guess that he/she could also do justice to the '70s.
     
  7. Chinspinner
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    I agree with this. In the 70's there was the magnificence of Columbo, now there is CSI with some ginger twat who is overly-obsessed with sunglasses, enough said.
     
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  8. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Did you enjoy Life on Mars?
     
  9. Chinspinner
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    Was travelling. I've only heard good things about it though.
     
  10. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you asking if readers would dislike a work of fiction because it is set in the recent past?
     
  11. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Not directly. Without doubt one could be successful, but what may the preference be from a modern readership? Any hints that there may be mood swings one way or the other - or at all.
     
  12. Chinspinner
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    Seriously though, if you look at popular detective shows in the UK; they are all in the vein of Agatha Christy, whether in the present day or not.

    Obviously there is Poirot and Marple, then there is Morse, Lewis, Midsomer Murders etc. People like old-fashioned detective work. People really like a country house/village full of suspects like some dramatised game of Cleudo.

    Dusting for finger prints and taking DNA samples is not fun to watch, however much drum and bass you put over it and however many gunfights or car chases you have (why are Crime Scene Investigators getting involved in them anyway? Isn't that the job of the Police?) to distract from how fundamentally tedious a show is.
     
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I do believe there was just as much, if not more, PC-ness in the 70s. The aspects of culture differ over time but the overall issues stay the same.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    Selective memory often makes the past look better than the present.

    Columbo was fun, but you are comparing it to CSI when you should be comparing it to True Detective or something. CSI is more comparable to The Mod Squad.

    MeTV plays old shows and I can't believe how bad The Man From UNCLE and Mission Impossible are compared to my memory of them. :p
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    If one is setting a story in another era, accurate setting is an important aspect of the story. It's not just about the level of technology, though that's a key aspect. It's about taking the reader to that era.
     
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  16. Chinspinner
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    I doubt it is selective memory- I wasn't alive in the 70's; however, I would stand by Columbo being the greatest detective on TV.
     

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