The Man From Another Time
So, the current (and plodding — having surgery slowed me up much more than I anticipated) Twitter Novel Project happens in the far-off year of 1998. As with anything I write, there’s a reason for that, which some of you have probably already figured out (and the rest of you won’t have to wait too long for). It’s the first time in a while I’ve tried writing anything in the past, and it’s not without its challenges.
See, most things I write are either in the present or in the future. Those time settings tend to be easier — I mean, we all live in the present, so we all kind of know how it works (except for those of us who live in the past, which is a blog post for another time). And the future… well, hell, you can pretty much make stuff up if you do the proper research first. Writing in the future is actually pretty liberating, as you can kind of do whatever the hell you want, so long as you justify it.
But writing in the past? That’s tougher. Even if it’s not that far in the past (13 years, by my excellent math), you still have to put yourself into another time, and one that actually happened. That means research, and, in the case of the current book, several trips down memory lane.
Do you remember 1998? Remember how shitty the cell phones were? Remember the Internet barely working, and those who could make it do more than visit the few, simple Web sites looked like magicians? Remember air travel before the rise of the Patriot Act and the TSA? It’s almost like 13 years ago was 30 years ago with as much as the world has changed since.
Still, though, as this one draws to a close, it’s been fun to revisit the world as it was when I was 20. A lot has changed, and a lot of it not necessarily for the better… but I’ve tried not to wear the rose-colored glasses too much, because let’s face it — living right now is, in a lot of ways, preferable to the late 90s. Our stuff is tons better.
So what time period are you most comfortable existing in? If you had the choice, would you live in 2011? 1998? 1914? 1536? 2160?