Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting mixed messages

I read a blog post (or two or three) in the past that cautioned about mentioning new technology or the names of current popular songs, movies etc. in your book. And yet a very popular YA series I'm reading mentions these things all of the time.

So here's my question, what do you do? Do you write cellphone, texting, iPad, laptop, etc.? Would you write that your protagonist went to see "The Help" or had Katy Perry's "Firework" for a ringtone? And does it make a difference if what you mention is a classic, like a Beatles song or a book like "The Catcher in the Rye?"

Would love to hear your thoughts. 


  1. At WriteOnCon, an agent--can't remember who--said to be careful using these things because it could date your story quickly. I think especially music or movies could date it unless it's critical to the story. Though I've read about songs being mentioned.

    It's hard to think that a cell phone or computer who become outdated, but that's just my opinion. Hope it helps.

  2. Yes, I think it's important to choose wisely and if you do mention something, make sure it's something that will last long enough to be remembered: not some fleeting TV show or pop star, but something that's been around long enough that even in 10 years it will be recognizable. That's my 2 cents, although I mostly write historical!

  3. I usually avoid mentioning that stuff in my manuscripts, because most things are so fleeting. I did write something with Facebook and Twitter in it, though. I hope that doesn't date it in ten years! Seems like those things will be around awhile, but at the rate things change these days ... who knows?