Friday, November 30, 2012

How Fast Technology Changes

I pulled out a middle grade suspense I really, really liked that had  been stuck in a cyber drawer in 2005. It's a good little novel but never went anywhere. Even had some nice rejection comments. I still have hopes for it.

After reading through it to see if it could be reworked, I ran into technical difficulties. The MC and her friend were working surveillance equipment someone had set up and took a video tape home to save evidence showing the antagonist commiting a crime. Video tape?

I decided to research what's being used today. Amazing doesn't cover everything out there.

There are DVR recorders, wireless cameras, mouse ports, remote storage, remote access, and the use of thumb drives. I honed in on that particular system. If the owner has evidence he needs to give the police, he can use a mouse or up and down buttons to get the date, start time and stop time, and then download to a thumb drive. My characters could download the evidence and take the thumb drive home. I've been happily dusting off cobwebs and bringing this story up to date. But for how long?

Other things are popping up as I read through the story. My MC has a CD player, do kids use them anymore? Do they even like them? Should I replace a book with an e-reader? Would she rather read on her cell phone?Should I update the computer mentioned to the new slide-your-finger computer screen?

It makes me wonder...

How many recently published novels have become outdated or will be very soon simply because of the technology mentioned, even casually?

As writers do we begin to shy away from referring to technology for fear it will become outdated while it's being shopped around?

Maybe I could try to write historical fiction and avoid all that.


11 comments:

  1. This is such a tricky issue. It's so hard when technology needs to be an integral part of the story. I think that's what I like about writing fantasy, because you can make up your own.

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    1. I love, love reading fantasy but have no talent for writing it--I know, I've tried :) You writers that do are amazingly creative!

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  2. My kids DO use CD players. They have MP3 players that they take places, but if they just want to listen to music in their bedrooms, they use their CD players. Good luck with sorting out your technology! I think that there are challenges to writing any genre. Historical fiction would come with its own set of issues, but if you have a really great idea, go for it! I write about things that I'm fascinated with or have experience with.

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  3. Myrna, thanks for telling me about your kids use of CD players. I can check that off my Do-I-update-it? list. I agree about historical fiction--the research and fact checking is a must!

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  4. Well, Catherine, I think you and I are "historical" :) When I think back to the Forties when I was in elementary school, and the Fifties in junior high and high school, I go Wow. What amazing changes in our lifetime. Now, I think I can only write memoir. Definitely not fantasy. Or Sci-Fi. Though there are some excellent books in each genre that I have liked. C.S. Lewis comes to mind. Roland Yeomans. Ray Bradbury.

    Thanks for stopping by to welcome me back to blogging. It's great to see your lovely face again!

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  5. Well, Catherine, I think you and I are "historical" :) When I think back to the Forties when I was in elementary school, and the Fifties in junior high and high school, I go Wow. What amazing changes in our lifetime. Now, I think I can only write memoir. Definitely not fantasy. Or Sci-Fi. Though there are some excellent books in each genre that I have liked. C.S. Lewis comes to mind. Roland Yeomans. Ray Bradbury.

    Thanks for stopping by to welcome me back to blogging. It's great to see your lovely face again!

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    1. Ann, I'm really glad to see you back. I remember learning to type on an electric typewriter and thought that was as high tech as it gets AND with carbon paper no less.

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  6. I've been thinking about this as well. Everything seems so cutting edge in the present, but new gadgets keep popping up. Projects I wrote years ago now seem so dated.

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    1. Exactly and there doesn't seem to be any kind of way to avoid getting outdated.

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  7. You make a great point. I just had a critique partner tell me not to mention Facebook, just say "social media" or something like that. That's something I wouldn't have thought of, but it makes sense.

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    1. Or just makeup a name for the social media you will use that way if the real one goes out of favor it won't matter :)

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