Thursday, August 4, 2011

Time Warp

Oh God, WHY? Wasn't once enough?

Hello Dear Readers,

As most of you know, it's been a long time since I've been shopping. During my holidays, I went on a long-awaited trip to the stores with a great friend, and we had a blast.

But...I was shocked by how much fashion has changed. It wasn't that the styles are radically new--quite the opposite. I felt like I'd stumbled into an H.G. Wells story and found myself twenty years in the past.

With all the snickering about how horrible '80s fashion was, why oh why do designers insist on bringing it back? And it seems to be only the worst of the worst that interests them. I don't remember any of us wearing gold lamé, but now it's everywhere. Do you really want to see your boss, your friends, or your kids in gold lamé hot pants? I didn't think so. And the scrunchies! Didn't we just get rid of those? I'm expecting to see gold lamé banana clips any day now. Just. Say. No.

All this retro fashion got me thinking about time periods and how they're used in fiction. If a movie or book is set in the '80s, it's usually a comedy. There's so much comedic fodder in the clothes, the hairstyles, the music...the '80s are an easy mark. Who could resist? (Think The Wedding Singer.) However, if the work of fiction is set in the '60s, it's often a social commentary or drama that draws on all the political turmoil, free love, and bra-burning of the time. It's not as much about the bell bottoms and hippie hair as it is about the external and internal strife. The '50s are all about antiquated family values and an air of innocence, where the most scandalous thing happening was the emergence of rock n' roll music.

What time period do you set your stories in? Why does that period inspire you? Do you find that the years you write about dictate the subject matter of your book to some extent? And just for fun...if you could travel back in time, which era would you want to experience? Why?

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