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Old 01-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Cruel2BKind
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Time periods (dimensions)

What is your favorite period to write in? What has posted the most of a challenge?

I've written in the past, I've written in nonspecific fantasy worlds, I've written in half a dozen future dystopias. I've written in the present.

My favorite arena is the future, because you can do so many things, and imagination is so free. You can create a world with any kind of parameters or mindsets or societal norms.

The biggest challenge for me was when I tried to write a story set specifically in the early seventies.

What about you schmucks?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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...The biggest challenge for me was when I tried to write a story set specifically in the early seventies...
Hah! I enjoy writing 70's era pieces. I should do more of those. I've only got one posted, with another one waiting for a final draft. They say "write what you know", right?

As a cynical satirist, I wrote a future story set 20 years down the road, with dysfunctional tech devices and a corrupt corporatocracy ruling our world. GW had kicked in, and anyone planning on spending any time outdoors had to apply heavy duty sunscreen and buy oxy-packs from vending machines. Boy, did that story piss off the Righties, even though that's the future their policies would result in. Plus, I put it in LW.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
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What is your favorite period to write in?
I write mainly between 11 pm and 3 am.

uh? What? Oh,

I write in all periods. The biggest challenge for me is perhaps the future, because the need to design what that future is drags my plot writing down.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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I write mainly between 11 pm and 3 am.

uh? What? Oh,

I write in all periods. The biggest challenge for me is perhaps the future, because the need to design what that future is drags my plot writing down.
-snerk-



I've always wanted to write about a modern day man/woman getting jolted back in time. You know, like to ancient Egypt or whatnot. I just have no idea how to write it in a way that would seem feasible.

Time travel paradox and all..
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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I love writing the late 60's, early 70's. Things were so much easier back then, especially sex. Plus I have more memories to draw on than the law allows.

Sci/fi is probably the hardest to write but that is because I read so much of it early in my life and I have a problem sorting out what is mine and what I've read.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
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I tend to write in the present because it doesn't require as much research as the past, or plotting a consistent future. It's easier and with limited writing time, easier is helpful. I do have some started stories and ideas that would be in the SF/F category and require me to create worlds to some extent. I love reading SF/F, just haven't had time to write it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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For me, the hardest period to write in is the present, with its strictures and socio-political realities and the need for safe sex and all.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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I write primarily in the present and the near-past, especially the 80s. That was a very fertile time for me, so I find it easy to write in that era. I have no plans to write anything in the future, at least not for Lit., but I do have an idea for a medieval fantasy type story. It is nowhere close to fruition, and I don't expect to get to it to it before late summer. Much research required for that one.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stella_Omega View Post
For me, the hardest period to write in is the present, with its strictures and socio-political realities and the need for safe sex and all.
This! This so much!!

Sex now is boring.

Kidding, but I have the hardest time with near-past stories because I wasn't alive during the seventies or eighties. I was only a kid for the nineties. During my early-seventies stories, I included viagra, even though someone in the comments later pointed out that viagra was a late-nineties, early 2000 thing.

I hate writing near past because it is so easy for me to get shit wrong.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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I don't see the restrictions of writing in the present. You can filter out as much of what's going on outside your bedroom as you want to--in fact, if you don't, the story gets "kitchen sink" bogged down--and when politics and safe sex have to be included it can easily become shrill and preachy. I doubt I've ever seen a story set in the present that didn't filter out most of what was happening on the planet that day.

A good many "present" stories here don't go beyond the boundaries of a bed, a couch, or the backseat of a car.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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I don't see the restrictions of writing in the present. You can filter out as much of what's going on outside your bedroom as you want to--in fact, if you don't, the story gets "kitchen sink" bogged down--and when politics and safe sex have to be included it can easily become shrill and preachy. I doubt I've ever seen a story set in the present that didn't filter out most of what was happening on the planet that day.

A good many "present" stories here don't go beyond the boundaries of a bed, a couch, or the backseat of a car.
Even when you go beyond those boundaries, you can still filter most of the crap out. If it doesn't effect the story, bye bye. It's not needed.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:54 PM   #12
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Even when you go beyond those boundaries, you can still filter most of the crap out. If it doesn't effect the story, bye bye. It's not needed.
Absolutely. I was trying to be restrained in my response. Not all of life or life's activities have to be a doctrinare political fight and preaching opportunity.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:54 PM   #13
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I don't see the restrictions of writing in the present. You can filter out as much of what's going on outside your bedroom as you want to--in fact, if you don't, the story gets "kitchen sink" bogged down--and when politics and safe sex have to be included it can easily become shrill and preachy. I doubt I've ever seen a story set in the present that didn't filter out most of what was happening on the planet that day.

A good many "present" stories here don't go beyond the boundaries of a bed, a couch, or the backseat of a car.
A good many 'present' stories here are nothing I would write or read. Not saying they are bad, just that's not where my aspirations or tastes go.

Sure, strokers are never much of a problem, especially if your characters are cis identified. But I am not, and my characters often are not. I can't throw reality away if I am writing about present day trans men, for example. Phalloplasty just isn't up to snuff yet. Every time he hops into bed, reality plants its fucking vicious little face in his crotch.

And yes, it is VERY difficult not to become shrill and preachy, which is one reason my fiction output is so slow.

And thus I say
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For me, the hardest period to write in is the present, with its strictures and socio-political realities and the need for safe sex and all.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #14
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I think it's a copout to equate this to the difference between a stroker and a "quality" story. As I noted, I suggest it's physically impossible to include the whole universe in writing in the present dimension. You have to limit what you're including in your present.

The story of a couple deciding on the basis of an evening's events at a summer house that they don't really want to get a divorce can be a high-quality story set in the present--and it doesn't have to say a damn thing about safe sex, abortion, gay rights, the war in Afghanistan, or guns in the schools.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:20 PM   #15
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Have to ask Cruel, what does the Avatar mean or come from. The two guys about to jump in bed together or what?
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I don't see the restrictions of writing in the present. You can filter out as much of what's going on outside your bedroom as you want to--in fact, if you don't, the story gets "kitchen sink" bogged down--and when politics and safe sex have to be included it can easily become shrill and preachy. I doubt I've ever seen a story set in the present that didn't filter out most of what was happening on the planet that day.

A good many "present" stories here don't go beyond the boundaries of a bed, a couch, or the backseat of a car.
One of the best things Tolkien did for me was give the world the phrase 'standard fantasy setting'

The idea of a psuedo-european continent with supernatural elements including (but not limited to,) elves, fae, dwarves, satyrs, etc. is so universal. I can set something in the 'standard fantasy setting' and the only details I have to set up are things like general grittiness (Tolkien VS George R. R. Martin) What kind of creatures (elves VS tentacle demons) and what politics towards women are (female soldiers VS women as political marriage fodder)

Everybody knows this world, which is why there is so much fantasy.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:55 PM   #17
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I think it's a copout to equate this to the difference between a stroker and a "quality" story. As I noted, I suggest it's physically impossible to include the whole universe in writing in the present dimension. You have to limit what you're including in your present.
Oh, I perfectly agree, and I never once said "quality." In fact I made sentences that specifically said that quality has nothing to do with my dilemma.

I said that my characters have realities that impact their sex lives-- that cannot be removed from their stories so easily, not even for strokers. My trans man has to wear a strapon. He doesn't have a dick.
I can treat this reality in many ways, like it could bother him or not, but I can't write a trans man in this day and age who can squirt that yummy baby batter oh god what am I even saying.
Quote:
The story of a couple deciding on the basis of an evening's events at a summer house that they don't really want to get a divorce can be a high-quality story set in the present--and it doesn't have to say a damn thing about safe sex, abortion, gay rights, the war in Afghanistan, or guns in the schools.
Well, the marriage itself is an example of outside realities informing the story. The plot for your stroker wouldn't exist as such without the marriage license and the judge who might potentially dissolve their union, all part of our common world.

And speaking of gay rights, I can imagine this story featuring a same-sex couple-- as long as it took place within certain states-- but a few years ago? It would have been impossible to write it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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One of the best things Tolkien did for me was give the world the phrase 'standard fantasy setting'

The idea of a psuedo-european continent with supernatural elements including (but not limited to,) elves, fae, dwarves, satyrs, etc. is so universal. I can set something in the 'standard fantasy setting' and the only details I have to set up are things like general grittiness (Tolkien VS George R. R. Martin) What kind of creatures (elves VS tentacle demons) and what politics towards women are (female soldiers VS women as political marriage fodder)

Everybody knows this world, which is why there is so much fantasy.
And again, if your characters are not pseudo-European, you got some 'splaining to do. Like, if your elves or mermaids have bronze skin and thick curly black hair. Or your dwarf warriors are female.

it was easier for me to place Despina Jones in a slightly futuristic sci fi setting, because that standard fantasy assumption is so damn pervasive
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #19
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One of the best things Tolkien did for me was give the world the phrase 'standard fantasy setting'
So ... he lets you be lazy? Sort of kidding there. Yes, no question that the sword-and-sorcery type fantasy owes much to Tolkein and the British (or Anglo-Saxon or whatever) tradition of fantasy. (Was just discussing that via email with a friend a bit ago.) But... is that the best we can do? Now that he's done it, no one can invent a new standard or template?

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The idea of a psuedo-european continent with supernatural elements including (but not limited to,) elves, fae, dwarves, satyrs, etc. is so universal. I can set something in the 'standard fantasy setting' and the only details I have to set up are things like general grittiness (Tolkien VS George R. R. Martin) What kind of creatures (elves VS tentacle demons) and what politics towards women are (female soldiers VS women as political marriage fodder)
You left out medieval as a description, which I think is important. In so much fantasy, there are not only the Tolkein-esque critters, but the usual European politics from the Middle Ages, or what people think of as the Middle Ages.

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Everybody knows this world, which is why there is so much fantasy.
Everyone knows which world? The one we're in, or the standard fantasy setting? And I don't think we do know this world, certainly not all of it. I like to see people navigating this world -- just as I like to read good sci-fi/fantasy.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #20
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Hello, I mostly write in the present. I am pretty young so I wouldn't be able to accurately write about the 70s or 80s. I don't even think I could do the 90s, unless it was about Care Bears and Power Rangers.

I agree you don't have to have the entire world intruding on the story if it's not relevant or you're not interested in it. For me, safe sex has always been part of my sexual experience, so I feel strange not including it.

I would love to write in the future, but the political and social realities of that future would be the centerpiece of the story, not just a setting.

I have never read Tolkien or many medieval fantasies, so I wouldn't feel qualified to write in that standard world. And I also think that's kind of lazy. When I wanted a primitive magic world, I created one! You may see some stories in it if I get the courage to post them.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:15 PM   #21
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Hello, I mostly write in the present. I am pretty young so I wouldn't be able to accurately write about the 70s or 80s. I don't even think I could do the 90s, unless it was about Care Bears and Power Rangers.

I agree you don't have to have the entire world intruding on the story if it's not relevant or you're not interested in it. For me, safe sex has always been part of my sexual experience, so I feel strange not including it.

I would love to write in the future, but the political and social realities of that future would be the centerpiece of the story, not just a setting.

I have never read Tolkien or many medieval fantasies, so I wouldn't feel qualified to write in that standard world. And I also think that's kind of lazy. When I wanted a primitive magic world, I created one! You may see some stories in it if I get the courage to post them.
Ah, I think there is something not many have considered. I'm a child of the 60's and 70's, before aids. Back then a shot of Penicillin cured anything and everything so to me, safe sex wasn't an issue. Now to young people it is a part of life. A scary part of life at that.

Not having read Tolkien has not handicapped you. Not that Tolkien is a handicap. You are free to make your own fantasy worlds without his influence. It's a harder row to hoe since you have to start from scratch.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #22
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Ah, I think there is something not many have considered. I'm a child of the 60's and 70's, before aids. Back then a shot of Penicillin cured anything and everything so to me, safe sex wasn't an issue. Now to young people it is a part of life. A scary part of life at that.

Not having read Tolkien has not handicapped you. Not that Tolkien is a handicap. You are free to make your own fantasy worlds without his influence. It's a harder row to hoe since you have to start from scratch.
I was a teenager in the 80s, so while I'm older than cc3, I remember when the news about AIDS broke and things like that. Even though I went to a Catholic school, I had a sex ed class (one of the more useful ones, I think) which covered STDs. Now I'm not saying they told us to use condoms, but I knew what they were and their purpose and when I first had sex, we used them.

Much like cc3, I feel odd in some ways not including some mention or reference to sexual safety. I don't always, but I usually do, because it seems like the characters I am writing would discuss it, that it would be a given in their lives. I'm not trying to preach safe sex, it just seems like what would happen.

Not having read Tolkein could be a benefit; it's like not having much experience at a new job. That can be good b/c then you have no bad habits to unlearn.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #23
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Not having read Tolkein could be a benefit; it's like not having much experience at a new job. That can be good b/c then you have no bad habits to unlearn.
I really wish I had not read Tolkien as an adolescent.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:11 PM   #24
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....Not all of life or life's activities have to be a doctrinare political fight and preaching opportunity....
True but.... there is an audience for stories that make us think about more than sex. And it is possible to include political issues in a piece without preaching to the reader. One of the most memorable pieces of erotica I have ever read was called "I fucked Ann Coulter in the Ass. Hard." (Google it. ) Basically, the guy tracks her down for some casual sex, and while they're going at it, they're having a political discussion much like what you would see on Fox when the Lib is arguing with the Con. Hilarious.

It all depends on the goal of the writer. Generic stroke? Stories emphasizing safe sex? One of mine, "Limewire Girl" is an indirect comment on music piracy. The futuristic one I mentioned earlier (now linked below) is a study on the results of corporate rule and environmental degradation, inspired by Jenny Jackson's story portraying a similar future but with a more totalitarian government. There is no preaching in these stories, just people interacting in a reality-based world that extends beyond the confines of their bedroom. Different strokes for different folks. Obviously, if one is writing strictly for the LIT audience, (whatever that is) one would stay away from safe sex or anything controversial.

One more thought on "preaching" that I learned as a songwriter. You don't tell the reader what to think, you present a scenario and then let the reader come to their own conclusion.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #25
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And again, if your characters are not pseudo-European, you got some 'splaining to do. Like, if your elves or mermaids have bronze skin and thick curly black hair. Or your dwarf warriors are female.
And yet plenty of fantasy settings have black elves.
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