"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm writing! I'm writing!

I'm in full metal author mode today and, having wrestling a scene to the ground, can now plow ahead with all the characters doing what they do naturally, within the environment I've given them.

So why am I here instead?

Because I need to know if anyone else who writes about present day is having problems incorporating the latest technology into their stories. In particular, consider the humble phone.

In De Olde Days, your character picked up the receiver and dialed a number. When they had completed their call, they hung up the phone.

Now everyone has cell phones. No one picks up the receiver, they dig the phone out of their purse or pocket. They somehow search for the number, or enter the number in their Dialer, and press SEND. When it's over, they press END. 

It's not a particularly seamless way to describe a character having a phone conversation. As a matter of fact, every time I write about someone talking on the cell phone, I feel like I'm working overtime to make the mechanics of the call invisible to the reader. I'm constantly trying to find new ways of describing Peri retrieving her phone from her tote, not to mention having to throw out the casual SENDing and ENDing of calls.

The worst part, of course, is that no one can slam the receiver down in anger. It's hard to show the Call That Ends Badly.

Is anyone else having this problem, or am I just showing my advancing age?

1 comment:

Tameri Etherton said...

Well, I'm working on a fantasy novel, so they don't even have mobile phones. Yet. But, in my fiction piece, the MC gets so mad she pushes the END button several times just to show him (the guy that pissed her off) who's boss. It's not the same as slamming the phone, but made me feel better (and the character, too).

You could have so much fun with it. I think you're overthinking it a bit. ; ) Isn't technology fun!?!

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