Cell phones and social media are a huge part of fiction today for contemporary stories. Who can truthfully write a fictional piece, set in today without adding in texting, cell phones, and social media as a major part of the story? It is for that reason that I decided to set the novel, Palm Avenue, pre-social media. I would like to say the novel is set in the early 2000, just before everything changed forever.
You will see it as you watch many television shows and movies – text messages are put into subtitles on the screen and are part of the “dialogue”. I have yet to write a screenplay with this type of interaction, and have not yet read a script that has it. As a writer it is problematic, but in order to reflect reality, one has to do it.
Texting and Posting in Fiction
- Creates opportunities for jealousy
- Leaves a record to be discovered
- Builds an emotional wall between characters
- Creates confusion
- Digital trial of pictures and videos
- New addiction
How many times have you walked into a bar or restaurant and see everybody in the place staring down at their cell phone? Also, you will see groups of people sitting together and all individually looking at their own phones. Very few people are engaged with the people they are physically with. I am not saying anything new hear, but how does that affect fiction writing? A lot.
Then there is the social media thing, where people are constantly taking selfies and videos and posting them to various platforms. Managing all of that in fiction is a tall order. There are so many layers of complexity built into all of that. I wanted to avoid that in the book, “Palm Avenue”. It is hard to imagine, even ten years ago, we were light years away technologically from where we are now. Possibly not for the better.
In Hollywood in the early 2000’s most people had cell phones and many were texting, but far from all. The characters in Palm Avenue leave messages on cell phones. Who even does that anymore? People text instead. Then there is instant video, sexting, naked pictures, and all of that. I Didn’t want to deal with all of that in this book. Maybe in a future book. My head is spinning just thinking about it.
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