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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am reading a book that takes place in these quarantine/face mask/social distancing times. Characters are served by waiters with face masks and gloves. Tables are distanced. Etc.
Gotta admit, that is fast...or am i just being behind the times. Wondering how many authors are writing novels that occur "today" as opposed to having the action take place before the virus pandemic?
 

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Ha, yeah that seems fast.  I'd be concerned that a story written with the pandemic in the forefront would get dated pretty fast.  Does it seem effective right now?  Sure.  But will it maybe push readers out of the story in a few years?  Maybe?

Also, I'd be worried about overplaying it.  I don't know about everywhere, but where I live people are real sick of the pandemic.  Would I really want to serve up another helping of the thing people don't want to think about?
 

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NikOK said:
Also, I'd be worried about overplaying it. I don't know about everywhere, but where I live people are real sick of the pandemic. Would I really want to serve up another helping of the thing people don't want to think about?
Also, I think Amazon have some kind of vendetta against COVID books at the moment.
 

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I'm not including pandemic stuff in my books being released. I've thought about it, but I figure most want to escape from the craziness of our times in fiction right now. And I can't predict whether we'll be wearing masks and for how long in the future. Certainly things will change, but how? I'm not adding this stuff in my writing ... yet.
 

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More interesting in books set in the near future - does it affect them in any way?

I had a major bit of backstory in my series (set well in the future) that now sort of haunts me. It was the point at which, as I planned it, things diverged from our events. I hadn't specified when it happend, though it would have been in our near future.
Thing is, it sort of happened/is happening, and now it looks like that's what I was writing about. Not only does tht make political assersions I wasn't making but also appears to anchor it in time.
The event? A US president building a wall along the southern border and doing several other things that Trump has done. OK, so he hasn't nuked Mexico yet, so it is still different, but still.
 

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I'm giving all that stuff a very wide berth. Everything I'm publishing through the end of this year will have zero mention of the pandemic. I don't want to write about Covid, and I'm about 99.99% sure none of my readers want to read about it.
 

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many people are already refusing to wear masks or social distance. I suspect in a year, few will wear masks and then our work will sound dated if we include that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
heh, i guess if something is written "of its time" it is automatically up for being pegoratively labeled as "outdated". I doubt serious writers worry about that type of silliness.
If one is writing about something that occurred in 1970, it should include things of that time, same as writing about something that happens in 2020. It's all just a window in time.
If a character pulls out his flip phone, is the book automatically "outdated" and meant to be discarded? I'm not going to make that kind of judgement. All it does is ground the book in a timeframe.
 

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mike h said:
heh, i guess if something is written "of its time" it is automatically up for being pegoratively labeled as "outdated". I doubt serious writers worry about that type of silliness.
If one is writing about something that occurred in 1970, it should include things of that time, same as writing about something that happens in 2020. It's all just a window in time.
If a character pulls out his flip phone, is the book automatically "outdated" and meant to be discarded? I'm not going to make that kind of judgement. All it does is ground the book in a timeframe.
I think that it's a different situation just because of how short the time frame is. Writing for an era is descriptive, but writing in one exact point of time can be limiting. Including the pandemic means that everything in your story has to be happening in this one to two year period. Having a flip phone means that it took place anywhere from 2000-2020 (yes they still exist, I have one, they are the best.)

There could be a case where the pandemic is crucial to the story, or that it's important to the plot, and that's okay. I just think that in most cases, it would be putting a very specific time constraint on your story for not a lot of pay off.

And, personally, I always like reading stories that use an era as the setting. Catcher in the Rye wasn't an exact year, but you felt the time period. Science fiction books may have a year but they are all basically, some future, somewhere. So, is writing the pandemic in the worst thing? No. But is it going to make people more interested in your book? It wouldn't if I was reading it.

Edit Honestly, I'm being overly critical. Had a rough week here and it lead to some ranting. Just wanted to apologize for that, and people can absolutely write whatever the heck they want.
 

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“This winter is going to be crucial. If COVID-19 returns with a vengeance this winter then we might be looking at a long pandemic ahead and it even might change our social culture and interactions permanently.”

I am very much hoping this does not happen and the virus burns itself out or mutates to a less virulent form. But at this point since no one can say, it might be safer to just avoid all mention of it in our stories.
 

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Mine is set in the near future when everyone will still be aware of the Pandemic and still have masks tucked away in their drawers. They are going to need their masks again but not for a Pandemic. Also they are going to need to go into self-lockdown. How can I not mention a Pandemic in the past even though it is only named as such and not covid? Only thing is I'll have to wait for the Pandemic to finish before I publish. Still I have 2 more books to write of the trilogy before it's ready.
 

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Please keep the focus on how/whether to work the pandemic into books, steering clear of how things might play out in the real world. The latter is not only off-topic for the WC but intensely controversial politically, at least here in the U.S.
 

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Becca Mills said:
Please keep the focus on how/whether to work the pandemic into books, steering clear of how things might play out in the real world. The latter is not only off-topic for the WC but intensely controversial politically, at least here in the U.S.
I hope my book will be controversial politically when it's finished and published,. In fact I'm betting it will be, but I won't be specific on here, but it will follow current events in the US in a future setting, but on steroids politically. lol

You can delete this if you think it is out of order
 

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I think that in the future, once things play out however they're going to play out, this will be a particularly interesting time that authors can choose to set their book in, if it's relevant to their story in some way. Not sure it's a great idea to do right now unless you're able to write fast enough that you can write and publish a book in a month or less (which some people can)--and you're willing for your book to be unfavorably dated in a year or two.
 

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I'll echo what others have said. I haven't added any of this only because I think my readers want to get away from it. I tend to write in sort of a timeless vacuum anyway. My stuff is very Law and Order in Mayberry anyway, and I try to keep most current events out of that. It just seems to fit better.
 

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It's a part of history now, so it could be part of a story someone writes. It's like writing a story around the end of 2001, and not mentioning 9-11. It happened. It's history.

Some people jump on trends, so it's to be expected to already see books about this virus. I've seen a few myself. Amazon is still not allowing nonfiction books about the virus, as far as I'm aware.
 

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Decon said:
I hope my book will be controversial politically when it's finished and published,. In fact I'm betting it will be, but I won't be specific on here, but it will follow current events in the US in a future setting, but on steroids politically. lol

You can delete this if you think it is out of order
It's fine to talk about politically controversial books here, but we don't permit direct political argumentation, except sometimes when a political issue overlaps with publishing. In such cases, the thread needs to stay focused on the area of overlap.
 
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