Youth & YA: Dating yourself

Or….do your references match your readers’

I need to put a disclaimer here, my co-worker basically had a brain-burp; however, with that said, when she asked me who ABBA was, that’s when I first felt the age difference. Details of the moment are not needed, but yeah, for a moment, I was stunned that someone didn’t know ABBA.

Move ahead a few years, two decades, my daughter now admits the reason she couldn’t get into my favourite teen sleuth was because she found the stories slow and boring. The same stories I would read three books in one weekend because I couldn’t put them down…five decades ago. Five?? And these stories were originally published in 1930…three decades before I was born.

Maybe, my daughter had a point. After all, the series has undergone a major shift, one I wasn’t happy about when I saw. I like my original.

I’ve gone off topic a bit here, went on a different dating path. The focus I’m trying for is if you write your character is as fiery as Scarlett or had eyes to rival Ms. Taylor’s, even the smile of Shaun Cassidy, you might want to make sure the reader knows who these people are.

Let alone how the first TV remotes worked…how TVs worked before any type of remote. Or that we had 10 – 12 channels not a thousand or so to watch. Beta versus VHS, if they know VHS. Corded phones. Party lines. Milk deliveries and unlocked doors. All these could be considered usages for a period piece, now.

I know I’ve talked about dating in writing before, from different perspectives, but here’s another area to keep in mind. Then again, what goes around; comes around and some things never go out of style, simply make sure you know when and what.