a moment in time

So I’ve written a pretty good first draft of one of my Fathers and Sons stories. The current title is “Flowers that bloom in the fall” though it’s earlier name was “How is my beloved this morning?” (They both make sense in context.) It would be the very first one in the chronology of the stories, which means it is set in September of 1968. (Some of you gentle readers weren’t even born when it is set!)

I read it to my wife last night, and she gave me her usual useful and scathing comments, and I’ll make numerous changes as a result.

But the question that lingers is how I could, or whether I should, try to set it in time. Should I put any effort into letting reader know the story was set more than 40 years ago?

The story stands on its own without that information. And read on its own, you really don’t need to know that detail to appreciate what is going on (and what is going on? one of the characters knows!). Read as part of the cycle (remember, the inevitable collection it will be a part of?), you would understand sufficiently when the story is set.

But I really don’t see any need to get specific about the time of the story. Given the tone (playful and a bit mysterious) I think something as specific as that would be intrusive. Plus, without a date stamp on it, the story becomes more timeless, more current to contemporary readers. Really, aside from its placement in the cycle, the date of the story is not important.

So what do you think? Is there any point in cramming this kind of really-not-so-important detail into the story?

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One Comment on “a moment in time”

  1. Pete Says:

    If the time frame isn’t critical to the story’s meaning, then I think you can just skip the hints.


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