Today, as I sat typing one of the last three chapters to my latest novel, BITTERSWEET HARVEST, it occurred to me, not for the first time, that I use a lot of television, movie and music references.
Writing in a contemporary genre, I suppose it is easy to do so. Nowadays, that’s how most of my intended audience would relate to my characters, situations, settings, and what not.
Is this a cop out? To me, the author, it allows a freedom to focus on the plot and not have to spend a lot of time detailing the “boring stuff” like scenery and physical descriptions. Yes, for the main characters, we of course, want them to be unique and I think once they take over and become almost ghost writers of their story, this happens by default.
But given the sophistication that mass communications/media has evolved to, don’t we as a society, make constant reference to a common subject? Even shows themselves do it. Anybody who watches NCIS: Los Angeles has heard Kensi Blye, the female agent, referred to as Wikipedia by her partner.
But if I were writing fantasy or science fiction, or even historical fiction. would I be so ready to rely on references that will immediately put the picture in my reader’s head of what I want them to see? How could I and stay true to a character that would probably never understand such a reference?
Tell me what you think.