Sometimes I’m tempted to give characters things I don’t have myself, like one of these
but in this case, I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to name a brand, nor do I want to date the book. Who knows what we’ll be communicating with in ten or twenty years? I hope my books will be around longer than that. When we were editng Blow Out the Moon, I suggested putting the letter To Anyone Who Has Read This on my Website instead of at the back of the book. Alvina said no, "I hope people will be reading this book when we're dead and gone." I hope so, too: that book and this new one. That's what I want: to write something that becomes a well-loved classic. (Just a modest little goal!!)
Someone once said that one reason Jane Austen hasn’t dated is the LACK of detail in her books. Of course, I am not saying I am like her, and she’s got a lot more going for her than lack of details about objects, but it is true that she rarely mentions, let alone describes, the kind of details that are such a big deal at one time in history and non-existent in another (like pattens – she wore them but I don’t think they ever show up in her novels).
She probably didn’t mention them because those kinds of details weren’t essential to her story….and maybe my girls’ communication devices aren’t essential to THEIR story, either; but they do have a lot to say (and not just to each other, they need these things to make their plans!). I have given them cool little devices they talk into, and type into….I just don’t know what to call them. Any suggestions? I’m at the plain hard work part of rewriting the book and I need to decide these kinds of things, or just wimp out and say “phone” or “computer” or make up a word.
Or maybe it would be better to just have the girls write or talk to each other and not say how they did it -- not name or describe the devices at all? That's how it is now and maybe that's how it should stay. What do you think?