Thursday, February 10, 2011
I just finished reading the first two books in a YA series. Not saying which one but, it's found its way to the small screen. (dramatic pause) Ok, it's Pretty Little Liars. I hate a mystery.
At first, I was distracted by all the brand names plastered on the pages. The Gucci-toting girls shopping at Prada and drooling at Tiffany's display case, blurred before my eyes. (I have to confess that I do like fashion but haven't the time or energy to devote to being a fashionista.) I fought my way through the first few chapters and began to ease into the branding. After being sucked into the story, as any good author schemes, I began to associate certain brand names with characters. It wasn't a bother to see those labels.
In looking at the novels with my writer-goggles, I realized it's another layer of detail that can enhance a story. I often fail to add those brand names for fear that I will date my work. But, here's the thing...every story becomes dated to some degree by elements. Whether it's a rotary phone, moon boots or jeggings, it will throw us back to a specific time. My son still doesn't believe that I used to drink fluorescent green Hi-C out of a metal can.
So go ahead and add your Chanel-sprayed, Kate-Spade lugging, Ugg-heeled characters.