Re: RARA-AVIS: Product Placement
09 Jan 99 08:18:00 -0500 --UNS_gsauns2_3031426997
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Recently Bill noted that:

"To "fill" a story with products, however, would "fix" it in a definite place
and time, even give it a sort of planned obsolescence. If it was good enough to
be reprinted often, I guess, at a certain point, it would need footnotes.I
guess... What do the writers think?"

Just a personal item that occurred recently. I wrote a story about a cop
character who works for the same obscure federal agency that I do. Checking
into a hotel for an overnight duty assignment, he slides his "Government
American Express card" over to the clerk. One week after I submitted the story,
we switched our travel cards over from AmEx to Visa, so my story became obsolete
just that quickly. Of course, this isn't exactly the same thing as a product or
business passing out of existence, but it's an illustration of an attempt to use
a product name to add verisimilitude, only to become outdated by a change in
real-life policy.

I read an article by Ed McBain once in which he said that one of the reasons he
fictionalized NYC in his 87th Pct. stories is that it freed him from the
necessity of keeping absloutely up-to-date on procedural changes in the NYPD.
Now I know what he was talking about.

The story is still in the editor's hands. If it gets accepted, maybe I'll
update it. Maybe not. - Jim Doherty

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