You know how it is. You lean over and whisper into its ear, invite it up to your place for a drink and some smooth music on the iPod ... and there it is: you've dated your story through the mention of technology.

Mr. Rickards thinks it's daft, and Patti thinks it's more specific than that. I've always leant away from using brand names in novels and I'm wondering if that's because I'm a programmer and want to use variables rather than constants.

Or is it a cultural thing, to use brand names? I've noticed that Americans (are there any here?) seem to prefer using terms like Xerox, 7-Up and Google, rather than photocopying or lemonade (that's what we call it down under, even if it doesn't have any lemons in it) or 'look it up on the net' or just plain 'look it up'.

My theory with novels is that using brand names takes you out of the story, unless it's a specific trait of a character or otherwise relevant.

Do you writers ever balk at using a brand name? Do you readers wince or raise your eyebrows when someone Googles something for the umpteenth time?

Tell me now, or I'll just have to Google it myself.

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LOL, I'll just bet it was! Too "in-the-know" New Yorky for me. Still walk right past her section in the store without a second glance.
Oh, the 'New Yorky' comment suggests it is the same book! In fact, that book not only turned me off said author, but pretty much anything set in NYC after that.
Daggone! And I thought I hated it! Oh well, she has a legion of fans out there, so go figure!
Proof there's something for everyone. I like the aspect of discovering a new place through fiction, though, and some locations are overdone, so I'm already less likely to pick up a book in NYC over a book set in Denver (everything else being equal in terms of appeal and reason to believe it will be a good read). You could say I was predisposed to an aversion to the location, and this book just pushed it over the edge for me.
I SO want to know who this is now!
How much will you pay for the information? ; )
I already have it. O:)
I caved. Blame it on the sleek shaven head, the dark glasses, the devastating Australian accent... the twenty bucks he slipped me when you weren't looking. : p

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