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.