For my big 4-0 birthday present I received a trip to Disneyland Paris from my lovely hubby and girls. I wisely decided to take the trip in March rather than December. We had a brilliant time.
But the writer in me couldn't help but make some undisney like observations. I grew up with a father who admitted to smoking 20 a day; his real number was a lot greater. My sister and brother smoked.
So what jumped out at me at Disneyland Paris?
It was the smokers wandering around totally unaware and delightfully unashamed. Rather like the beach holidays of my childhood, men sitting sweating in deck chairs, no sun lotion, blowing smoke circles. The beaches used to be filled with fag ends. But now we have marginalised cigarette smokers. They aren’t allowed in public places and are suppose to huddle in shame face groups outside.
To smoke in a theme park is shocking. Yet there they were ignoring the signs threatening fines and lighting up in the queues for rides.
I began to think about the change in fiction. The rows of ‘painful lives’ stories, I can’t remember them on the shelves 20 years ago. Perhaps the odd book about a famous murderer, but not the victim’s stories. And what about the ‘chick lit’? When did that arrive, when will it go out?
So the question for us writing now is what will be wanted on the shelves in the next five or ten years?
And of course if anyone is writing historical fiction, (see competition link from a post few days ago.) It isn’t what we remember about the past its what we forget. So the reader could say, oh yes, I remember that, I forgot…