Writing works in the past. As the name suggests this means focusing on the past and what it means. Being in the past is often difficult, mostly in capturing the essence of the period.
It isn’t about endlessly researching, but rather seamlessly recreating the past in the books itself. To make them feel as though they belong and are a new world, just one that we are familiar with to a degree. And in now cases influenced our current world.
It also isn’t a place to show how well and the quantity of research. Those are the things you should hide unless it is important to the plot. Rather seek to understand how life was like back then, the values they had and what they valued.
The lack of communication and distance. Where it was through letters at best and took weeks sometimes even months. And overall, often a smaller world. Just like how our world is a few decades ago. It was much smaller even as we knew that there are many countries.
But few simply dreamt of seeing the others, as traveling was expensive. And the further you go, the more it certainly was.
The past is a place where we should leave our modern lens and understand that what they did then was probably for a reason. And a great way to really realize that the further we go, people weren’t all that different.
For it was those people who eventually improved life, bit by bit through the years before eventually finding a breakthrough, or an improvement. After all, that’s how they found writing, finance, economics, the basics of philosophy, and everything that we know of today.
They had it harder but then the future would certainly look at us the same way, and also see us as primitive, backwards or otherwise. But one thing always stays constant throughout the course of history: progress.
Regress exists most certainly, often because of disasters of any sort which makes large societies unviable. But then large societies were more able to simply weather difficult periods of time better than smaller groups did. It often took sustained time to really bring them down.
Without our past we wouldn’t be here. And they are lessons we can learn but writing in the past can shine a whole new perspective on our world as well.
The first in a series of blog posts about writing works in various time frames. About the past, present and the future.