[found on matthewdunnbooks.com; by Matthew Dunn]
“Make Sure Your Story is Fresh in 5 Years Time.
If you choose to set your story at a point in history, then your book won’t age for obvious reasons. But, most thriller readers like their stories to be contemporary which on the one hand is great for writers because it doesn’t mean we have to do painful extra research on e.g. what clothes a man would have worn in 1934.
On the other hand, there are pitfalls. Your book can take over a year to be written and edited, many years to get an agent and a publishing deal, and another year or two to become a finished published novel. Want to write a spy novel featuring the rogue state of Iran? If so, you need to be confident that Iran is still a rogue state in at least 5 years’ time.
The Western world applauded the collapse of communism but I guarantee you there were a large number of spy writers who tore up their draft manuscripts in disgust when the USSR fragmented, because their stories were supposed to be contemporary yet featured the Cold War and the Soviet Union.”
For more tips on writing from Matthew Dunn, click here.