Name Dropping in Your Stories

Have you ever contemplated putting name brands into your story? Do you want your character to have a nice cold can of Coke or text with their iPhone? You may want to think before you name drop brands in your story.

I think this topic is very subjective, but I wanted to share some advice I have been given. This mainly all comes down to how relative or timeless you want your story/novel/whatever to be.

By adding name brands, or at least most brands, can make your story not feel current. For example, imagine a story written about a character who loves music. You’re picturing this person living today, until they start listening to the newest band on a walkman. This throws you for a loop. This story is happening years in the past. All of a sudden the story feels old.

This scenario can happen with anything, not just technological devices. A popular movie, song, store, etc. can also make your story feel stale.

BUT I don’t want this to be a hard and fast rule. Again, this is something that should be a personal decision each writer makes. I just think it is important to know that this is something that could happen to your readers.

Also, this technique could be useful in your story. Maybe you want to highlight that your story is happening in the 90s! Then throw in all the 90s brands you can. Just make sure you do it tastefully and doesn’t feel like you are shoving the time period down your readers throats.

So, name brands can be good or a hinderance in your story. You just have to find out which one it is!


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