Dealing with the mucky bits
A little more for writers on the ‘show don’t tell’ thing.
I recently wrote a post on my other blog concerning the bits authors leave out of time travel. With my tongue firmly in my cheek, I called it ‘the sexy side of time travel’. Imagine yourself going back from the 21st century to (say) Elizabethan London. What would your impressions be? A lot of it would be to do with stinks, smells, filth, disease, rotten teeth, body odour, rats, mice, lice, death etc. All these things would assault the eye (and nose) of a person coming front our times. But for the people living in that time, it was how they lived.
So how does one write about things like this, conveying what it was really like? The issue is that people wouldn’t have noticed the smells and the vermin. If you go out camping with friends and there is no chance to wash, you’ll no doubt end up…
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