Temporaly speaking

So, I again find myself in a quandary.

I'm writing a ghost story for a PostMortem anthology set during the industrial revolution. Here's the issue: I want the time period to be clear, but I am using third person limited (main character POV). There is no reason whatsoever for her to be thinking about what time period she lives in and I don't want to be so blatant that I am basically calling the reader stupid. I was thinking about just placing a date and place stamp at the beginning, but it seems a bit lame to me, especially since there will not be a bunch of temporal jumping.

Other complications:
-The anthology somewhat calls for steampunk ghost stories, which would make the time period a given, but it doesn't limit submissions solely to that. All it takes is one other writer dealing with a haunted spaceship to completely screw me there.

-One of the eighth grade students in my school's writing group picked up on the time period right away, even if she didn't know what to call the industrial revolution (history classes are just now getting up to the civil war at this point). This should mean that I have been clear enough.

-The above mentioned student is, in all likelihood, much smarter than most people out there. Certainly more than me.

Any suggestions?


  1. Don't kill yourself about the time-stamp. It wouldn't be a killer, but knowing your disposition of disdain toward cliche', another avenue would likely leave you sleeping better at night. Perhaps present judgmental thoughts of the character with regard to the dress/etc. of those around her. Of course, not knowing your ghost's personality, I wouldn't know how plausible that would be.

    Hope this helped.

  2. Thanks for the advice Ryan. Also thanks to Chris, if he happens to read this.


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