Writers are told to make their fiction specific. Instead of writing a general statement like, he ate a hamburger, be more specific–he at a BigMac.
Readers do want to envision the place and what the characters are doing. If we are too general, it’s hard for readers to capture the image. We all know what McDonald’s looks like. We know what a CocaCola tastes like.
My editor is particularly nuts about naming products or places. In one novel, my character sang the words to a popular song. She had me remove the words, although I could keep the song title. In another novel, she put TM under each mention of Diet Coke. Don’t the companies appreciate this free publicity?
My work-in-progress is full of products. It names places and things that I believe add color and dimension to the story. Okay, years from now there may not be a Hershey Bar, but by then, people won’t be reading my book. If they are, they’ll know it’s dated.
What are your thoughts? Won’t you help me out here?