This is going to sound like an odd question but here goes - do I need to specify the time period of my novel and the state where my fictionalized town is located?
Here's why I'm asking - I want my novel to have a "timeless" quality. I don't want to talk about cell phones or texting or specific politicians or actors or natural disasters - things that could "date" the story. Now, it would be different if any of those things were integral to the story but they really aren't, or at least not that I can see at this point in the writing. (And this could change in the future, I suppose.)
I also don't feel any pull toward putting the story in a particular state. It doesn't feel like it belongs in State A or State B. If it did, it would go there and I would make sure all the necessary details (flora, fauna, slang, etc.) were added. The story takes place in a fictionalized town that becomes almost like a character itself but I want that town to be Anywhere, USA, to exist anywhere the reader's mind wants to put it. [Side note: I just read in Robert McKee's STORY that "There is no such thing as a portable story." Agh!!!]
Is it enough to show a passage of time? Is it enough to describe a town so it feels real?
I'm not sure it's possible to do this. I would love feedback not only from my writer friends, but also from those book lovers out there. How much does it matter to you, as a reader, to not be able to fix a specific time and place on a story?