Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #5: Fifth Seven to Fall
 

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Fifth Six to Fall

 
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Hardbacks Kickstarter - Ends Today!

 
NaNoWriMo 2019: My Personal Experience – Part One
 

NaNoWriMo 2019

My Personal Experience – Part One

 

Back To Reality?

There comes a point in the crafting of many a story where fiction and fact collide. As a writer there is a tough task at hand to decide for how long the fusion must last and at what point the divide must happen.

On the face of it, it’s simple, right? You’ve created a world which is based on home and as long as the story works it’s fine. It’s just a case of checking the history and making a choice, job done.

Or is it?

Monarch Butterfly by MJRojasPhotographyNow stop a minute and think about what you’ve done! You have gone and changed EVERYTHING!

We often hear about the paradox of time travel and the Butterfly Effect. As a writer you are having exactly the same impact, OK, it’s on the page but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand on high, look across the landscape and figure out the impacts of the changes you have made to your reality.

You want your readers to believe the tale you are creating but if you have left gaping holes in the impacts of any moments if the story, it could unravel the threads of time itself. Imagine your tale results in the death of Hitler’s mum – I know, if this was a forum this would mean I’ve lost the argument but hey…I’m running with this 😉 So, Hitler wasn’t born, what does that mean in the world you are writing about.

Well, first of all, that is a major change to the real world history so you cannot just write it off. Millions of people would have survived to live lives that would have infinite amounts of impacts. Millions would not have been displaced and gone on to set up new lives – and new neighbourhoods – in new countries around the world. So much destruction would not have happened at the hands of the political system he led. But you cannot ignore that it isn’t just about what wouldn’t have happened.

What could have happened?

No HitlerWell, to a certain extent you hold the strings here but it is also where you need to be really careful.

Figuring out what was prevented is possibly a little more obvious than figuring out where you can go from there. You have to consider every change in the context of the changes you already made. So you decided who would take Hitler’s place, who is he (or in your world, was it a woman?), what had changed between the time that Hitler would have been born and how would that have determined what could happen?

There is only one way to sort this out. Know your onions. It’s great to write by the seat of your pants and boy does that lead to some really creative writing but sometimes the old adage ‘you gotta know the rules to break ‘em’ applies to more than just rules. Let’s tweak it. How about ‘you gotta know your history to change it’. Hmm. Sounds a bit like a motivational speaker, sorry about that. But how about this:

‘You gotta understand reality before you alter it.’

I’m not for a moment suggesting that you need to know every little bit of history, although if you are taking something incredibly well documented – like Hitler – it might be a good idea. No, what I am actually saying is that developing an understanding of the key points is going to really help if you want to change them. This applies to history, science, relationships, well, anything really.

If you get this part right, you may just be writing something amazing. Get it wrong and you are still wandering around in the foothills of Mount Publication. And you could equally find that one seemingly simple fact that didn’t work out is the landslide that takes you right back there.

Happy researching!

Title image by CWCreationMachine.

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