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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Altered Realities

Megan Stuart posted this question on a Forum on Writer's Digest this morning.

Especially for example, the subtle magical realism often seen in Latin American literature. I'm not trying to write science fiction, just slightly alternative realities in my books, and I'm not sure how to effectively establish different laws of reality without telling so in a boring paragraph.  Or can I just write and assume the reader will accept my lack of realism?

My reply was the following:
Just write it.  You may use a character witnessing the event or altered reality and somebody else explaining some plausible way this new reality is occurring.  We (Sci-Fi Writers) do it all the time.
It seems corny at first when you're doing it, but it gets easier with practice.  Think about when you're reading your favorite authors, stories, or movies, it is the moment we step over into the other side that we all enjoy!
On Jurassic Park when they first see the dinosaurs it's magical, exciting, and fun.  Corny and implausible as all hell, but that's why it is Sci-fi and fun!!!
So jump right in and have fun, amuse, surprise and amaze yourself and that's the feelings your reader will get when they read it!  Isn't it Great?!
Thomas
I thought I would share this with the readers of my blog, because I remember stumbling over this very aspect in one of my first two books.  It dawned on me that the new and aspiring author who hasn't jumped out there yet, hasn't thrown their hat into the ring with the rest of us authors may reach this point and struggle with it as I did.
It isn't real!  It is writing!  The rules of science do apply and then again in many genres they don't.  You can redefine the rules of the reality in your story all you want to.  For example in the plethora of vampire stories in the various mediums from literature to television the whole Vampires can't be out during day thing is and has been handled in numerous ways.  In Science Fiction Writing the covering extremely large areas of space in short order to make it through one book with the same characters instead of third or fourth generations of travelers is and has been handled in as many different ways as there are stories about space travel.
It's writing, you can change anything, create any world you can dream up, worlds within worlds!  Let your mind stretch and explore the possibilities of whatever you can dream up.
One of the biggest motivators for myself to begin writing was all the times I thought a particular story was going one place and ended up somewhere short of where I imagined it could go.  The many times I envisioned different endings, or how the author could have really gone nuts with this or that and they just left it lying there on the page, nothing close to what I envisioned.  So I began writing where I can be as crazy as I want and not get into trouble for it.  The funny thing about it is there are others who want to go to the same crazy places I do.  Who want to be lead to the cliff and thrown off as Mr. Rollins so eloquently puts it.
So to the writers, cut loose!  Loose the hounds of your mind and astound us all!!
May God Bless You, and Have a Great Day!  Keep Writing!!

1 comments:

Chris said...

Good advice! I write realistic fiction, and find myself asking "Is that credible?" all the time. It's not that what I am writing is "out of genre", like suddenly landing a flying saucer in the middle of the story. Instead, it's that I often question, as Megan did, whether I need to give clunky background information in order to clarify what I have going on. Sometimes I ditch ideas that I think may be clever or interesting because I feel that I would have to do too much by way of explanation to make it work to my satisfaction. It's frustrating. Maybe I should just plow ahead and deal with it later in the revision phase.

 
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