Quasi-fresh off from watching this week’s episode of Doctor Who “Before the Flood” (which was pretty good at tying up the plot threads from the previous week’s episode “Under the Lake”) the notion of time travel and the possibility of alternate/parallel universes has reappeared.
While the minions of the Real Life Brigade continue building their new edifice in the Land of Exposition, from which they will headquarter their operation and issue forth decrees and such, the time travelling Muses (and their plot bunny minions) returned with new/old ideas. There’s always been the notion of using alternate history as a plot device in the MASC Chronicles, and the idea crops up every now and then. Another great passion of mine is history, and in an (entirely plausible) alternate universe, I’m an historian spending (most of) my time pouring over ancient texts, searching for causality and parallels to make sense of the world in which we live, hoping to improve quality of life, the universe and, well everything.
Or I could write about it.
…and there goes another plot bunny, and quite possibly the general premise of this year’s NaNoWritMo entry.
Well, that’s now sorted.
I actually intended to write about something else for this week’s entry (which will now most likely be written next week), but (once again) quasi-influenced by Doctor Who, the insertion of using alternate history as the foundation upon which the MASC Chronicles is set is tempting, not to mention time consuming.
(See what I did there?)
Obviously, researching actual history in order to create alternate history is a daunting task – purists will quibble over inaccuracies and anachronisms and point out how certain events should be fixed points – yet the fact that the task is daunting makes it all the more interesting to tackle. On the other hand, keeping track of the diversions and figuring out which events should be “fixed points” can get confusing. Moreover, changing history can also lead to creating parallel universes within alternate history, which can then lead to paradoxes and inadvertent time loops.
Again, this is not a new idea – I think – I’ve always been a fan of science fiction, and the (seemingly) infinite possibilities that lie within that genre, but I’ve never given thought to actually!writing science fiction. Mystery has always been the genre to which I was attracted – whether it be historical or contemporary, as a reader and (now) as a writer. Throwing elements of science fiction (via Steampunk, which is essentially historical science fiction) is a more recent addition to the writing process – though in looking over my archives (hand written and electronic), those elements were kinda, sorta already there, albeit covertly. Or subconsciously.
Maybe this is an instance of the bootstrap paradox. (Goggle it.)
Then again (again), figuring out what should/could/might be considered “real” history, and what should/could/might be considered “alternate” history in a fictional story is a paradox in and of itself. After all, (almost) anything goes when writing fiction – the existence of aliens, vampires and wizards (oh my!) – that’s what makes it fiction in the first place.
Aliens, vampires and wizards – I’m not sure if those three elements have ever been written in a single story before (though I’m almost certain they’ve all appeared in an episode of Doctor Who) but maybe I should attempt to write a story about that, with a dash of mystery just for fun, set in a parallel/alternate universe.
Welcome (once again) to the (slightly mad) inner workings of my writing mind.