Crafting Alternate History

The beauty of fiction is that the writer can imagine just about any kind of scenario for his/her story. It can be populated by mythical creatures, aliens or normal humans, where anything goes, and it’s (for the most part) believable to the reader, so long as there’s enough exposition to explain the difference(s) from the Real World. Time is relative, and history can be whatever the writer deems to be true in the world he/she has created.

The possibilities are endless, which is also the challenge when travelling down the path of the alternate universe. The degree to which to skew fact is among the factors to take into account, along with determining at what point in time to diverge from actual history and distinguishing the Fixed Points that cannot be changed. As a way to help with the process of determining these salient issues, I’ve binged watched select episodes of Doctor Who. The current series is amazing thus far, and it’s a shame that it’s Peter Capaldi’s final run as The Doctor – he’s by far the finest modern incarnation. I’m liking the new companion, Bill, who is a refreshing change from the recent companions.

But I digress.

The ripples from changing a (perceived) Fixed Point can cause a multitude of alternate universes where the status quo could be better, worse or just different from reality (though these days with all that talk of “alternative facts”, it can be difficult to know what is real and what isn’t). Then there’s the option of creating a secondary alternate universe within the primary one, where things get really complicated.

Of course, among the requirements in creating an alternate universe with its alternate history is to have a firm (or as firm as possible) grasp of Actual History (or at least the history that’s been recorded and taught in school) and choosing a key moment (or several) to diverge from and creating a plausible divergence from that point. After all, it’d be too complicated and complex (not to mention frustrating) for the reader to have to research actual history to be able to understand the difference from the alternate history from the actual one.

The use of alternate history remains a component for the foundation upon which the MASC Chronicles sits, along with a bunch of other other-worldly elements. The point at which history diverges is one that (at least to my knowledge) hasn’t been employed before, and whether or not history is “restored” to its original state remains to be seen.

Onward to research, plot and ponder.

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