1. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    Alternate History??

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by suddenly BANSHEES, Jan 27, 2012.

    That probably isn't the right phrase I'm looking for, but screw it.

    My current project takes place in the early 1930s. At the end, in about 1932, civilization ends (more or less). Obviously, this never actually happened :p

    I was wondering, would it be a stretch to expect readers to believe this for the sake of the story? Personally, I wouldn't see a problem with it if I read a novel with such an ending, but I mentioned it to a friend at school the other day, and a kid who'd been listening in said, "That doesn't make any sense, though. The world hasn't ended yet."

    Kid in question has said several times that he hates reading, so I was wondering how a regular reader would feel about this? Would it be dumb to have this kind of ending in a story set in the past, or could it be forgiven because it's science fiction? How carefully should I tread here?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question. I just figured I shouldn't discredit someone else's opinion too quickly, especially not at this stage. If I need to change the ending, I can still catch it now, before everything's set in stone.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Absolutely nothing wrong with your premise. And next time, find someone with a little imagination to discuss your stories with ;)
     
  3. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    Awesome \o/
    Thank you!
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There's no problem with writing alternate history stories. Just look up "Alternate History" on Wikipedia and you'll see a big list of examples of the genre. Everyone from Philip K. Dick to Vladimir Nabokov has tried it.
     
  5. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    Nope. The end of civilisation's end seems interesting plot idea. As long as you justify and portray it in a catchy way.
     
  6. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Well, I already know fictitious stories didn't actually happen, so I don't see a problem with suspending my disbelief for this one.

    Sounds interesting.
     
  7. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    Always take things said by kids with a grain of salt. Kids are idiots. (No offence.)
    I work in a library and have had a young boy say that he didn't like a story because it couldn't happen. It's all about suspension of disbelief.
    You're never going to get universal popularity, but there's plenty of alternate histories available.
    Also, plenty of retro sci-fi which is similar.
     
  8. Betrayal
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    Betrayal New Member

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    An event during 1932 which could contribute to the end of the world (perhaps this world could be underground or hidden from the human world because of some special purpose) is that Adolf Hitler came into power in Germany, look it up.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds fascinating!... go for it...
     
  10. twelveninetysix
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    twelveninetysix Member

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    Definitely go for it. Of course it didn't happen. Maybe the kid is determined to hate reading, but does he really think that all his favorite action movies happened, for example? Does he think that Batman is real, or that Mission Impossible is based on a true story? He's an idiot. Alternate history is a veritable minefield of good ideas. Every single important event that had occurred is a basis for dozens of different stories. Go for it!
     
  11. jonsnana
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    jonsnana Member

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    There's a whole genre of sci-fi called alternate history. So far my favorite author team is David Drake and Eric Flint, but you could be next. Write your book.
     
  12. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I think it sounds great because it's a hypothetical. I'm just wondering why the world ends at that date? I think it's more interesting BECAUSE we know it didn't. Makes you think about all the things we've developed and discovered since then and how the world has changed. I like brining myself back to a different time. In graduate school, I had to analyze a mathematician's works, and although I have computers and calculators and such at my disposal, I had to research this person and write an analysis only using what he had at his disposal at his time. I thought it was a great assignment - one of my favorites - so much so that I wrote forty extra pages beyond what was required! I really got into it! I think from the little you've written of your premise, I'm intrigued and want to know more. So, keep going. And if someone says it's stupid or they just don't understand, oh well. Just make sure it makes sense to you and that you can communicate your reasoning to the reader in some way.
     

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