1. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Is there anything wrong with destroying history?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Corgz, Oct 4, 2012.

    So um. I dont know how to explain this... I want to write about a time traveller who ends up in Melbourne and I was wondering would it be I dunno... wrong? For him to end up destroying Flinders street station?

    Would it be like... messing with history to much?

    This is really hard to explain... Would it be like.. over the top? Would it be wrong?
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Douglas Adams blew up the entire world. I think you can get away with destroying a railway station.

    In terms of time-travelling history breaking, then it's up to you to write around it. It's annoying if in one place a writer says that tiny changes will destroy the future, but elsewhere in the story a major change is ignored or explained away with a self-correcting timeline. I.e. please be consistent.
     
  3. artsia
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    artsia New Member

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    It's perfectly plausible that a time-travelling character would change history - just ensure that the changes have consequences in the future (i.e. keep the story internally consistent)!
     
  4. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Thanks guys, anyone else?

    Also, this is not just a railway station,... its flinders street railway station :/
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's done all the time in fiction... just about any major landmark on earth has been blown up or destroyed by nature one way or another, by now... why should a train station no one but locals know about be spared?
     
  6. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Statue of Liberty at the end of Planet of the Apes. "They blew it up!"

    Anything you want to blow up, go for it! :D
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Never mess with history, or you will probably erase yourself from existence.
     
  8. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    Could you imagine that? You sit down to write and the stuff you put down on the paper/screen just happens?
    I think I'd make it so that pizza grows on trees and uh...cows produce ice cold soda. I have a pizza problem...and a caffeine problem.

    Ahem, but more on topic...
    I don't think it would be preposterous that an event like that could happen when time travel is involved. Just make sure that the consequences make sense. Showing that it altered the course of history is great, but the outcome should be reasonable.

    The good thing is that this can open up plenty of possibilities, depending on how far you're willing to go. For example, your character could blow up the station and people thought it was an accident; it goes down as a tragedy, they build a memorial, end of story. Those are relatively (all things considered) small consequences.

    However, it could get bigger than that. Maybe it looks like an act of terrorism to the people of that time and it starts a war, having a major impact on history.
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I don't think so. I mean, are you talking about like he goes back in time and accidentally destroys this train station?

    The Doctor from Doctor Who often goes back in time and causes a few important things to blow up, or really, really bad things to happen otherwise. Hell, in one of Ten's episodes, Great Britain gets invaded by aliens a few years before WWI. In another episode, Charles Dickens gets hunted down by the Cybermen. Its fictional. We know Great Britain didn't get invaded by aliens before WWI in real life, or that Dickens commenced battle with the Cybermen. And every so often, he'd go visit London during the Blitz to find some alien race (Dalek or otherwise) descending upon London.

    People in fiction go back in time to muck things up...all the time. xD It's considered the norm. Sometimes, it coincides with their adventure with long-dead famous historical people.
     
  10. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    It's a genre - Alternate History - assuming the destruction of the train station has consequences, etc. If he just destroys it and then that's it; the future is unchanged... well, you better provide a reason why. ;)
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    What purpose does this phrase serve in your post? It's something that occurs in speech when one is either uncomfortable speaking or is unsure of what to say. Presumably one has the presence of mind while sitting at the keyboard to work through either of those before going ahead and posting, so it strikes me here as nothing more than an affectation.
     
  12. Mikewritesfic
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    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

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    The whole premise of a time travel story is for history to be changed somehow. Destroy the train station and enjoy writing about it :)
     
  13. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    It can help set the tone of his post. Perhaps it conveys just how confused or unsure he is regarding the matter he wants to discuss. If it lets us know that he is uncomfortable, then it's letting us know he might need some encouragement, which I'd be glad to provide. At any rate, things like that can make communication a bit more organic; they can help you understand someone a bit better. Keep in mind that you can't see body language through a forum post, so communication has to be supplemented in other ways.

    By the way, we are both a bit off topic. So, I apologize for this.
     
  14. wardwolf
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    wardwolf Member

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    I would like to live in that world.
     
  15. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    If genetic engineering keeps on developing, you may get your wish.
     
  16. wardwolf
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    wardwolf Member

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    Holy cow...editing each others writing with a proper critical eye is one thing, but critiquing informal conversation-style forum posts?

    Then again, even in saying this I'm doing the same - I suppose my point is, ease up a bit. Perhaps the OP's use of "so um" was during a stream-of-consciousness feeling as he/she typed.

    It's to the point nowadays that on instant messaging I unconsciously type "lol" while laughing at a friend's comment. Would I ever use that in my fiction? Doubtful. But context is important, and grammar/language use, etc in these conversational posts should probably be given a free pass, no?
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Time travel and changing history is one thing. The only thing I would say is be carefuly not to upset peoples sacred cows. (Even the soda milk ones!)

    There are things that people, all of us, hold sort of sacrosanct. That we get upset about if others change. For me the last one that hit me was U451 or whatever, where the Americans apparently captured a German U boat, and got the ansebel device. This annoyed me because the Americans weren't in the war at that stage and the British did it. It was pure rewriting of history.

    Time travel plots allow you to do all of these sorts of things legitimately, but you still have to consider your reader's sensibilities.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. Rose Hunt
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    Rose Hunt Member

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    Blowing it up would be cool to the reader. Everyone always have these 'what if' questions, that is why they love fiction. But I totally agree with a former post. Make it believable and remember the reader's sensibilities. Alternative history is better than rewriting history.
    Rose
     
  19. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    If you are writing about time travel, I don't think any reader would expect historical fact.
     

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