April 28, 2014

Adventures in Genre-Hopping: Theory

Oh, man. I am such a nerd. I seriously love this stuff.

I figured, if I'm going to write science fiction, I should probably understand the science behind these stories, right?

I took a physics class in college: ONE class: Astronomy. It was a great class. My professor knew so much and he covered several topics within physics, including the theory of relativity. I understood a lot of the basics that Einstein explored, but the overall concept of time travel eluded me.

So I turned to wikipedia.

This information was familiar, but more in-depth. I took a lot of notes and tried to put this stuff into layman's terms for myself later. I think I get the theories, and I see where I'm going to have to fictionalize a lot of this stuff for the sake of fiction. But wow. It's just interesting!

I also found a cool website called World Science U, where you can watch college-level lectures on a variety of sciency subjects. They have time travel! Or at least the theory of time travel. I'm learning a lot from this guy, and he explains it in a way that makes sense, which is pretty helpful.

I'm not sure if this experience makes me feel smarter or completely out of my depth.

Do you have any questions about time travel and how it works? What should I know before I dive in?

April 14, 2014

Adventures in Genre-Hopping: Research

I want to dive into the genre of Time Travel. I love Doctor Who and Back to the Future, so this genre is exciting to me. Nothing is off-limits! I can travel back to ancient times, or I can go back to the 1990s. I'm not sure which would be scarier to write about, to be honest.

So, I'm thinking the first step would be research. I've gathered a bunch of different books and movies. Here are the titles I've gone through so far:

Back to the Future movies (my all-time favorite movie trilogy ever!)
Somewhere in Time (an older time travel romance with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour)
The Time Traveler's Wife
Groundhog Day (If you haven't seen this comedy, it's one of my favorites)
Terminator series (which I had never seen before, but my sister was kind enough to get special versions of the entire series for me!)

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card (very science heavy)
Timebound by Rysa Walker (young adult)
Remembrance by Michelle Madow (this was more of a reincarnation story)
Tempest by Julie Cross  (YA with multiple time streams--this plot could get messy in the sequels, but I'm intrigued!)
Nick of Time by Ted Bell (AWESOME middle grade adventure story with pirates and nazis!)

I'm open to suggestions. What are your favorites?

So there are different theories about time travel... difference approaches. 

In Back to the Future, Marty changes the past and immediately starts to notice changes in items he brought with him from the present/future. This is an open loop--anything he does can change history

In The Time Traveler's Wife, no matter what anyone does, the future is the future. There's nothing they can do to prevent things from happening. This is a closed loop.

Terminator did a mix of both, which I thought was really creative. It's closed loop at first, and everything Sarah Connor does eventually leads to the future she's familiar with.... until she changes things. Sarah deliberately changes the future and I LOVE that she was able to do that. A great alternative.

But I really (really, really) loved the way Pathfinder kind of took these two approaches and just tore them apart. The characters would receive a message from the future and change what they were going to do to prevent, say, a bar fight. The bar fight never happens. Then they sit and discuss whether or not they need to go back in time and warn themselves not to get in the bar fight. 
Well.... the fight never actually happened, so there's nothing to warn us about. Right?
They get into these deep philosophical conversations about reality and destiny, but it's all completely hilarious because the characters are just as confused as the reader. I'd just like to say that Orson Scott Card is a master of science fiction.

I'm not sure I can pull that off. Card has been doing scifi forEVER and he knows this stuff inside and out. The thought of tackling this level of time travel theory is really intimidating. 

But when it comes to open loop or closed loop, I'm DEFINITELY for open loop. What's the point in time travel if you can't change anything? I believe that people have the ability to do things for themselves, to change their destiny, and make their own paths. So, I think I'll write something closer to Back to the Future, rather than Time Traveler's Wife. (I just hated the sense of helplessness.)

I also liked Timebound. Not only did Walker explore one of the creepiest men in history, she made her character give up everything when she went back in time. As in: If I go back in time, my boyfriend won't know who I am when I come back home. I loved this! If you're going to time travel, that's a huge amount of power and responsibility. There needs to be a lot of risk and sacrifice.

So that's where I am right now. 

What should I read next?

April 6, 2014

Writing a New Novel (in a New Genre)

Have you ever wondered what goes into publishing a book?

Right now, I'm in the middle of the revision process for The Ten Lost Princesses (Ivy Thorn #2.5). But I'm already collecting ideas and inspiration for my next big series. I thought it might be fun to share the journey on the blog.

Time Travel, anyone?

That's right. If you haven't heard yet, my next series of novels will be time travel!

So how does a writer start writing in a new genre?

That's what this blog series is going to be about. I don't know where this is going to lead me. Hopefully I'll learn a lot, but you'll hear about everything--successes and failures.

Wish me luck!
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