I’ve learned many things from the writing of Stephen King (both reading his novels and his great book On Writing). Among those lessons, he’s taught me that fantasy and science fiction need not be segregated, but can be present in the same fictional world at the same time. It can be done. It can work. It can work well.
Aside from the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, I’ve come across this idea elsewhere too–from Anne McAffrey and Terry Brooks, to name a couple. I also found the idea fascinating in the 80’s cartoon movie Wizards.
This has been one of the cornerstones of my fantasy world for a long time. One of my first tries at writing a novel (in middle and high school) included a human from Earth ending up in my fantasy world of Dadreon. Over the course of the story, she learns the horrible truth, that Earth was destroyed and this alien fantasy world eventually sprung from its ashes. The horror of it struck me enough to think of it as a good enough segway.
Then, I grew up and I noticed the glaring holes in my worldbuilding. I’ve spent the past few years stitching up many of them, but I had started to think I would drop the “far-future Earth” idea because I wasn’t sure how I could make it work. I feared it had become my “darling” and one that needed killing. (More advice from Mr. King.)
I had my pantheon of gods. I had the protectors that served those gods. I had mortal races that had “normal” day to day lives, like real life, but in a fantastic world. These characters all make up the side of “order,” and on other side of that balance coin, the forces of “chaos.” But I still hadn’t figured out how to make the fantasy and science fiction elements blend. I didn’t want some blah reason for Earth to die. I didn’t want to make some statement of how awful we are as a human race and have us blow ourselves up in a nuclear war (which was my original thought, but never satisfying).
Then everything (finally, after almost 30 years) started to come together.
When I started my blog, I used it as an outlet for the fan fiction stories building in my head. Stories for my World of Warcraft characters. They were set in a known world, so I had that part done for me, very safe, but it’s such a wide world it gave me the latitude to get creative. Eventually, realizing I would never (realistically) be able to publish fan fiction (except on my own tiny corner of the internet), I shifted back to working on fiction for my own fantasy world of Dadreon again.
About 30 years after creating it and about 10 years since I’d even looked at it.
I filled in lots of worldbuilding holes. I made great progress.
But I missed those great fan fiction stories I had started.
So I began to wonder if there were a way to translate those stories from the Warcraft world to my own.
What I came up with was sparked by Effraeti’s “Descending Twilight” series. So I brainstormed and I wrote a teaser:
Earth, the Near Future.
Humans have been advancing their technology and learning the science of time travel, but not in time to save themselves. Dark old gods have emerged. They and their demonic minions lay waste to Earth.
In one last effort to save humanity, scientists flee through time both backward (to prevent) and forward (to escape), trying to find their salvation and discover what might stop these awesome, destructive beings.
But something goes wrong. Dr. Gabi Graf is caught in a temporal vortex and nearly killed. Somehow she is split in two and ends up in two times and places, each half aware something is missing…
Can she survive in the distant future? What will Earth have become at the hands of these dark old gods? And will she find what she’s looking for?
Gabi has become her own alternate timeline.
Okay, okay, so the blurb probably doesn’t need the last line, but I really like it.
Now, instead of working on my four book series Jadeflare (specifically Book 2) for NaNoWriMo, like I had originally intended, now I want to work on this. I have so many ideas in my head.I’m currently working to straighten them out in my head and on paper with the help with
I’m currently working to straighten these ideas out in my head and on paper with the help with Kristen Kieffer’s awesome Pre-Writing Story Bible. (Kristen also runs a great Facebook group called Your Write Dream with a great writer community if you’re interested in something like that.) Once I get every question answered in the Story Bible, I’ll do a chapter outline. Then I’ll enter those chapters into Scrivener. Then, I should be ready to start writing.
I love the idea of NaNoWriMo, but I doubt I’ll aim for 1667 per day (for a total of 50,000 between November 1st and November 30th). I’m thinking of doing something more lowkey and attainable, like 500 words per day, which was suggested by Shaunta Grimes who runs another awesome Facebook group called Ninja Writers, which is also a great writing community.
The Facebook groups are great support, but also a huge distraction sometimes (like when I’m unconsciously trying to avoid writing).
500 words are still more than my average, so it’ll still be quite a stretch.
But I can do this.
And I’ll work on this new novel idea (which I’m affectionately naming Split Personality until I come up with something better) until I get stuck like I did with Jadeflare. Then, I’ll switch and keep going with that.
I’m trying to tell myself that multiple projects are okay. It might slow me down, but if it keeps me writing reguarly, it’s worth it.
Wish me luck in November! If I’m not stressing too much over word counts, I’ll try to post updates. Otherwise, I might not pipe up here again until December 1st.