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Fiction's universe or dimension

docholladay
Updated:

I might be stupid, but for my enjoyment of fiction regardless of the genre. I always consider it as taking place in an alternate universe or dimension. That allows for it to have discrepancies in facts such as Historical facts, geographical locales, science and technology. It is nice when something is given as a fact if it can be verified, but until its identified as a real life fact, its fantasy.

edited to add: The universe or dimension is the "Imagination" where anything and everything is possible.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@docholladay

I believe we called that "make believe" in our "once upon a time" growing-up years.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@graybyrd

It sure helps to enjoy a story when you don't have to nitpick potential errors in facts or current event discrepancies. For facts I look them up or study the related areas. Fiction I read to have a little pleasure and sometimes to help me forget.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  graybyrd
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

It sure helps to enjoy a story when you don't have to nitpick potential errors in facts or current event discrepancies. For facts I look them up or study the related areas. Fiction I read to have a little pleasure and sometimes to help me forget.

Except ... you'd be surprised at how many readers will follow a story on Google, tracking the location of characters. If you put someone in the wrong location, or have them traveling somewhere in an unrealistic time frame, you may hear it, but chances are, the readers will grumble and never comment to the author.

Technology has opened the world to readers in ways Gutenberg never imagined.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

That is where readers are making a big mistake. When they nitpick a story to death they kill any potential pleasure they will get from the story.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Except ... you'd be surprised at how many readers will follow a story on Google, tracking the location of characters


Yeah, and I still haven't narrowed down that damn trailer park in Tampa, despite finding the airfield and bike shop.

typo edit

The Slim Rhino

Since I write Star Trek fanfiction a lot, the question of alternate universes is quite an important one. Since the Next Generation Episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" it is canon that there are an infinite number of parallel universes in which history may have been radically different.

For most of my stories I depart from the events we've seen on screen, so most of them take place in an alternate universe. For instance my largest story leaves most of the canon story intact, but branches from established events after the late season four episode "Bound", so this whole "Terra Prime" disaster did never happen in that universe.

Replies:   demonmaster62
graybyrd

@docholladay

Some fiction tales are easier than others to read with a forgiving imagination. Those 'others' will strain credulity with inconsistent plot devices, 'Saturday Matinee' miraculous rescues, and characters who strain belief with convenient superhuman powers. There's no fun in that.

demonmaster62
Updated:

@The Slim Rhino

Maybe off topic for this, but then Demons don't need no stinkin' rules! Anyway, huge ST fan. I love your writing in the ST universe helping keep it alive. I do however that you would point your talents more toward TOS or TNG eras. For me, Enterprise was a flawed concept from the start....not in how they did it, but that we go back to the beginning...hard to be interested when you've already been to the edge of the galaxy!

They did the best they could I suppose, but Berman and company, should have yurned that ebergy toward making the end of the Voyager series, much more logical and less rushed. Same with DS9, though I'll admit to never really caring for DS9 until Worf and O'brian came on board.

There was SOOO much more that could have been done with Voyager (obviously my number three on the list of the shows).

My main problem with Enterprise, were the continuity issues. We know that no one had seen the Romulans before kirk's era even though a war had been fought, but Archer meets them much earlier. One can say alt timeline all they want, but stuff like that drove fans like me away from the show in a hurry.

Sorry, rambling. Oh, and if T'Pol a full blooded Vulcan could fall so easily into a relationship with Tucker, why could half human Spock not get with Chapel at all?

Edit-Sorry for all the ypos, just not going to hunt them all down

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Yeah, and I still haven't narrowed down that damn trailer park in Tampa, despite finding the airfield and bike shop.

I've walked both sides of this fence. While I've sometimes provided Google Maps of the various locations in my stories, if I need a new location, and especially if I don't want to portray an existing business negatively, I'll invent the business/park/town out of whole cloth. But ... the maps I included on my website were universally ignored, so I abandoned the practice.

@graybyrd

Some fiction tales are easier than others to read with a forgiving imagination. Those 'others' will strain credulity with inconsistent plot devices, 'Saturday Matinee' miraculous rescues, and characters who strain belief with convenient superhuman powers. There's no fun in that.

I've always disliked D.C. comics because of the 'Superman effect'. In the early days of Superman, every issue, they'd present a new challenge, and in the end, presto-chango, they'd reveal a new superpower to get him out of it. That's where his X-ray vision, heat vision, etc. all came from.

Now I write sci-stories about characters facing strange abilities, and like the early Spiderman comics, they wrestle with the implications of those abilities and strive to comprehend where they came from, rather than spending their time wrestling other guys in Spandex tights (which, pardon the language) always struck me as being fairly gay, literally!

@demonmaster62

One can say alt timeline all they want, but stuff like that drove fans like me away from the show in a hurry.

That's the problem with the whole 'alternate universe' theory. It's a short cut allowing authors to skip over the necessary story development. A central rule, in writing fiction (and especially science-fiction) is the readers give you several chapters to define the parameters of your universe, during which time you can claim almost anything, but after that, you can't add new rules, or violate your already established rules, without losing fans. The more to try, and the more extreme the offense, the more readers you'll lose. And in a series, the 'alternate reality' complications continually increase over time.

Replies:   demonmaster62
The Slim Rhino

@demonmaster62

Sorry, rambling. Oh, and if T'Pol a full blooded Vulcan could fall so easily into a relationship with Tucker, why could half human Spock not get with Chapel at all?


Because Spock more or less denied and even fought his human half until the time of the forth movie. (The one where they pilfer the whales)

BTW, hat ST:ENT seen the fifth season, T'Pol would have been revealed to be half-Romulan. The episode had apparently already been written before the show was cancelled.

The Slim Rhino

@demonmaster62

Sorry, rambling. Oh, and if T'Pol a full blooded Vulcan could fall so easily into a relationship with Tucker, why could half human Spock not get with Chapel at all?


Because Spock more or less denied and even fought his human half until the time of the forth movie. (The one where they pilfer the whales)

BTW, hat ST:ENT seen the fifth season, T'Pol would have been revealed to be half-Romulan. The episode had apparently already been written before the show was cancelled.

Dominions Son

@demonmaster62

Oh, and if T'Pol a full blooded Vulcan could fall so easily into a relationship with Tucker, why could half human Spock not get with Chapel at all?


As other's have said, Spock fought his human half during the original series. He tried to be super logical due to discrimination/bullying he faced on Vulcan as a child for being half human.

Spock's father Sarek (don't know if that's the correct spelling) married two different human women. Spock's mother of course, then later in the Next Gen series, they showed that he married a second human woman after Spock's mother died.

Replies:   demonmaster62
demonmaster62

@Dominions Son

It really was a rhetorical question guys, to point out that sometimes the "logic" didn't live up to the hype.

demonmaster62

@Crumbly Writer

I agree with you, but if a "fantasy" univers has ever been established as set in stone, it is the Star Trek universe. You can play with alt. timelines but in the end it all has to come back to the established confines. Thus sayeth Roddenberry.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@demonmaster62

Thus sayeth Roddenberry.

Thus sayeth the fans: "Don't fuck with my imaginary universe, bitch!" Yuu may have created the series, but don't keep pulling my chain by changing the rules you initially explained in painstaking detail just because it allows a quick escape from unexpected plot holes!

sejintenej
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Yeah, and I still haven't narrowed down that damn trailer park in Tampa, despite finding the airfield and bike shop.


LOL Ain't e the guy wots into chicken marsala and popping off geezers in the streets? You don't want to go there - your will's out of date.

Fine idea for the chicken (I'd never heard of it before) except I'm not sure about the way he makes it. As for Chicken Vesuvio, consult 100 chefs and you get 300 recipes.

The yacht hire? he's mixing that up with another author

docholladay

I think the main point is that we are all human and none of us are perfect. So why expect our literature to be perfect. The writers like here on SOL always seem to strive for perfection, but sometimes I see that as a potential problem. Sure learn and improve, but use that learning and improvement on the next story not on one that has been posted. Major errors are fine to be fixed. But trying to make one perfect won't work really. There is no such story as the perfect story, there will always be mistakes or potential improvements.

The alternate universe/dimension idea isn't to be an escape for bad storytelling. Its a way for a story to be accepted for what it is and not something to be analyzed to death.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Major errors are fine to be fixed. But trying to make one perfect won't work really. There is no such [thing] as the perfect story, there will always be mistakes or potential improvements.

Sorry, but you have that backwards. Typos are a simple fix. Major errors require an extensive rewrite, potentially requiring removal of a book from publication and several months revising the story.

That's why plot holes are such show stoppers, while improper grammar and/or punctuation errors are simple to correct.

Many (editors) advocate hiring a content/structural editor before writing, just so you can avoid the major story issues (like having a murdering adulterer as the lead in a romance) before you're fully invested in an existing story, though few can afford that option, even if they sell a gazillion books!

That said, you have a point. There comes a point--a point which varies with each author--where you have to turn your back on changes to a story, otherwise you'll never write anything new, wanting to rewrite each of your existing books time and again.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Many (editors) advocate hiring a content/structural editor before writing


This is a bit too self interested to be completely credible. It's like a lawyer suggesting that you need to hire (and pay) a lawyer before you get sued.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Major errors require an extensive rewrite, potentially requiring removal of a book from publication and several months revising the story.


True, but doesn't always happen. One of my favourite mainstream series of books has a stated position on ESP in the first book, which they violate and totally ignore by halfway through book 3. It irked me when I realised, but since the series has been out for over 15 years and the author is now dead, I seriously doubt they'll do anything about fixing it. Also, it's a minor point that I'm sure many readers missed.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


It's like a lawyer suggesting that you need to hire (and pay) a lawyer before you get sued.


They do, it's called putting them on a retainer - it's so you can get them to respond quicker and others can't approach them to sue you.

typo edit

Replies:   graybyrd  Dominions Son
graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

They due, it's called putting them on a retainer - it's so you can get them to respond quicker and others can't approach them to sue you.


I'll see your lawyer, and raise you a barrister, two counselors, and an attorney. QC, anyone?

Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

QC, anyone?


We have them down here, but I don't think they have them in the USA. If you go to the High Court you need a QC or they don't let you into the building - except on a visitors tour when court isn't in session.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

They do, it's called putting them on a retainer - it's so you can get them to respond quicker and others can't approach them to sue you.


I know it exists. But: do it because a lawyer says it's a good idea is a very weak argument for doing so.

Dominions Son

@graybyrd

I'll see your lawyer, and raise you a barrister, two counselors, and an attorney. QC, anyone?


I kind of vaguely know what a barrister is, but what the fuck is a QC?

There are lawyers in the US that specialize in trial and appellate work as well as lawyers who do work equivalent to a solicitor. However, we just don't use those terms as there are not particular legal qualifications separating the two.

The only court in the US that requires specialized qualifications to appear before is the Supreme Court of the United States which has it's own BAR.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Grant
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


I kind of vaguely know what a barrister is, but what the fuck is a QC?


Queen's Council - the legal beagles have various levels of training and authority with the baseline being a solicitor and they work their way up through barrister - QC is the top of the heap and only a QC is allowed to present a case at the highest levels.

edit to add - High Court is the Aust equivalent of the US Supreme Court

Grant

@Dominions Son

I kind of vaguely know what a barrister is, but what the fuck is a QC?

From around $1,000 per hour, top earners are around 20-$25,000 per day (as of June 2014).

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