The need for literature ideas

Picture from the film Tomorrowland: A World Beyond

Growing up with a love for films and series about the future I was often disappointed about how it almost to a fault, portrayed a dystopian society with different levels of advanced technology that is a story of its own.

You can often hear interviewers ask authors of science fiction and other fiction, based in the future, if this is how they foresee the years to come. As though they are clairvoyants who have seen the inevitable and would hurry to their computer not to waste another second, bunkering up with necessities, hammering away on the keyboard in haste to warn the people of a town or the whole earth for that matter, of what’s to come.

Is writing about the future, an attempt to predict the future, or is it a medium to play with an idea?

Historical fiction

Jodi McIsaac wrote the book “Bury the Living” which is the first book in her Revolutionary series. We meet the time travelling Nora O’Reilly, a former IRA fighter from Belfast, who travels back to 1923 at the height of the brutal Irish Civil War in search of a stranger from her dreams.

In a guest post for Writers Digest on How to Write Time-Travel Historical Fiction she talks about how much she loves research, but how the difference between time travel fiction and pure historical fiction is huge. She continues with how in time travel fiction, you have to be constantly aware of the new surroundings she faces, in addition to the historic research.

Writing for the future

David Mamet has a Masterclass in Dramatic Writing and in a piece about writing science fiction he explains it to be a speculative fiction that contains imagined elements that don’t exist in the real world and he also speaks to science fiction to be called the “literature of ideas”. And there it is, –speculative fiction and literature of ideas, which is why I love the genre so much.

You see, my favourite word is wonder. I grew up with parents who loved movies and books too, especially my mother, and it was such a treat when she would come home with a couple of videos (yes, it was the days of VHS). She curated what I could watch depending on my age and she always encouraged me to be in wonder. The what-ifs, –the very foundation of storytelling. And then there was the man who gave wonder a brand: Disney movies.

History is the stepping stone for the future

Writing for a change

If you haven’t watched Tomorrowland: A World Beyond I highly recommend that you do. Why? Because the film poses two questions:

One; can our faith in the world and humanity, or lack thereof, have a global impact?

Two; can just one person’s vision and faith in a future, impact the world as a whole?

If you aren’t a person of wonder, but you would like to be, the genre of science fiction is the invitation you might have been looking for. History is the stepping stone for the future.

Onwards and upwards!

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