Friday, January 11, 2013
Take time travel, for instance. What concept of time/space is the story based upon? Euclidean space? Special Relativity? Minkowski Space? Lorentz transformation? If the character 'travels' in time, is he/she going in a straight line? Round in a circle? Between folds of spacetime? And how can we tell?
As a non-physicist missing the Maths gene, it does my head in!
Now consider superpowers, which is what I have also been researching. Seems so simple, doesn't it? Give a hero magical powers that no one else has and then challenge him/her to use it appropriately. Ahem. Right. Let's say, super strength. What's to stop her crushing people inadvertently? How will her own body cope with the strain? Ok, what about super speed? How does he prevent his brain from slamming inside his skull when he stops while the force of momentum continues? All right, mind reading then. How will she know which thoughts are hers and which are the jumbled flotsam of everyone else's?
Its a minefield, my friends, fraught with danger. The last thing we want is to evoke feelings of frustration or disappointment in our readers. It must make sense, in its own world. So the answer seems to be, like the Marvel Comics, create a science world theory unique to the story which explains these anomalies. For instance, induced evolution/mutation in The Hulk, (inspired by Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and Frankenstein), where Dr David Banner transforms physically from a shy scientist to a huge, green monster with a bad temper whenever he is stressed out.
This presents its own challenges as you grapple with what is possible and impossible and why, in order for your character to challenge the evil dude and win. (or lose, if that's your object) I have to say, I do relish this challenge, even if my brain hurts after a while! It's sort of playing God, and the reader (hopefully) comes along for the ride, enjoying the altered reality you create for them, transporting them out of their everyday existence and to somewhere fabulously unique and mystifying. I know I enjoy it when other writers manage to convince me. Ah, the freedom of the imagination! 'Tis a joyous thing.
Posted by Dawn Meredith at Friday, January 11, 2013