A Writer's Journey

July 16, 2012

Alternate History

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

In my Steampunk post, I talked about alternate history. And I’m sure some of you are curious.

“Alternate history” is similar to the “alternate universe” tag in fanfiction. There, the writer makes one change in canon and explores how that ripples out. Here, the writer makes a change in history and explores how that ripples out. For example, what would happen if Hitler had won? How would the 20th century change? An alternate universe novel would explore that possibility.

I’m interested in alternate history. What would’ve happened had the Americans lost the Revolution? Who would survive? What would happen to the colonies? I imagine Washington would be captured and hanged alongside other Patriot leaders. And who would get captured and who would go underground? Who would lead the rebellion? Would there even be a rebellion? Or would the people welcome British rule again?

And that’s just local! Without the fervor swelled by the Revolution, would France’s have occurred? Or would England have waged war with France due to her involvement? Is there still a chance for Napoleon to rise to power? What of all the other revolutions that followed? Did they occur? Did one of them become the new benchmark?

So many questions. So many possibilities. I know I would like to explore a few.

How about you?

Would this be the image we were used to if the British had won?


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