Timeline Adjustments

For once in my life, meticulous world building has saved me a ton of time.

I started this series circa 2006-07. I created an impact event in the past that destroys most of the human race; in my series, there are about 17k people left on Earth–and they live in this sort of steampunk-ish world where portions of old tech are utilized to get things done in straightforward ways. I Digress. The impact event involved meteor (7341) 1991 vk, one of those asteroids that love getting too close to Earth every time they come around.

Lo and behold, as 2017 draws to a close, meteor (7341) 1991 vk has come and gone. My impact event cannot occur unless I’m writing one of those alt-history origin stories and I’m not interested in doing that. I must alter my timeline by five years (when vk returns to us), and that’s okay because I’m missing exactly five years in a later portion of my timeline. Nothing happens in those five years that’s relevant to anything in my current series. No dialogue mentions, no visits to places that need brief intros in the narrative. You get the idea.

One thing that did happen that worked amazingly to my advantage was the discovery of the volcanic field in Western Antarctica. My fictional “valley of volcanoes” set off by the altered magnetic fields of the moon’s shift, and the subsequent impact event, melt the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet in my series, creating a place called the Antarctica West Islands. It’s where 23rd-century humanity partakes in trade and diplomacy with the femmar.

Crisis averted. The chain of events that set off the world of my current storyline begins in 2022, not 2017, and that required minor edits to the timeline. I will have to go in and make changes to various Bible-Entries, but that’s a weekend project. ((>_<))

topographic_ramaxia

The glaciers in East Antarctica are still intact; this is a subglacial map.
The cities are not just beneath the ice, they’re on the oceanic floor.

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The Point of Timelines

I’ve been asked recently, ‘what’s the point of a timeline if you have an entire series bible with everything in it?’  Not every writers wants to go back and look for a specific date by pulling up the notes with all the details. Also, sometimes all you need is a date for something mentioned in dialog–it may not have a big old backstory… Timelines are perfect for establishing continuity that doesn’t need a long drawn out explanation.

Time Lines Page

My history is set in the society I live in. Past events shape the present time–dates are essential when a scene, or dialog, details a specific incident, or point in time, and continuity needs to be maintained. The double-novels of Holodomor & Memory Kill are the only books that contain a huge amount of narrative set in the past; getting the dates right is essential.

  • The series-bible has three timelines – the first details the prehistoric era that establishes the rise and fall of the Femati in the Cryogenian Era, and the building of the Femati’xirpaxul–the life form responsible for creating Sofita’s species, the Femmar, in the present.
  • The second timeline details the ‘Human era’ of the planet–the rise of humanity, and the events that lead to its near extinction.
  • The third details the Femarctic Era, the birth of Sofita’s species leading up to 23rd century, and the year the first novel begins. That third timeline is different from the others in that it details character specific events.

Here is a sample of two:

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