It occurred to me today, while listening to a woman describe to us how she sold her first novel to HarperCollins, that much of what writers crave to know is “what do you know now, that you wish you’d known then.” We give this advice, and we ask it of others, almost endlessly…
I can’t go back in time, any more than I can see the future, no matter how often I write about characters who can. Would I have written better books if I’d only known then what I know now? Of course I would. Hell, I’d have lived a whole better life with that kind of knowledge.
Read more at If I’d only known then …
Or, this positive exuberance could be no more than the enthusiasm of a classroom full of misbehaved children who have just figured out that their substitute teacher is an idiot. Oh boy. Are we going to have fun today.
Or maybe it’s a combination of all three. What do you think?
Read more at Ah, the stock market …
I suspect that you and I have have lived through times that changed the world in large ways, but it takes years to see the effects, especially in an age with cable news shouting about the significance of everything every minute of every day. But someone like my character Ariel would know right away, finding herself overcome with dizziness as the probabilities shifted heavily one way or another.
Read the entire post at Did we just witness the dawn of America’s four party system?
I wrote a book about prescience, the ability to see into the future and understand the true likelihood that an event will or won’t occur. Constructing the plot of d4 forced me to spend quite a bit of time considering how such an ability could work. What’s more, several of my characters were attempting to use their prescient skills to make money in the stock market, so I ended up learning quite a bit more about Mr. Dow Jones and all his friends, too.
Read more at Should I hope for calm or cheer on the storm?
We’ve been on the road nearly two weeks now and in a macro sense the vacation has gone as planned. You know, we’ve shown up where we were supposed to be, when we were supposed to be there. No glitches. But that’s sort of like the Red Sox showing up to play their games, isn’t it? Yes, being there is essential, but it is the other stuff that makes it interesting.
Read the entire on my d4 blog at And That’s Why They Play the Game.
The morning went well and I was pretty proud of myself for not being intimidated, but by noon it began to change. I charged ahead even though it was in the mid thirties and raining. By mid afternoon we had dropped into the twenties and whatever you chose to call the gunk falling from the sky, there was no question that it was starting to coat the road in a most unfortunate way.
Read the entire post at Sneaky Weather Forecasters
We are back to the old issue of uncertainty, and oh if we could only see the future. Maybe the problem is minor. I should go and get this off my mind already. Maybe it is major and time is not my friend. If I get my butt in there, the outcome may be better. And maybe it is awful and my life will never be as good after Wednesday in which case I’d rather just not go. Except for this eye thing, my life is pretty good now and there is a big temptation not to mess that up.
What to do?
Read the entire post at I’ll always be glad to see you.
Who makes these forecasts? Everyone from self-proclaimed psychics to extrapolating news analysts have weighed in on what 2016 is likely to bring.
Read the entire post at The Oddest Predictions for 2016.
In my novel d4, I try to get my readers to think 337 years into the future, all the way to the year 2352. So then, what do you think Christmas will be like in 2352?
Read my predictions at The Future of Christmas.
Ariel, the hero of d4, lived in my head for years and I knew what she could do. She could see into the future. It wasn’t until I began writing her story, however, that I realized how complicated the very idea of precognition is.
I’d already given serious thought to the pros and cons of a fixed future, and I’d thrown out the idea of a predestined universe. Over my adult life I’ve heard compelling arguments that in a universe ruled by cause and effect, the future is as immutable as the past. Perhaps it is. But as long as I’m writing the book, there are going to be surprises and free will in the story, and any bits of prescience will work on the assumption that the future is a probability curve. Guess you could say I can’t write stories any other way.
But it turns out that there are many more vexing questions to consider. How far into the future does she see? Why? How much does she understand about what she sees? Why doesn’t the whole process happen all the time and leave her overwhelmed and unable to function?
Read the rest of this post at Seeing the Future.
It you had to pick one thing out of the original Star Trek series to have in your own life, what would it have been? Beam me up, Scotty? The replicators? Warp drive? Well, we didn’t get those, did we. At least not yet. Face it, we got the equivalent of the com badges, those marvelous communication devices that let the whole crew talk to each other all the time no matter where they were. No, it wouldn’t have been my first choice either.
Read the entire post at If I’d only known…
What you probably want to know in each case is what decision will make me happiest. Hmm. That’s complicated. Happiest when? At first? Overall, averaged over your entire life? Or would you rather go for comparing the single happiest moment along each path? Or how about the fewest miserable moments?
Read the rest of this post at If you could see the future, would you want to?
I know something the writer does not. I can see the future… I know that by August 28, five days hence, protesters and police will be attacking each other in front of Chicago’s Hilton Hotel… Before the night is over, so much tear gas will be used that it will make its way into the hotel and bother the guests, and bystanders will be covered in mace. Inside the convention, reporters and delegates will be roughed up by police, including Dan Rather as he tries to give a report on national television.
Read my entire post at What the hell happened in 1968? (Won’t you please come to Chicago Edition).
Thanks to George Orwell we are considerably less likely to live in an “Orwellian” society. He didn’t predict the future. He, and an army of teachers, shaped it. What an amazing thing.
Read the whole post at Predicting the future, or shaping it?