It’s not an overly saturated genre, but there are quite a number of books on the shelves that have used alternate history or have taken liberties with alternate history. After all, Harry Turtledove has made a living off it.
In my new release, Dark Inheritance: Fallen Empire I’ve created a world where plague has devastated Regency England. When writing or conceptualizing a new story with alternate history, a writer should take into account the creation of that world with as much detail as you would a new fantasy or science fiction world.
One change isn’t normally the only change in the timeline. It’s more a ripple effect that impacts the society of that day. Small details that are altered can be just as fun for the writer as they are for the reader.
For example, honey was often used to sweeten tea. But in your new world, the exotic agave nectar or berries could be used instead. A small detail that readers will pick up on—and enjoy.
Aside from small details, there are the larger strokes. You may be changing the President of the United States or you may make him King of the United States. That decision isn’t a standalone. If there’s a King of the US, there’d be a Royal Court and a Royal Council. All things that would affect daily lives.
Then there’s the question as to whether you proceed and leave off your story with what you’ve created or find a way to snap back to the reality people know.
The key is to already know your history. You can’t change something if you don’t know what the original was like. The best advice I can give for creating an alternate history world is to map it out with as much detail and color as you can manage. Make the reader feel as if they truly know the world you have created.
In Dark Inheritance, I’ve taken one event and morphed it into an entire world that’s been utterly changed by this event. Instead of balls and gowns, eligible young women are now concerned with survival.
Guest post by K. Reed
Romance author with an historical twist.
Too many post-apocalyptic stories, movies, and what-ifs crowded her head, and K Reed decided to do something about it. So she plotted one out, decided an historical post-apocalyptic romance was the way to go, and wrote that one instead.
A lover of all things historical, of strong heroes with equally strong heroines, and of sexy pirates, she’s going to explore the post-apocalyptic world of plague-ridden 1804 and the gritty criminal element of Victorian England.
Luckily she has an understanding family, supportive friends, and a day job that offers her the flexibility she needs to plot, plan, and write. Sure, one day she’d like to travel the country in search of fantastic storylines and great locale pictures, but for now she’ll stick to the east coast and the internet.
The author will award nine Post-apocalypse survival baskets (which include tea, a fan, a shawl, a bracelet and more -- Plus ONE Grand Prize basket will include an iPod Touch) to randomly drawn commenters during the tour and one to the host with the most comments (excluding hers and the host's) - US/Canada only. So I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/04/virtual-book-tour-dark-inheritance.html