Source Material – Strange Science

Posted: January 23, 2019 in The Writing Process
Tags: , , , , ,

As anyone possessing a modicum of Google-fu knows, the internet is chock full of grand stories in the news, true and false.

For the writer, it doesn’t really matter which way they bend, as they can be great fodder for story ideas.

Take the Mandela Effect, for instance. Some people think of it as a real phenomenon that proves there’s some kind of alternate reality or time-travel-past-manipulation. Examples include the titular Nelson Mandela, with many people swearing he died in prison in the 80’s instead of in 2013, even to the point of recalling funeral footage. Another example is the Publisher’s Clearing House spokesman, Ed McMahon. Only he wasn’t their spokesman–he worked for American Family Publishers. There are a lot of movie quotes, using lines from everything from the Alice in Wonderland classic to, ironically enough, The Matrix (although personally I think that’s less of a false memory effect than on perpetuating the quote incorrectly and the incorrect version becoming more famous–i.e., better remembered–than the original. Couple that with a spoiled snowflake’s spending more time concocting a reason why the whole of reality is screwed up rather than simply admitting they were wrong and you end up with a pseudo-science they can point to any time they screw something up).

For authors, though, that hardly matters. It’s the thought that counts, and we always think it’s more fun to speculate on what could be the cause of what, at first glance, seems like strange phenomena. And then tuck that cause into a well-written story that makes the odd entirely plausible. Because that’s what we really want–not the truth, when we are reading fiction, but a plausible truth, a fantasy-that-could-be-real.

So, have you experienced any Mandela Effects?

 

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Comments
  1. Greg says:

    Don’t forget the Berenstein Bears.

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