Sicfi fans are smiling together today. It is the day that Marty McFly traveled to in the iconic Back to the Future movie. Remembering that light-hearted, entertaining story about one boy who changed the future will have many of us tuning in once again (Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy ) to share the fun with our kids.
In the original script the time travel portal was a refrigerator. It’s easy to visualize the comedic scenes that could have spun off from that idea. Would removal of a certain item cause the time travel event? Would the characters have had to squeeze inside? Would grabbing the handle make the floor drop out from under Marty and company? It was a cool idea but I think that the DeLorean was a much racier choice.
It’s been fun to see the differences between the movies’ visions of the future and what actually transpired!
Time travel, as a story theme, is fruitful ground—ripe for the imagination. Economists, politicians, governments, storytellers, futurists, scientists, dreamers, children and their parents all wonder about the future.
As a writer, I find that scenes set in the past are much easier to imagine than ones set in the future. Information, history and research is easy to access. What I enjoy most abut that type of writing is weaving in little known facts—learning becomes effortless and fun. (Author, Ken Follett is a master of this technique.)
How can a writer prep for composing futuristic fiction?
Currently I am working on a scenario where a character from the year 2135 travels back to the mid 1980’s. Coming up a story rich in details that haven’t happened yet is challenging.
Since we have we have a 10-year-old son who will be ready to start his professional life somewhere around the year 2030, my research about the future has become a family affair. Together and separately we read and talk about articles in geek, science and technology magazines. We watch TV shows and documentaries where futurists entertain us with their speculations. The links below are to some of our favorites.
“The kids who will control the solar system are the ones who do not give up, who enjoy doing it and persist.” – Chuck Pell, Artist, Entrepreneur and Futurist and host of the TV series, Xploration Earth 2050.
U.S. National Intelligence Council website Global Trends 2030. Articles submitted by academicians and think tank members discuss a variety of topics such as population, immigration, climate change, aging and more.
As with any writing endeavor, research can take tremendous amounts of time. So much so, that it may be difficult to pinpoint where to stop.
As the cast and creators of Back to the Future point out, some future predictions were right and others were wrong. While you are working on a project, you have no idea if it will be a hit or a flop. Only time will tell.
In the end, all any writer can do is create strong characters, set the scene, make their best guess and enjoy the journey.
Today Show cast interview.