Projects and Chaos

So…blogging…how do you do this again? Oh right, the thing with the words and the thoughts. Cool – let’s do it. That’s definitely how I felt when I just wrote that sentence back in the day five seconds ago, but it’s also kind of how I feel about this whole semester project in general. It’s not that I’ve never written anything of length before, or ever done substantial creative writing, but it’s been a while.

Okay, now that weird opening tangent is out of the way (and I’ve once again remembered how to write things), to the project we go. So I’m pretty sure I want to write some sort of fiction. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing in the past and would very much like to try again.

The next part of the puzzle is what I want to write about. I started with six pretty terrible ideas, and somehow transformed them into two slightly less terrible ideas for stories. I’m only going to talk about one of them, though, because it’s the one I think I’ll end up choosing in the end anyway and I’d hate to spend time deciding between the two when I could spend it napping or watching Narcos on Netflix. And what a travesty that would be. Unless this idea sucks – so let me know.

Alright, topic time. Remember that movie The Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher and that girl whose name I can never remember? Basically, this guy (Kutcher) develops this ability to go back in time through this weird journal thing and change his future life, but whenever he changes something from his past different stuff gets messed up in the future. It’s not really a very good movie, but the idea has always been very interesting to me – that small, specific decisions we make can have drastic consequences on the rest of our lives. This is what I want to write about.

Unlike The Butterfly Effect, I don’t really want it to be science-ficitony, because I think the concept is very real. Take my mother for example: One day in her early thirties, her mom convinced her to go to this political fundraiser event thing she really didn’t want to go to. She met my dad there, and a year later they were married. Had she not gone to this event, which she very nearly did not go to, she in all likelihood never would have met my dad, as they traveled in very different circles at the time. And, had she never met my dad on this day, literally every moment of her subsequent life would be different. So this is what I want to write about…how small, concrete decisions can have vast, enormous consequences.

(This is kind of something called chaos theory, but I just watched a five-minute video on it and my head hurts now so I won’t bother you with it.)

So – three factors:

Disciplines: literary fiction, short story/novelette (probably), chaos theory (ugh)

Focal object(s): probably a person or several people (did I do that right?)

Confounding variable: People of course have wrote about this sort of thing before – how a fork in the road can lead to another fork, and so on. But, I have another component that I don’t think many (if any) people have written about. What if you could go back to the fork, and what if you could decide to continue or walk away? That’s a cool concept I think.

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