Change Over Time in Fictional Worlds

In real life, buildings come down, new ones go up. Towns expand, become cities. Towns lose population, become abandoned. Trees grow, trees die. Climate shifts, deserts grow or shrink. So much can happen.  I thought about this when I saw this today:



The centre of this road where the brown wall is had a lot of cherry trees lining a central walkway. Now they’re gone. Every tree is gone. Why? Well, these trees are called Somei Yoshino, and they have a 70 to 80 year lifespan. Last time I saw them, several of them were dead. They were all likely planted at the same time around 70 or 80 years ago. They were all dying. It looks like they’re going to plant new ones and probably do some repairs.

When developing a fictional world, it’s important to understand that changes happen. If a book happens over a span of years, or if a series of books happen over a span of decades or even centuries, things must change. It’s highly unlikely that the status quo will be maintained.  If you have a town, make sure that the population changes over time, new buildings are built, old buildings go into disrepair and may be demolished, new neighbourhoods pop up, and people change. Even important landmarks may be destroyed. Don’t be afraid to do that.

A dynamic and changing world is much more interesting. It can be challenging to keep track of the changes, but it contributes to the realism of your world.

Authors Answer 26 – Impossible Love

Have you ever read a book and found one character you wished were real? A character you’d want to date? I’m sure many people have fallen in love (not real love, of course) with a character. Someone they thought would be a wonderful person if they actually existed.  Well, this intriguing topic comes to us from stomperdad. Linda G. Hill are absent for this month.


Question 26: If you could date any fictional character, who would you date?

H. Anthe Davis

I’m not the relationship type, but I am very fond of certain characters and would like to hang out with them, if only they weren’t all action-fantasy types and thus generally the epicenters of rampant death and violence.  I mean, I guess if I was in their world and had magical powers myself, it would be feasible, but then there’s the fact that most of the characters I like best are somewhat evil…

Elizabeth Rhodes

I honestly don’t have an answer for this one.  Maybe I’ve yet to meet a character that sparks my interest.  Maybe I’ve just avoided taking an interest to unavailable fictional characters.  I’m picky enough when it comes to people in the real world, so I can’t say that there’s any one character I would be interested in dating.

Amy Morris-Jones

This is a tough one! I don’t tend to think of characters in books as dateable when I’m reading, I guess! The first name that came to mind was Sydney Carton from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Okay, so he may perhaps have a bit of a self-esteem issue, but he’s willing to sacrifice himself so that the woman he loves can be happy. What woman can’t appreciate that kind of adoration?

Caren Rich

This would be a much harder question to answer if I had not started reading the Outlander series. I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve made up for it.  I just bought book 3.  Jamie Frasier, is a wonderful character.  He’s smart, handsome, and wears a kilt.  Not to mention deadly with a dirk.  What’s not to love?  On the other hand, James Bond would make for a great evening.  Handsome, suave, and deadly. Never a dull moment there.

Jean Davis

Because my favorite fictional men are usually up to no good, I’m going to restrain myself from dating them. I’d end up with a drained bank account, probably with nothing to wear but a bed sheet, and surrounded by people who want to kill me after the one they really wanted to kill left the building moments before, knowing they were on the way and having left me behind to stall them.

D. T. Nova

I can honestly say I don’t think about this kind of thing very much.

Maybe Nora Barlow from the Leviathan trilogy.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

For me, this is actually a really hard question, because there are so many fictional characters that I love wholeheartedly. My husband even has a mental list that he calls, “Tracey’s Boyfriends”, full of fictional characters and the actors who sometimes play them.

If I have to pick one for this question, I think I’ll go with Jon Snow from the Song of Ice and Fire series. He’s one of my favorite characters because he’s brave and bold, but he makes mistakes and does what he can to live with them, not to mention he’s incredibly loyal and sweet. I think he’d make an excellent date!

S. R. Carrillo

Geryon, from Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson. If I remember correctly, he gets his little red heart broken by Herakles, and he was such a wonderful, curious little dude that I’d love to heal him again. :3 Or Gideon from Gideon from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I guess. I don’t know. I really don’t, like… like people enough to wanna date them.

Paul B. Spence

Either Lessa, from the Pern novels, or Clarissa MacDougall, from the Lensman novels.

Jay Dee Archer

I found this a surprising easy question to answer. There’s one character that came to mind as soon as I saw what this question was. When I was in university, I was into the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. One particular character from the Dragonsdawn novel had me intrigued. That’s Sallah Telgar. She was an all around good person who was very heroic. But despite the heroism, I felt that she was my favourite character from the book, and quite likely one of my favourite characters ever. I need to read the book again.

How about you?

Is there a character you’ve always thought was good to date if they were real? Let us know in the comments below.