So You Want To / Write An Alternate Continuity

What if Peridot was part of the Crystal Gems from the start and wasn't the antagonist who made a Hazy Feel Turn?

What if Doctor Who had a series of stories set in cities such as Oxford, Manchester, and Glasgow, ignoring Britain Is Only London?

Well, this is a guide.

Don't confuse Alternate Continuity with Alternate History. The term Alternate History refers to Real Life history if it had gone another way - an Alternate Continuity is a Continuity mutually exclusive of the main one.

An Alternate Continuity is when a continuity has details that are irreconcilable in terms of timeline and plot from the main continuity, and the events don't match up with the main one. However, there can be a fair amount of overlap between an Alternate Continuity and an Alternate Universe.

There is the related page Write a Fanfic, but here, this article specifically focuses on one element; Continuity, the events which happen within the work.

Necessary Tropes

First of all, you have to have an existing continuity to use as a starting point.

Choices, Choices

There's a wide selection of choices; do you use a Live-Action TV continuity like Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Better Call Saul, Orphan Black, The Catch (Police Procedural and medical drama), or do you go with Anime, or even Western Animation such as Steven Universe or Bojack Horseman?

You could even use comic-books as a starting point; DC Comics and Marvel are good choices. Pick any character, any one. The Flash (2014) or Batman are good DC Comics examples. Or how about an Alternate Continuity involving Quake (Daisy Johnson)?

But it's not just fiction that can have an Alternate Continuity. Non-fictional works involving Real Life companies, businesses and brands also have their own Fan Fic, although these are less popular. The likes of Motor Trend, Autocar, Daily Mail, Auto Ezchange have all had their own Fan Fic Alternate Continuities written, but these are far more obscure and have a smaller fanbase, but arguably these could also count as Alternate History.

Pitfalls

Problems include deciding how far differently to go, but keeping within the canon itself, and how your Original Character will fit into the new continuity.

Other problems include working out the minor details

Potential Subversions


Writers' Lounge

Suggested Themes and Aesops

In general, you could go Darker and Edgier or Lighter and Softer. Equally, what about, for those who write about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a Crapsaccharine World plotline?

Potential Motifs

Suggested Plots


Departments

Set Designer / Location Scout

Props Department

Costume Designer

Casting Director

Stunt Department


Extra Credit

The Greats

The Epic Fails

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