Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Writer's Reference - Implications

I wanted to take a moment out to talk about one of the more irksome things that will pop up during writing - implications.

Now, this sounds like a very STRANGE topic to cover. I'll agree with you in that it is. The reason, however, that I wanted to bring it up is that if there is one thing that might mess with your writings, it is implications. This is PARTICULARLY true regarding fiction writings who are attempting to create their own worlds, whether it be fantasy or sci-fi.

So. What do we mean by implications?

Implications refer to any thing, whether it be dialogue, a happen stance, an event, or any other item that can drastically and unintentionally change an intended reality or meaning within your writing. To put it another way, implications are something that are often reader created out of contextual consideration of established realities.

What the hell does that mean?

Let's use Rocket Raccoon from the Guardians of the Galaxy series as an example.

Now, in this series, it's established that Rocket has been created through the use of illegal experimentation on lower life forms. Based on this description, we can easily summarize and consider that Rocket was abducted from the planet and experimented on to become a rather unique creature. Additionally, Rocket, in his travels, has stated that he's never come across another Raccoon. Makes even more sense.

However, there is a line stated by the character Drax "I recognize this animal. We'd roast them over a flame pit as children!" At it's face, this seems like a funny line and is just an aside. But, the IMPLICATIONS of this statement are huge. One of two major implications can be drawn. One, somehow the VERY alien Drax lived as a child on Earth. Two, Raccoons are, in fact, an intergalactic species and somehow were able to spread to multiple planets within the universe. If the second is the case, it raises even more questions. How did they get there? Why are they there? What happened to the majority of them if Rocket has not encountered them BUT encountered Drax's species before.

Makes sense?

Now, the main problem with implications...most of them are completely unintentional. As we mentioned earlier, implications are generally reader created with context understanding of the world itself. They are often skipped over or missed by the writer themselves because the writer sees them as unimportant or perhaps just a quick one-off (whether it be funny or dramatic or whatever)...so what's the cure?

There isn't one.

That's "write", there's no easy way NOT to run into this. The best we can recommend is to simply consider what you're writing and try to think of it within the realm of your universe. Does it make sense? Does it have any overbearing weight to it? Have you considered if it will reflect on any one thing in particular? Consider questions like these while you edit your works and you should be able to get rid of any major or glaring issues.

Almost every writer will run into this at one time or another, particularly when creating something new or different. So, don't let it discourage you. Keep up the good work!


  1. I run into this a lot with my writing. Something that is perfectly plain to me and in black and white is often understood completely different by my reader. It is maddening. I go back and read through what I have written and try to see it through their perspective and sometimes I get it. At other time..I am clueless. I have been trying to show instead of tell more...practice makes perfect I guess. ♥

  2. Very true. It makes sense in the writer's head, but not always to the reader. Good post!

  3. I've seen it a few times, but the Rocket Raccoon one I never realized. I just assumed they've gone to different worlds. That is the good thing about sci-fi or fantasy though. If you find one, can easily undo it with "magic" or explain it away through something like amnesia.

  4. Each book is different to each reader - and often different each time it is read.
    A curse - and a blessing.

  5. Something else to put on the endless editing list:)

  6. Left to one's own interpretation also. Excellent post.