Writing Ages

Talk about The Starry Expanse Project (aka realRIVEN), Myst, Riven, or anything related.
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Re: Writing Ages

Postby Andross » 13 Jul 2015, 11:36

Think of it as the Heisenberg uncertainty principal, the more you try to define something, the less sure of it's position you are. That's what I like to think of for the theory behind writing ages.

I also like to think that that is Gehn's problem—apart from the fact that he doesn't understand the principles, and only copies from existing phrases in existing works (Book of Atrus). I think he tries too hard, and his failed experiments in Riven are a result of this, In this case the link is so badly deformed that it does not even work.

It also seems from both the Book of Atrus and the Stoneship journal, that once the Link has been created, you can alter in slightly to make real changes in the world, as Catherine is able to write the daggers into Riven, Ghen is able to alter the 31st (might have number wrong) understructure, and Atrus is able to create the ship in Stoneship, even if all of these have unintended consequences (The Star Fissure, the Ocean draining and the ship becoming snagged). But only up to a point.

It seems from the book of Atrus, that when you make changes to the age, it warps the link, change it a little and you can get away with it, but as we know, in BOA, Ghen damages the link so far, that even when he undoes the changes that he made, and in theory the Age should have reverted to what it was like when they first linked there, it instead snaps to a similar but different age. One where they had never visited and the people had become savage. This would also explain why Atrus considers Inception destroyed, when in theory, he should have been able to negate the changes his father made. The tampering would have damaged the link so badly that the age he linked to would never have been the same (as an aside, that same scene also illustrates that you can be fairly specific in the writing, since Atrus mentions that he wrote those specific flowers into the age).

I know that you could argue that when making those changes you are making slight adjustments from one world to the next, but that raises a whole lot of paradoxes (are you a different stranger constantly through Riven as Atrus makes constant changes to the descriptive book?), and is basically irrelevant anyway. If a person from within the age, can consciously observe a change, and remember what the age was like before and after, and has no ill effects, and there is a ton of evidence that this is the case (since all of Riven is basically a showcase of this principal), then to all intents and purposes, you ARE actually changing the world.

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Echo Dragon Wolf
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Re: Writing Ages

Postby Echo Dragon Wolf » 30 Nov 2015, 22:23

I like the idea of the uncertainty principle, and I think it fits the Myst feel. If you try and describe an age specifically, you only meet frustration, or have unintended consequences. It becomes unstable. If you instead define the age as a "high concept" or the ecosystem and geology or the age, it might be more stable, and "fill in" the missing parts of the age, like how Atrus described the Everdunes age. When ages are created "right", I don't think they define every aspect of the age.

The exception is Atrus's Gravitation age. Here is a excerpt:

A light show in the cosmos. I have only to sit back and enjoy as the events unfold from my vantage point. This is why I write. This is my reward. Months of calculations and computations, orbits within orbits within orbits. Now I have moons, large and small, not with simple circular orbits, but which rise quickly, slow to a halt, and then dance off at right angles, or rest at the horizon.

This sounds like a lot of specifics and describing. I feel like he would have to write a lot of descriptions, which doesn't fit in with this theory. If describing an age specifically creates more an more instability, why could he write this age? Of course, he mentions that he has to escape the impending collision. But I think this is more of how the age was written, rather than the age itself being unstable like with Riven.

I like the idea of the uncertainty principle, but how does the Gravitation age fit into it's premise?
And now, I am at rest. Understanding that in books, and ages, and life, the ending can never truly be written...

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Re: Writing Ages

Postby tomysshadow » 06 Dec 2015, 19:48

I actually asked this question once and got a nice answer back from a user named KefkeWren. This is taken from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RWA2sE ... ncxzoong0k

It's basically quantum mechanics. I won't get into the specifics, but the important part is this. Ages "exist" as possibilities, in the sense of quantum uncertainty. Until observed/defined, an Age is all ways that it could be (as in Schrodinger's Cat Paradox). So, when you write an Age, you define which of all possible states it exists in. Changes can be made, but only where they wouldn't invalidate what was true before (or where the change could reasonably happen). When the description of an Age deviates too far from the observed state, the link shifts, moving to a new Age that better matches the current description. There are exceptions to the rules, but those get into the truly confusing aspects of lore.

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