Stories I’d Like to Write: Interlocking Lives

Somewhat related to Tuesday’s post, but another type of story I’d love to try is what I’m calling interlocking lives. This is where the main character is living two lives, without a clear delineation of which is the “real” life, or where there’s a “dream” life that may actually be real.

I feel like I’m not explaining this terribly well. So, uh, let’s say there’s a girl. And she’s a teenager, going through her normal life at high school. But at night, she lives another life, where she’s a elven princess, and it’s the normal, high school life that seems like a dream.

And then, over time, the lives start to bleed into each other, or actions that take place in one life affects things in the other life.

Like the dual timelines, the structure of this idea kind of boggles me. At some point, it seems like one of the lives has to be the “real” one, and that one has to be more important in the end, with the other one being a subplot of some sort. But I don’t know! I’m kind of hoping, when I sit down and plan this sort of story, what I need to do becomes obvious. Or, maybe, as I do more research into this particular type of story structure, everything will all make sense.

This idea has some wish fulfillment tied to it, I think. I think it’s easy to wish that you were more important, or that life was more exciting, or that you’d find true love, or any number of things, and this sort of structure allows you to mix the mundane with the fantastical, or anything really. I tend to fantasy and scifi, of course, but I could see this being used in conjunction with, say, historical romance, where the dream life is somewhere and somewhen else.

And, I mean, why have to choose between urban and high fantasy when you can do them both?

This idea is one that has appealed to me for a long time, but unfortunately, liking an idea doesn’t necessarily come supplied with a story to actually go along with it. Maybe I’ll poke this for a bit and see if I can’t put something together for Nano, and this can be my new thing to try for November this year.

What do you think, squiders? Got any recommendations for books where a character is living in two different times/places/worlds?

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