Saturday, March 03, 2007

Time Travel travails

I just sent in a proposal on a Time Travel book. It's a great concept but also a difficult one. In the story, Twist, my heroine is transported one hundred years into the future where she finds a post apocolytic type world. Cool. The plot basically consists of her fighting and finding her way back to her own time so she can change the fate of the world.

But when I opened the time portal I opened a can of worms so to speak. When dealing with the issues of time you've got the entire traveling back and forth changing things around who is from where and I've get a major headache if I think about it too much type plot going on.

I've got a bad guy from the future trapped in the past and a heroine from the past sent to the future. I've got a time portal that can not be destroyed and I've got a plot that has to sound believable.

Difficult? You betcha. But also fun!


  1. Anonymous3:38 PM EST

    Yeah, I'm curious just how much tinkering one can get away with, especially concerning the paradox of a character's current self being in the same local time as their long ago self. I'm thinking it's sort of allowable as long as they don't meet, but are there any really cast-in-stone conventions in that regard?

  2. In THE DARK TOWER, C. S. Lewis (if this unfinished fragment is really written by him -- a violently controversial question) posits the theory that physical time travel is impossible because the subatomic particles that make up one's body would have been part of other matter in the past and will be part of other matter in the future. Therefore, if your body went into the future or past, its components would be in two places at the same time -- impossible according to any plausible interpretation of present-day physics. Of course, strict adherence to that theory would cut out a lot of wonderful stories, from Wells' TIME MACHINE onward. A writer who rigorously accepted this approach would have to restrict his/her character to remote viewing of the past or future (which is what happens in the Lewis fragment, except for one interesting loophole -- exact duplicates, people in different times who share exactly the same physical makeup, can switch places) or else communicating with people in other times but not actually traveling there.