Partridge India Writing Tips| Time Travel

Jan 5

Time travel has been one of the most prominent and complicated subjects used by science-fiction writers. Time travel allows writers to explore a nigh infinite breadth of subjects and settings, from prehistory to the far future. As a writer, you can use time travel to develop and explore such issues as causality, morality, and ethics. Partridge India wants to share some advice and writing tips for writing about Time Travel.


Reasons for Time Travel

Have Pen will Time Travel
Time travel stories allow writers to include such things as dinosaurs..

Time travel is often depicted as resource and energy expensive, as such often people in your stories should have a reason for time travel. Reasons could include simple tourism, historical study, or even changing the past. When you write your adventure through time, consider what would drive your characters to defy the laws of physics, whether out of curiosity, good intentions, or sheer arrogance. You can often combine a character’s motivation with their reason for time travel.


Time to Research

As with much science-fiction, doing research is a vital part of the writing process. There are many theories about time and time travel, some validating and some invalidating the very idea of time travel. Physics, especially quantum physics, tend to be a favourite field for the subject of time travel. But writers should also consider the time periods and settings in which time travel escapades will take place. Consider the languages, societies, environments, historical events and peoples that will be encountered.


Time Travel Methods

Have Pen will Time Travel
Time travel can get… weird.

Across literature there are many methods by which writers have imagined time travel. There is the traditional time machine, as with H.G. Wells, a machine or vehicle that is operated by a person. There is sleeping through ages, such as through cryogenic stasis. A character is frozen in the present and then thawed in a strange new future. There is also the method of time travel used in Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap, wherein it is the mind that travels through time, most often with one’s own body at different points of life. It is important for writers to keep in mind the time travel method they implement, its limitations, and the impact their chosen method has on the plot. For example, what if a machine can only send people to different times, but the time-travellers themselves have no actual control over the machine, only the operators?


Time Travel Has Consequences

There is a saying, ‘a butterfly flaps its wings in China, causing a hurricane on the other side of the world.’ It means small actions can have great, unexpected effects. This is something writers should keep in mind with time travel stories, how changes to the past can affect the present, and how actions in the present can affect the future. Seemingly unrelated events could result in some people not even being born or different outcomes to major events. In attempting to ‘fix’ the past, like trying to kill Hitler, could somehow result in an even worse version of World War II.


Partridge India trusts this helps

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By Ian Smith

One thought on “Partridge India Writing Tips| Time Travel

  1. Researchers travel across time and space. There’s no any time travelling machine so far. But its possible to travel across time and space. Researchers through their research travels across time and space through text they reach to context.

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