1. cheesysalsa
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    cheesysalsa Member

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    Methods For Learning Time Travel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by cheesysalsa, Dec 31, 2011.

    Time Traveling

    Hey guys, so I'm stuck trying to come up with a realistic method of time travel that would be not only suiting for the story but believable to the reader (even though time travel is a rather implausible phenomenon.) Here's a general gist of the plot of the story:

    A boy whose a senior in high school is an intern for a very inactive hospital (meaning they don't get many patients.) Therefore the hospital usually gets patients with petty injuries (such as falling down steps, etc.) and the doctors are very lackadaisical about their patients. An example of this would be a girl who occasionally checks in for unknown mysteries that come about (such as pesticides somehow showing up in her system.) The doctors attempt to crack the case very carelessly and eventually give up. The boy learns later that he actually attends the same school as the girl and begins an awkward relationship with her that grows in to something much more meaningful. He puts together pieces of clues that leads to the assumption the girl is actually trying to kill herself, or cry out for attention (but failing to do so.) One weekend, he is certain that the girl must be suicidal and heads over to her house late at night to confront her about it. Little did he know that the girl was actually planning on hanging herself that night had he not come. She eventually spews out all her emotions and tells the boy about how she had lost her older brother in a McDonalds robbery about a year ago (the very same robbery and killing that the boy had witnessed when he went to get his daily coffee) and has been emotionally wrecked living with an Uncle who parties frequently and no one to take care of her, and also having to deal with the unfortunate consequences that resulted from her brother's death (her first "therapist" turned out to actually a rapist who filmed kiddy porn, etc.) The same night they go out for ice cream and an incident happens when the girl is ran over by a drunk driver and dies on the way to the horribly untrained hospital.

    From that point on the boy somehow acquires knowledge accidentally (or learns) of controlling time thus allowing him to travel back in time. I don't know if I should add hints throughout the story (like his physics teacher lecturing about time travel and him becoming fascinated by it) or if he should somehow acquire some sort of unnatural super power. But somehow, whether it be accidental or on purpose, he needs to travel back in time the very same day of the robbery and take the shot for the older brother, to prevent creating an unlimited amount of tangents in quantum realities and filling the universe with more mass than it can handle (since time travel is a dangerous thing.) So he kills himself not only to save two lives, but to save the universe as well.

    sorry for such a long post, i just thought i'd give as much information as possible so you guys don't get confused or anything.
     
  2. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Wow, you sure have an interesting story and a horribly depressing series of unfortunate events...which can actually work out in your favor (if you'll humor my idea for a moment). Because a time machine is hypothetically, theoretically, and/or physically impossible, I could see nature hating it (a sort of "nature abhors a vacuum" situation). God (or nature, whatever you chose to run your universe) would then allow these bad things to happen so that the situation occurs as you've said.

    Granted, you don't need to spell all this out, and I apologize if I got carried away there. Regardless, you could use a sleeping mechanism, cliché though it is. Other ideas as they pop in my brain are recreating the accident just so, finding a time machine underground, having a crazy professor (maybe the one teaching physics?) have a prototype machine in his basement, or even him killing a visitor from the future and stealing his time machine.

    I'm not sure these ideas are going to be all that helpful to you, since I explain zero theory, but all my own theory is pretty much only possible in deep space. (Sorry!) At any rate, here's hoping this got your brain jump started for the new year! Have fun!
     
  3. cheesysalsa
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    cheesysalsa Member

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    Perhaps. I think I want to stay away from that "time machine" theory, just because it enables way too many loop holes. If there is, in fact a time machine then there is someone else who can already control time. I have to make it so that the boy is the only one who is able to go back in time, so that when he dies, time travel becomes nonexistent and everything goes back to how it should be in the normal universe.

    But I can't think of anything unless he were to have a super power of some sort, which would make the story awfully unbelievable and probably wouldn't work with the reader since all of a sudden this perfectly human character is capable of having magical powers.
     
  4. LTC
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    Ooh, time travel! Fun!

    Yes, I would avoid the clunky machinery as a means of time travel. Technology doesn't seem to be the best fit for this story, I think. Small devices may be tolerable, though. Perhaps he stumbles upon a mysterious wristwatch or necklace hidden away in his grandfather's basement or the heart of the woods?

    This story seems like something that would raise questions about life and reality and how to cope with death. As such, I think it appropriate to bring religion or spirituality into the story. A suddenly discovered superpower may be acceptable if you determine its origins. Who are the Powers That Be within your universe? Perhaps the main character is approached by a deity, or supernatural being, or force of nature, or whatever else that provides him with the opportunity to go back in time?
     
  5. cheesysalsa
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    cheesysalsa Member

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    Ah those suggestions are pretty good. But I'm not a very religious person myself to be able to bring religion in the story since I don't have much background knowledge to base it upon. But some force of nature does sound plausible.

    The boy kills himself in order to prevent paradoxes from happening, since he knows that in order for there to be no infinite tangents in time, he needs to sacrifice himself for the sake of the universe.
     
  6. LTC
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    You are of course not necessarily limited to any pre-existing religion and can feel free to invent or recreate your own higher power. I can see how that would be unrealistic, though.

    Oh jeez, I'd completely forgotten, I'm sorry. I swear I read your post in full though, haha.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you want to go with a "realistic" explanation, your biggest problem may be in providing a good rationale for why your time travel method can only happen once. If the way in which the time travel takes place is supposed to be "realistic," in that you have some basis in scientific explanation for it, then it stands to reason that the event could be replicated. If this boy can acquire the knowledge and the means, so can someone else. If you want to limit it so he's the only one who can ever travel through time, you may be better off with supernatural explanations.
     
  8. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    Okay, to me the only "realistic" time travel would involve a machine. And time travel would be limited to time periods after the creationn of the machine because it has to be there to "catch" you at the other end.

    I know this doesn't help but it was part of your original query.
     
  9. cheesysalsa
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    cheesysalsa Member

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    I just hatched an idea. A friend reminded me of the movie Donnie Darko (if anyone here has seen it then you'll understand what I'm saying) and suggested using something similar to the vortex portal that appears in the movie when the jet engine falls out of the plane and takes Frank (the rabbit costume guy) and the Jet Engine with it back in time 28 days before. That seems like a cool idea to shape into my own but I wouldn't necessarily know where that would fit in with the plot.

    I completely agree with this now that you guys mentioned your points.
     
  10. DotTheI
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    DotTheI New Member

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    I'd say since the MC already works at a hospital, it should involve that somehow (but definitely due add some foreshadowing from the physics teacher or something to clue in the reader).

    Kind of lame, but maybe the MC has to get an MRI and lightning hits the hospital at the same time and shoots him into the past. Something along those lines. Or maybe there's some experimental medical machine in the basement that has been "long forgotten" and it somehow acts as a time machine. Or one of the doctors can be experimenting with time travel. To me, the hospital being related to the time travel is the most logical thing so that the plot device doesn't come out of left field.
     
  11. mazg
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    mazg New Member

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    A couple of ideas: he works in a hospital and has a physics teacher. Maybe there's a recipe for making a potion to travel in time?? He has the idea from the professor and the means (ingredients) at the hospital. It could also be a piece of hospital equipment as an alternative to a potion.

    OR
    He is emotionally distraught. Imagine the rage of David Banner/Incredible Hulk but instead of turning green and violent, he could experience glitches in time. You could lead into this story with mysterious time losses or deja vu incidents earlier in his life during traumatic times (maybe he thinks they are daydreams?) but then he has this full on time shift.
     

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