1. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Time Travel Mystery -- How To Figure It Out

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by zilly, Nov 28, 2010.

    I'm working on a story that focuses around a character being able to travel back in time exactly one day, but remaining at the present time. So, if the character breaks her leg, she can travel back 24 hours ago to when she didn't have a broken leg and the problem is solved.

    I'm trying to figure out how to make it clear that time travel is what is happening. Although it's weird to see a character have a cut up face and then suddenly it's perfectly healed, the first thought I would have is that the character has the ability to heal itself not perform some sort of time travel.

    Also, the character needs to have a certain object to perform the time travel. Currently, I'm having the object disappear when the time travel takes place, but I don't think that's really a dead give away that the object is necessary for the action to take place.

    Is there anything you can think of to make either of these things dead give aways?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^So in present time, the jump would be instantaneous? She wouldn't even be gone from the present for a second? I just need to know a bit more :)
     
  3. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    That's exactly correct.
     
  4. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^Okay, cool. Umm...why would the object disappear though? If it's the thing she uses to time travel, wouldn't she possess it at all times? Present and past? What's your take behind this? How does the object perform it's time-jumping ability?
     
  5. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Well, it's a fairy tale. To make a long story short, the woman gets the object from someone else everyday and needs it to travel back in time. The reason that she does this is to live forever.

    It's not physically correct or anything. The object isn't necessarily magic. She has to take it to a certain location and when it's there the jump happens and the object disappears. The object doesn't have to, but it seems to make the most sense in giving it away.
     
  6. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^Ok. The object disappears...where does it go?
     
  7. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    No where in particular. It just disappears. It's an offering to the dragons which control time in the story, although it is a mystery so the other characters aren't aware of this.
     
  8. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^Okay. So the object disappears, but your character remains in the present. How would this make her live forever though? What does she do in that instantaneous second that helps her live continually?
     
  9. Newfable
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    Newfable Senior Member

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    I'm a tad confused. The object in question, regardless of whatever it is, only affects the time for the person in its possession, and only in regards to their physicality in a certain period of time (for instance, in the example of a cut leg that you provided, she doesn't necessarily travel back in time, but her physical state "rewinds" itself to a particular moment in time).

    If that's the case, and the object only affects its possessor’s physical structure in the time-space continuum, then why would the object itself disappear? Either:
    • The object returns to a physical time in which it didn't exist, thus ceasing to be.
    • There's another kind of time travel present in the story that's confusing me.
    • I'm just generally confused.
    I'm pretty sure it's the last one on the list there, so help me out ya'?
     
  10. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Newfable, I think you're confused for good reason. Physically, it doesn't make much sense. But, it's a fairy tale, so I don't think it really needs to.

    Tayleea91, the character uses this form of time travel to live forever because her body is returned to the state at which it was 24 hours ago. So, at the end of the day, if she uses the time travel, the affect of aging that day is taken from her body.

    I hope that makes sense. I think that much of it does.

    Newfable, the object doesn't really have a reason to disappear. I just have it disappear to make it a little more obvious that something odd is going on. For example, if the character were witnessed performing this time travel without any cuts or anything, it would seem as though nothing happened. So, the object disappearing makes it suspicious. And, since this is a mystery, it needs to be suspicious or else it wouldn't be much of a mystery.
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My time travel is more obvious involves opening a door then using a stopwatch to return.

    What is the object do you know? What is the purpose of the time travel?
     
  12. SRCroft
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    SRCroft Member

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    Past perfect

    Ya I think its being over thought.

    Object=Physical time travel for 24hours - the object isn't part of her physical body. Consider it like a watch, you can change time zones so your sleep is fixed, but the watch doesn't go back in time.

    Time travel objects can only manipulate time if they can break the rules of space time, therefore its exempt.

    Now, I like the idea, so here are my thoughts:
    Whenever you describe whats going on just use the same tense as you have been, but she notices the difference so if she reflects e.g.:
    As she looked at the same room, at that same moment, there was a difference. She noticed her leg was better.

    Use past perfect tense:
    As she looked at the same room, at that same moment, there was a difference. She noticed that her leg had been fixed.

    See the difference, by using had for all past of the past references, you will clarify that it HAD been done, regardless of it being in the present.

    Hope that helps.



     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    The character could whisper an incantation or prayer to perform the "time travel". In it, she could mention both the dragons and her body returning to a previous state.
     
  14. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    I thought about that, but it seems too overdone.

    The object is a clay heart and a character uses this time travel to eliminate the effects of aging -- stay young forever/live forever.
     
  15. ManOfSteel
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    ManOfSteel Member

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    How about retelling some part of the story almost like it happened the day (i.e. paragraph/chapter) before -- a thought that crossed her mind, the description of something, an action scene (e.g. a dog barking, a neighbor knocking on the door, some morning routine, etc.)? Anything that may seem chronologically out of place after seeing her setting up her "time machine" should work.
    Of course you would summarize it the second time so as not to bore the reader and to keep the story going. But you would keep enough keywords to preserve the "routine feeling" of the past scene (i.e. paragraph/chapter) and make the reader recall it with a "Wait a sec, I read something like that 10 pages earlier. <keeps reading> Oh I get it, she's time-traveling!"
     
  16. SRCroft
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    SRCroft Member

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    Deja vu

    I think that's the right track. Use a scene change marker and make sure you do something obvious:

    #
    She walks over, dragging her broken leg, and presses the button. The situation was desperate and she was running out of time.

    -- End it at the part where she would realize time travel was the best choice
    and start over --


    #
    She walks over and presses the button. She was running out of time.

    -- I haven't read the book for Next or Premonition, but they might help you. --

    She walks over, dragging her broken leg, and presses the button. The situation was desperate and she was running out of time.

     

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