1. Soul
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    Soul Member

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    Time travel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Soul, Feb 4, 2011.

    In general are time travel plots overused now?

    I want to write a time travel storie where MC travel in the future only to discover that it became in terms of technology very advanced(humans age slowly,there are no more wars,femine and every other drawback of today society),but everyone are covered in depession.So he tries to change that and fall into spiral of never ending time traveling.

    Is this bad idea,or did it just have been used many times by now?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love time travel stories, don't think they can be overdone.

    Yours sounds fine like it has potential legs :)
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think they are overdone, just generally badly done.

    Most writers don't seem to have thought through how they want time travel to work in their story, and end up with contradictions and lack of clarity. At least when writing for films and television.
     
  4. Soul
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    Soul Member

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    Thank you Elgaisma :)

    @ Islander:Yes the same thing striken me.My plot to be more specific,i dont want to have large plot holes.I want at begining to make
    my MC full of himself,and then when he f**k things up more and more with each travel to be more desperate and desparate,and finaly to
    realize how deluded himself
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol I have only been writing a year. What I do have is a lot of reading experience - I love reading time travel.

    Growing up Dr Who was a tradition and I still love it. Torchwood and Sarah Janes Adventures are nearly as good :) Not to mention hope it isn't overdone as I have time travel in my current story and hope to turn it into a series.
     
  6. Soul
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    Soul Member

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    Good luck with your series.

    Anyway would you consider it good if there are other people like MC that can travel through time and that way make some conflict between them,or would it better if he is
    only one.Or than again it only matters in the end how you write it :) ?
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure I always write my stories and characters just kind of appear when I need them. You do need conflict and it might be good if he wasn't the only one. However my favourite time travelling stories tend to work best if the time travel is a special abilty and restricted to only the protagonist or the protagonist and one antagonist.

    It is much easier to just have the protagnonist and introduce the conflict in another way, it sounds like you have that anyway in your story.
     
  8. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Time travel is fine, if well-written.

    If you haven't, I think you need to think about why people are depressed in the future, when by all accounts life is much better...
     
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  9. Soul
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    It is because everything is just better,hey don't seek anything new because now they have everything.Living same days over and over made them that way.
     
  10. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    I think this is a good idea but also it would be a hard one to write.
     
  11. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    I like your idea of a "utopian" future where everyone is depressed about having nothing to do because it's perfect. I personally love a well-writen story involving time travel, and like to write about it myself.

    I think that having another person, an anti-hero of sorts, would be counterproductive to your plot. If you want your MC to become desparate and depressed about his own actions, you should probably keep time travel restricted to just the MC. If you want the MC to become a hero of sorts though, introduce someone else with time travel. Even if they aren't enemies, their changes can mess each other's up, introducing more conflict.

    Just some food for thought...
     
  12. TheNumber2
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    TheNumber2 New Member

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    I love time travel! I am actually writing one right now but am a little stuck... Would you rather have a character with the natural ability to time travel or have an actual device that the character uses which enables him to time travel?
     
  13. Soul
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    Soul Member

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    Hm well i guess it depends of setting.If you are writing sci-fi then probably device,but if it some sort of fantasy then natural ability.In the end all depend how you put your storie i think.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the device - whether it be the blue box or a mirror or whatever.

    Mine has a chapel with a grandfather clock that when the hands are turned and it is wound up opens a wall to the new worlds and a stop watch to bring them back. I'm writing fantasy not scifi though.
     
  15. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, I get it. I like that.
     
  16. Vince524
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    It's a genre really. It's more about how well you write it, how engaging the characters are and how intriguing your story is. No reason not to write it.
     
  17. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    The problem, at least as I see it, is that readers are much more knowledgeable about such things than in the golden-age of sci-fi. They're much more likely to think "Wait a minute! That would mean that...".

    The two strategies that seem to work best are:
    A) Be very careful about the implications of every action in the story.
    B) Do all sorts of outrageous things. Basically, project an attitude of "relax - it's just a story. Sit back and enjoy."

    Hard sci-fi fans will want "A", while those in the mood for something light or silly will want "B". I like either, so long as I know what I'm getting.

    -Frank
     
  18. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    I think your idea is cool!

    I'm going to request one element, though:that your time travel mechanics are reasonable enough to actually happen.

    It does wonders for the realistically of the story, plus younger readers will inevitably want to believe it's real(like me;I always manage to convince myself all the cool stories are real.).

    [offtopic]I wonder why only younger readers? I think it's because they actually have more imagination...[/offtopic]
     
  19. nzric
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    nzric Active Member

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    There's always room for another good time travel story!

    Question - are you talking about a story that plays with the idea of time travel, or is the time travel element just a convenient way for the MC to skip forward in time. If it's the latter it's not a major issue.

    If it's a story about time travel itself (e.g. paradoxes, travelling back & forth, flow-on effects etc.), you'll need to understand the average reader nowadays is a lot more clued up on the conventions of time travel. It's not enough to throw in a clever 'grandfather paradox' and expect them to be entertained for long.

    You'll need to think of the overall premise. Time travel stories that rely on alternative universes tend to be very different from those about a single universe. The former tend to be more about bridges and flow-on effects between the time streams in different universes, and the latter is about either the butterfly effect or how people can't escape their own destiny.

    Think of the logic of the universe. Is it one a la Robert Heinlein where the MC can become his own grandfather or one like Back to the Future where the MC sees himself disappear because he is influencing the time stream so that his parents don't meet to create him?

    Is it one like Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure where the MC can leave a reminder for his future self to go back in time and leave a banana skin lying where the bad guy will trip over when they're chasing the MC in the past? Or is it one a la Orson Scott Card where the time travellers can safely experience the thrill of death or kill people safely as long as they were about to die anyway?

    For a good mind-bending story (which also shows how high the bar now is for a good time travel story), check out the 2004 movie Primer.
     
  20. Soul
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    @Pythonforger:Thanks,i try to come up something convincing :)

    @Nziric:Time travel here is merily tool,so MC can see his arogance,when trying to change future.So as i explained earlier,he will go in some sort of depressive,nihilistic future,look for some clues why it did turn out that way,and go back to past to try to change it,only to screw it even more.
     

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