1. S Raven
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    S Raven Member

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    Time Traveller From The Future With Limited Interaction With The Present

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by S Raven, May 3, 2015.

    One of the main characters in my book is a time traveller who has limited interaction with the present.
    I'd like to develop her a bit more. Any ideas?
     
  2. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    I'd make her very suspicious of other characters, since she is a time traveller she might have difficulties in dealing with others. That would make your character a tad lonely though.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I need more to go on here. This is not enough information.
     
  4. writer23
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    writer23 New Member

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    What does that even mean? Limited interaction how? Does the character not have the ability to speak to people in the present? Do they have some scheme to complete in the present but they have to do it without changing the timeline? Are they invisible to people in the present? More details necessary.
     
  5. Spencer Rose
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    Spencer Rose Member

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    Watch Doctor Who.
     
  6. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    I feel like Doctor Who is doing to science fiction what Lord of the rings has done to fantasy.
     
  7. Spencer Rose
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    Spencer Rose Member

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    @Mike Hill I couldn't agree more. Not that I think it is all bad, but the revival certainly gave birth to one intense fandom.

    It is however, for better or worse, one of the more mainstream examples of time travel. Offhand, I can't even name another immediate work that focuses on time travel, outside of H. G Wells "Time Machine". Just not my thing.

    Without knowing more (or really understanding what S Raven is looking for) it all I've got.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  8. IronMyrs
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    IronMyrs New Member

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    She should definitely have consistent difficulty with any sort of interface. Buttons, touchscreens, dials, handles. Technology has changed so fast, that even today, children are confused when presented with something from "our" era, like a VCR. Also, I'm thinking that there would be some weird quirks and "modern conveniences" that she might miss. (You mean you don't have a bev-matic in every home? That's how make coffee these days?!)

    Socially, I'd suggest that you either consider we are going to either be more or less socially insulated. Either we "stop using social media or we use it to the point that all relationships are filtered through profiles. Either way, her cultural touchstones would be alien to people today.
     
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  9. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    It's cute that you think this post is somehow profound.
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Sounds like a cool explanation for ghosts. They're time travelers.
     
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  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Like what, establish a boring precedent that everyone blindly follows without being creative?
     
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  12. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Considering you've designated her a main character, you've given us a remarkably blank slate here.

    Character and plot are normally so intertwined, I feel we're getting quite close to 'tell me what my story is' territory.

    I think that it would be most useful to list things you can ask yourself to develop the character yourself.

    What is her motivation for coming to this particular time?
    Is she intended to aid or hinder (or both) the other characters?
    Is she stuck here? Can she return to her own time?
    Does she have relevant knowledge of things to come? Is she allowed to impart it?
    What are the rules on minimal interaction? Are they physical constraints or are is she worried about timeline breakage?
    Does she have interesting future tech she can use?
    How do you envisage culture has changed by her time? Do they have different values? Morals? Idioms? Entertainment?

    I'm sure there's some good questions I've not thought of.
     
  13. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    A few more questions

    Does she change as a character over the course of the story? Is there stuff she can learn from the present to help her grow.
    Does she have preconceptions about the present?
    Does she have general traits,strengths, weaknesses, fears etc which don't apply to everyone from her time period.
     
  14. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    One more question. How far in the future is she from?
     
  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Dr. Who and Lord of the Rings have done that to 'pop' SF/F. There is a ton of work out there in SF/F that doesn't even remotely follow these trends, of course. I've enjoyed a fair amount of Dr. Who, but there are some really terrible episodes - often written by Moffat. I pretty much cringe when his name pops up as writer at the beginning of an episode.
     
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  16. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Exactly.
     
  17. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    Worth pointing out that a character is not going to be completely ignorant about how "the past" works - in the same way that you are vaguely aware that the technological development of washing clothes (for example) went from scrubbing them in the river and pegging them out, to communal wash-houses, to mangles and crank-operated washing machines, to electric washers, to modern washer-dryers, but you couldn't for the life of you tell anyone exactly what stage was when. Trying to wash your clothes for the first time in the mid-1700s, then, would have you entirely unsure which of those technologies was the one used in that era, rather than completely baffled that modern washer-dryers aren't used.

    Too many time travel stories, in my experience, fall into this trap, of assuming that people from the future would be completely confused at the lack of laser weapons on modern battlefields, rather than simply not being sure which "era" of weapons are used now; muskets? flintlocks? gatling guns?
     
  18. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    I didn't mean it had ruined the genre. I meant that it has had a negative impact on it. People shouldn't make anything some sort of rule book.
     
  19. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    I didn't consider my point profound. I attempted to express my thoughts in a shorter form because I think everyone has seen what impact Lord of the rings has had on fantasy.
     
  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It's adorable you think this is a retort.
     
  21. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    By internet forum standards, I suppose it is a retort. Not a particularly thoughtful or substantive retort, but maybe you can't have cat gifs and consistently thoughtful discourse coexisting on the same network.
     
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  22. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Welcome to the internet. If you're looking for thoughtful discourse, you've come to the wrong place.
     
  23. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That will only occur in your local drinking establishment.
     
  24. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I believe they're a Dr. Who fan and thought that the Dr. Who/LOTR comparison was a compliment, not an example of mundane standardization. ie: it's cute you thought that Dr. Who was so legendary and genre defining, but all us Dr. Who fanatics already know that.

    Doctor Who sucks, btw. Boring as fuck.
     
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  25. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Thank god! I though I was the only one who had noticed.
     

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