1. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Gay Souffle Contributor

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    Time Travel and Death

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by EstherMayRose, Jan 31, 2020.

    I've realised I have a plot hole in one of my books which involves time travel. The main villains of the book - which the MC doesn't learn about until the end - are wizards who have killed off numerous wizarding families. However, I'm trying to work out how they could be irrevocably killed if some wizards can time travel (it's an art that some wizards specialise in, rather than a power only some are born with). Why can't someone travel back in time and warn them/take them to a future time?
     
  2. Cilogical

    Cilogical Banned

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    Trapped in a dimension somewhere?
     
  3. Lili.A.Pemberton

    Lili.A.Pemberton Active Member

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    Time traveling is an insanely (and ironically) time-consuming ritual to cast and/or you need very expensive material and the wizard either doesn't have enough time to cast it or can't find the material before the hero finds them? TBH, time traveling in stories is tricky to do without plot holes, so more power to you for deciding to write it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  4. N.Scott

    N.Scott Active Member

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    Because whoever uses those skill are consider outcast? Nobody takes them seriously, probably because the bad guy hires a bunch of them just to mess with their reputations?
    Because once they go back, they can't come back? or it's extremely difficult?
     
  5. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    Could go the 'alternate timeline' type of thing? Going back in time and warning your past self doesn't change your future, just that version of you's future.
     
  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    "Wherever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzai

    SpeedForce from Flash? TimeCop? The One?

    How about: there's only one universe until you time travel, then there are infinite u... *poof!*
     
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Maybe you need some insanely difficult-to-obtain object to travel back in time with.

    Like, oh, I dunno, thinking off the top of my head and pulling a random idea out of thin air, a DeLorean, equipped with some flux capacitors.

    AND it needs fulfill a set of criteria, such as reaching a speed of 88 mph.
     
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  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Nao reminded me of something I posted in Character Chatroom. Seeker told May that any time or dimensional travel device stretched your 'anchor chain' to your origin. Too far or too long and you get pulled back, or it comes to you - fully loaded with like, the world?
     
  9. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Perhaps one can only time travel in one's own lifetime, to put right what once went wrong.
     
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  10. He Who Has Too Many Dogs

    He Who Has Too Many Dogs Member

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    Maybe there is a semi-omnipotent entity who enforces such practices, preventing the time continuum from getting all wonky.
    Maybe the tall of such a travel is too costly to pay.
    Regardless, either time travel is on a closed loop, or it is not. One must decide before writing such a story. If time is not on a closed loop, one can never go back to one's own timeline.
     
  11. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Time is self-repairing. You cheat death, fate gets pissed and balances the books. Basically, you're messing with the balanc of reality when you change time, especially if it creates a paradox. Time finds a way to resolve the paradox, and that usually means that life has to end by some means.
     
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  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Lying, dog-faced pony Marine Supporter Contributor

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    To Say Nothing of the Dog had a force that prevented time travelers from "landing" anywhere physically or temporally near anything important. IIRC they couldn't get within 50 miles or 20 years of Hitler. Think like when you try and push magnets together.
     
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  13. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    Going back in time to warn the victims/help them escape risks a modified form of the grandfather paradox; if the time traveler succeeds, they remove the reason to travel through time in the first place; this means the trip through time never occurs and the victims aren't saved.

    You could resolve the paradox in several ways. Time travel might create a new, alternate timeline like MusingWordsmith suggested. But personally, I think the Novikov self-consistency principle offers the best solution for your purposes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novikov_self-consistency_principle#

    Basically, this suggests:

     
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  14. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I'd like to see this in a combination of Deja Vu and Groundhog Day. Bill can be the groundhog...
     
  15. OB1

    OB1 Active Member

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    I think the grandfather paradox is the crux of it all really. But in itself this could provide an interesting theme to pursue.

    e.g. a wizard goes back in time to warn the person they are dying and/or change events so that the death never takes place, which causes a ripple in the universe (butterfly effect). The person not only doesn't die, but can not die because this was meant to be the time of their death according to fate.
     
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  16. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    I think it would be difficult to earn yourself of your death after you’ve already died, although someone else could travel to the past on your behalf and warn you.

    What if the bad guys have time agents stationed at every killing to stop time travelers from interfering?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  17. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Gay Souffle Contributor

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    I've had a think about this and I've had a lot of trouble. One problem is that time travel needs to be easy to do since the plot revolves around it. There are multiple spells you can do (I haven't quite figured out the magic yet so I don't know how spells are performed; I was considering having them require potions) and at the beginning of the story, the MC is pulled through time by a spell that returns time-travellers to their own time. I also need it to be relatively quick because the MC and her mother were sent through time very quickly as a means of escape when the bad guys came for them.

    I like @rktho's suggestion, with the agents. I considered having a spell that would mean that they stayed dead, but I don't want to handwave everything with "there's a spell for that". I also wondered, as a bit of an edit to the suggestion, that they could place a sort of lock-down that would stop people travelling to that time and place to stop the murders. Requires a think.

    Thank you all so much for your responses, by the way.
     
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  18. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    There's also maybe a possibility of it not being theoretically all that hard, it's more sociological forces that make it something most people avoid. I.E. maybe it's SUPER ILLEGAL. And very strongly prosecuted too.
     
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  19. The Multiverse

    The Multiverse Member

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    The time travel thing is actually really easy to work around. Unless you involve other time travelers, you can just omit the involvement of others. As for continuity, you need a mechanic that ensures the loop closes. You need to ensure that the character that time travels can take his own place at the moment of his traveling back. Its also important to make sure he has a reason to travel back after the target dies. However you want it to happen.

    If you're referring to something a bit further back it takes a little finessing, however, its just as easy.
     
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  20. mariaMonleon

    mariaMonleon Member

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    1.you can only time travel once. So when you have, you are stuck in that time.
    2. Your body disintegrates within 24 hours after time travel.
    3. Time travellers are usually not believed.
    4. Time travel is taboo and makes you unclean.
    5. Time travel necessitates new grammar so it is avoided by most sane people.
    6. Time travel means travel in time, space locations stays the same although your planet has moved.
     
  21. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    According to?
     
  22. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Lying, dog-faced pony Marine Supporter Contributor

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    OP was asking for potential reasons, @mariaMonleon offered some up.
     
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  23. mariaMonleon

    mariaMonleon Member

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    All relatives to time travelers I have spoken to.
     
  24. RetroDeath

    RetroDeath New Member

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    You could introduce a specific power that can destroy time, for example in The Wheel of Time there is a power called 'balefire'. Balefire actually erases however gets hit from existence. I loved this idea (even though it is terribly underused in the books). The ripple effect is greater when it comes to how far ago your interactions get erased and to what degree depending on the strength of the attack used, but what it does is that if you get hit you never existed, so everybody you talked to, never talked with you, if you were the key element for someone turning good, they never turned good, it erases you from the timeline. In this case, that means that if you would travel back in time, it doesn't matter, because you never existed. Balefire itself is almost unknown (we see a character learning this skill without even knowing what it is they are doing), and it is feared, and as close to what you can get to beyond illegal because of its obvious ramifications.
     
  25. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Time travel means becoming unstuck in time. You would be frozen in that instant as the universe spun away from you. You would experience a spiraling tumbling sensation. Alternatively, you would be thrown at a spiraling tangent into oblivion. Like a baseball, you need someone to 'catch' you and throw you to 'first-base'. Or, maybe you're the pitch and a giant bat will whack you into left field?
    You would almost have to set a 'pin' at your destination and be pulled there once unstuck. This could imply some kind of guardian that controls your 'travel'. Perhaps this guardian must be petitioned? Plenty of mishap would ensue if they are unhappy. Lots of goofy ways to twist this. Have fun! :)
     

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