Time Travel, Portals, etc.

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by BrianTubbs, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. BrianTubbs

    BrianTubbs New Member

    Sep 3, 2007
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    This question is for Wayne and anyone else with insight on this...

    I see time travel, dimension portals, etc. used all the time in fantasy and science fiction. When I start to toy around with similar ideas for my works-in-progress, I start to second-guess and triple-guess myself. I can't think of anything wholly original - and I most certainly can't think of anything that passes muster with respectable science, physics, etc.

    Should I let this hold me back? Does anyone have any advice on how to get around this kind of hang-up?
  2. fiorinda

    fiorinda New Member

    Sep 2, 2007
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    Here's my 2 cents worth(and I hope it's worth that much!) Skip to the end for the short answer :)

    If you are writing for a Christian audience, perhaps you can simply use the "translation" method. As in Acts 8:39 Philip has just baptized the eunuch when..."the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again...40Philip, however, appeared at Azotus..."
    It has been suggested that this is possible through Quantum physics. Although this may seem to be a bit of a cop out, at least it is based on something that happened(if you believe in the Bible), and some say still happens.

    If you are writing sci-fi people will probably be looking for more scientific reasoning. If you are writing fantasy, I don't think you have to explain yourself in as much detail. Things simply exist. Take for example, the Wardrobe in TLWW. I totally accepted that it was a portal to another world. Was it cool when I found out where the wood it was made from came from? Yes, but it didn't alter my original acceptance. When I am reading fantasy, if the characters accept a technology or "magic" whatever, I tend to accept it without knowing how it works.

    Of course, I tend to skip the whole worldbuilding process until the end, then I go back and make sure everything fits. I tried to start with world building and got so bogged down in minute details I quit writing.

    And since I seem to recall you are a pastor(so I assume you are a Christian:)), have you prayed about it? Again, I will assume so, but I felt I should mention it in case you hadn't. Everytime I have found myself stuck over odd details or questions about where my story is going, I pray about it and have received an answer or confirmation every time. And it always comes from a source I am not expecting. Way back when I first started my novel I prayed about whether or not my story was to include Jesus. I prayed and contemplated for several days when I checked my email and one of my "daily words" said, "Jesus is the Cornerstone." And I knew this was my answer. And I've continued to find answers all over the place for all my questions, no matter how odd or trivial.

    So I guess my short answer to your question is:
    A. No, don't let it hold you back
    B. Pray

    I'm sorry I don't have more "writerly" advice, I'll leave that to the professionals. But honestly, prayer is about the only thing that's gotten me through my stuck places.
  3. gr8dragon

    gr8dragon New Member

    Sep 12, 2007
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    Read some more, research gets you unstuck

    Do your research read people like the following:

    Michio keiku
    Time Machines/Time Travel Paul J Nahin
    Time Travel in Einstein's universe
    Space time physics would be a good start.

    This should start getting you mind to think about new approaches to time travel for you stories.
  4. Wayne Batson

    Wayne Batson Tolkien Disciple

    Nov 5, 2005
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    Hey, Brian

    Sorry I didn't see this before. Sept-Oct were kind of a blur as I was finishing a manuscript. Here's my .02:

    Time travel/dimensional Portals are simply plot devices. In other words, they allow you to tell a story; they are not the story in and of themselves. In a fantasy, you create the laws that govern that world, and so therefore, time travel, dimension hopping can be a part of that if you want it to. You just have to be true to the laws you create, ie if time travel works only one way, then you can't break that rule later in the story. Or, if those who time travel age five years each jump, then you need to keep that consistent.

    For SciFi, you need to take a different approach. And that is, yes, research theories out there, pick pieces that make sense to you and then concoct it in a convincing manner. Let's face it, for the .07 of your readers who will question your science there are another 99.03 who don't care so long as what you purport sounds cool. I always think of wrinkle in time's tesseract--could a physicist blow that theory out of the water, yeah, but who cares? It sounds cool.

    Remember, people want a good story FIRST and FOREMOST. The story is what matters. Everything else is there to carry the story along.

    Oh, and one more thing. I believe God is omniscient, and the scriptures tell us that He has always been since before the beginning of creation. So God is outside of time. He could, if He so willed it, take one of His creations through time as well. Just my .02.