View Full Version : Critique: A Time Travel Notion
March 27th, 2006, 04:54 PM
I'm in the midst of writing a time travel novel and am interested in feedback from critical readers. The story begins here (and can be followed through the links on the page)
The central thesis is this: time is a system, a process, a mechanism, that does not tolerate anyone or anything messing with it, and it will do whatever it takes to keep itself together. As with any system, there are flaws, occasional glitches, and it is possible to 'break into it'. It is not easy, not common, and not well understood. The story concerns a band of adventurers who are trying to figure it all out. They proceed by trial and error.
I hope you'll check it out and let me know what you think.
March 27th, 2006, 05:22 PM
I found it hard getting through the first few paragraphs of this story and i think you should have asked someone, maybe a friend to look at it before you got so far. This is constructive critisism so i hope it isn't to hard.
I like: the idea the time keeps trying to catch you when you're alone but i think you should be quite clear in making this a danger point and very nerve racking (you know: quickly catch up with him or you'll be sucked back).
I don't like: the idea that you can't change large events, if your great great grandad accidentally bumped into the original shooter at a political conference and they feel over the shooter might have lost his chance AND if you say you can change your own existances and you accidentally cause your great great great grandfather to fall into a gorge, then his offspring would cease to exist and there would be no one to stop the shooter a generation later at the political conference.
This is the kind of thing audiences will expect from stuff they've seen or read and it may cause them to disregard your idea/work.
The writing seems kind of bare bones and when you're writing time-travel you have to be versed in history to mention semi-accurate smells and sights that make things real and give atmosphere.
Finally it starts too strange: i have no idea what is going on, and less idea of who is talking.
I think you have some interesting ideas and i really wanted to see what was up when i read the blurb you left, but i was rather dissapointed.
At the end of the day it is your story but this would have been one of the books i excitedly flip through the first few paragraphs of at book stores and then leave back where they were.
Your audience has to feel that they are somewhere with someone or at least following someone. I don't get a sense for the world and giving away the fact that its time travel immediately in the story kills that early hook of mystery. If you were to go back and give the desperate running through the hall and then the shock that they are somewhere else...etc. etc. I think it would hook better. Stories must hook early or people will leave them down.
I'm sorry to be so blunt, but i saw a really good potential and was kinda dissapointed. And i really don't like giving critique to something so far through its kinda unfair to you because of the tme you've spent.
March 27th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Your points on structure are well taken.
I'm trying to avoid the usual time travel cliches this time around - changing history or working around the same old paradoxes. I think there are some other angles that could use some exploration. So, in an attempt to find some originality I can easily see how that can frustrate expectations. If you can muster up a taste for something a little different, please consider giving it another shot.
One of my science fiction heroes just passed away - Stanislaw Lem. In his works is the theme that if we were to encounter alien beings, the problems that we would have in communicating with them would be as problematic as our ability to communicate with other species right here on Earth. That led to some rather difficult problems in his works, such as 'Solaris'. Things didn't work out as sweetly as in more traditional treatments, such as 'E.T.'
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