Creating Time Travel Magic, Blog #3 in the Author's Struggles Blog Posts
Magic systems are typically associated with fantasy novels, but science fiction uses the same idea in creating it’s- what I like to call- science system. There are rules that need to be established, and followed. Random, willy-nilly, tech and futuristic science and setting will be spotted immediately by even the casual reader of the genre, so there must be a legitimate system underlying the technology.
But let’s face it, time travel has not been invented nor discovered. If it has, please let me know I have some speeding tickets I’d like to (have) avoid(ed) … So to explain how time travel works would be difficult. But a reasonable facimile of an explanation should be provided to an extent.
Pitfalls to think about right off the start …
-time loops; if they do that then, how does the future change?
-can they change the past?
-is time mutable?
-can they run into themselves in the past? And if they do, what happens?
-does the time travel device travel with the occupant(s) to the past or future? If not, what’s in the past, or future, when the occupant arrives and how do they get back?
-and when they have returned back, has time moved forward from when they left, or do they return back to the moment right after they left?
Example of a broken rule during the early development of Nexus Point … that was corrected before publication, of course … was that I had developed the rule; the Point only opens when an Historical Contamination Act (HCA) is instigated.
But, how can an HCA occur if no one has gone back in time to instigate it?
You would be surprised how long it took to find this mistake! Several beta readers, two editors who read the book several times, and myself reading it over and over again. It seems so obvious of a mistake, but yet, it almost slipped through.
You don’t necessarily have to figure this all out for the first draft, but you should be cognizant of these elements as you revise and edit.
K.Pimpinella is the author of the Time Ranger series. Book #1, Nexus Point out now.