Daily Writers Challenge: Time Travel – The Real Deal


For some reason, many writers feel the need to use time travel in their stories.  I’m not talking about Science Fiction stories, by the way, even writers of so-called literary fiction fall prey to this habit.

Here’s a quick way to see if the book you are currently reading has time travel in it.  Turn to the first pages of the book and look for the secret code word… you guessed it.  Prologue.

To be honest, I have written my fair share of prologues. 

In my opinion, a prologue is just a pre-flashback.  Why do people feel the need to conjure their setting or characters, or plot lines in advance of telling their story?  Hard to say, but to me it suggests an inability—more likely only a fear of the inability—to set the scene in within the story arc.

But isn’t that like a writer saying to  a friend, “…I don’t have the words to tell you how grateful…”  or some such?  I cringe whenever I hear a writer say such a thing.  Yes, yes, I know, it is more of a cultural meme than a true protestation, but still it grates. 

Image: colemanzone.com

For this same reason flashbacks, or the less conventional flash-forwards should be avoided.  They are a crutch.  A kind of saying, “Oh!  Wait, I forgot.  Let me jump out of the normal timeline to remind you of something…”

For the sake of flow, learning to tell your whole story within the self-assigned confines of your plot is the key.

OK, OK… yes.  There are times when being clever gets points.  The movie Inception—a very well-written and compelling piece—uses a type of time-travel, time dilation as a major plot piece.  See?  It makes sense to use “time travel” in a story about time travel.

Today’s challenge is to tell on yourself.  No, you don’t need to confess here on UhW.  Confessing to yourself is good enough.

Are you an inveterate time traveler?  …or have you learned to tell your story as Lewis Carroll would say, by “…starting at the beginning and going through to the end…”?  And, if you are somewhere in-between, where will you go from here?

Your thoughts?


2 responses to “Daily Writers Challenge: Time Travel – The Real Deal

  1. Travelling through time, is within Portals travelling through memory. It is ‘re-member-ing” . (Like putting together, and becoming conscious of the parts within the body). It is going from the present, the attention, through the projections into the future, the intention, and into the past, memory, searching for consciousness of what is necessarily the ‘retention’ at some level, even unconscious, of the past. The idea is to fulfill the past and present, and future, within a psychological whole, and thus to become an integrated person. Then the attention of the moment is whole whether than attention involves retention and intention, which it necessarily does, conscious or not.
    It is thus to become more conscious of the memory/consciousness, in all of its aspects and thus, enable a more fulfilling time travel, or a life within a full and developed consciousness.

    So I don’t mind, by the way, making confessions. It actually helps me move along, and grow out of the confessed consciousness, into a new one. It helps me integrate and become more conscious. Indeed it does this because there is a greater incentive to not be trapped, imprisoned, within any particular psychological individuality. People will think of you what they will in any case, so if you’re not afraid of the confession, you also become less concerned with what they are, or what you imagine them to be thinking.
    If you can ‘accost’ the ‘worst within yourself’, what have you to ‘fear’ from ‘anyone else’? Just another ‘passing fancy’…….

  2. Epilogue: grin grin
    I know you have had a long time interest in language, etc.
    But when it comes to reading Derrida, etc. (I had bought a whole library with the intention that I would ‘understand’ what the ‘h…’ was happening. But deconstruction was primarily in the 80’s etc. and things are moving quickly.
    The book I am reading at present, (Fleeing the Universal) is itself a critique of Postmodernism/post rationalism, but in it is the most succinct summary synthesis of not only philosophers, but poets and literary writers, etc. in the ‘final age of art’. So may I advise that you look for similar books, written possibly by unknown philosophers in the dispersed/dispersing fields of academia, etc. The originals for me at least are beyond my ability, (even time) to make it, but reading/interpretation depends on ‘where you are’ in any case, and I feel that you would benefit from reading, especially because of your writing commitments, the encapsulations. All the best here.
    (The Koyoto school, in league with the Germans, during the dropping of the Atomic bombs, (as an example) were far ahead of some of the positions currently afloat. It just depends, ‘where you are’…….I’m sure you/we will find ‘what we are looking for’……

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