Thursday, October 9, 2014

Writer's Story Prompt: A Twist on Time Travel

    Time travel is a common story element. When I was querying literary agents about five years ago, a lot of them seemed to hate it. I guess they had good reason; according to their blogs, time travel was one of the most popular topics in the letters they received. If I had to read, "And then Timmy finds a time machine..." about fifty times a day, I'd probably get tired of it, too. (Side note: Timmy is a nuisance anyway, and should be properly dealt with).

    Still, there's a good reason why time travel is so common in stories: it's fun! Readers and TV watchers must like it, or it wouldn't keep showing up. As the agents said, the real difficulty is finding a unique angle on it. So, for this writer's prompt, take a popular topic like time travel and brainstorm a way to make it original. Here's an idea to get you started:

    While your character is off time-traveling, the world ends. That is, the world of her / his own time. Your character no longer has a "real" time to go home to and is essentially a time refugee. What does your character do and why? Does your character travel to the moment before the world ended and save other people? Does she try to change what happened or does she believe it can't be changed?

    Have fun writing!

    -MK

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