From the very first moment I picked up a Lynn Kurland novel, time travel intrigued me. To this day, I don’t know what made me pick up one of her novels, but I’ve been hooked on her writing since that day ten years ago. I would walk around thinking to myself “if I was trapped back in time, I would…” then I would fill in the blank. I came up with many scenarios in my mind and just as many responses. I loved the thought of possibility. If time travel could actually happen, what would that person who had the key to bending time do with it? Would they stop a war from happening, remove a past regret, or change the path in life they’ve chosen? Or maybe they wouldn’t want to change a thing, not desiring to disrupt the balance of life.
When considering the realm of time travel as a writer, there are many circumstances and situations you must figure out before you determine how you are going to execute a believable time travel piece. The biggest question is how. How on earth are you going to get your characters from one time to another, and what are the ramifications of the time jump? And even though the prospect of the act is unrealistic, the fact is you need to make it believable.
My favorite author, Lynn Kurland, has chosen a means to get her people to and from. There is a map of Scotland and England, where there are “gates” that get you to a certain era in time. Careful not to step on the one that’ll lead you to the wrong place and time!
I got my inspiration from Lynn, though I didn’t really use her formula. In Pillars in Time the “gate” is a bench. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it is my “key” to the past, and to the future.
Writing with the goal of time travel in mind, I really needed to figure out how my “gate” worked. I determined that “fate” determines the traveler of time and nobody can force the gate to bend to their will. That only “fate” knows when a person is supposed to be where at what time.
I also decided that both “realities” run parallel to one another. So, a month in medieval Scotland is the same as a month in the current time period. The reason I did this is to avoid mass confusion as to the time jump and what “could” happen and when.
If you are writing a time travel piece, you need to solidify what your plan of attack is. How is time going to bend to your will as a writer? And, most importantly, how are you going to make it believable to your reader?