Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A character fault

I need help with the novel I'll be writing in November. Lilli, my protagonist, wants to time travel to the past. Nearly everyone she's told wants to know one of two things:

Why would anybody want to travel into the past?
... or ...
Wouldn't it be more interesting to go into the future?
So what reasons can anyone give for wanting to go either direction, instead of being satisfied to be here and now?

I need to know right away because Lilli thinks she's figured out what George Orwell knew and can get herself into the past without using his (or anybody else's) time machine. I don't want her to go until I find a way to go with her. After all, a character should share her thoughts with her author, don't you think?


Susan Tidwell said...

I think the past would be much better, you already know what happened in history and maybe you want to be there when it happened, like watching the signing of the Constitution or dressed up in a gown made from the drapes at Tara, wait that didn't really happen... but you get my drift? Of course the past is much safer as you DO know what happened, the future would be more scary (and possibly more adventurous), the unknown.

Unknown said...

I think one might go in either direction to learn - and to bring back what one's learned to the present to make the present a better place.
Alternately, one might have a special gift which exists only in this age but which may be needed in either the past or the present.
How wild do you want to go with imagination here, Bonnie.
I think moving in time, both past and future, offers endless writing opportunities - the past, as Susan says, you already know about, the future you can allow your imagination to lead the way - perhaps based on the present, or perhaps based on a utopian ideal.
Of course, Lilli may just be curious and looking for adventure.
As for how you go, I've always liked portals - can't be doing with the mechanics of time machines - whether they're George Orwell's or Dr Who's!

Bookfool said...

Who knows if there even will be a future? I'd go to the past, when there was a greater variety of wildlife, fewer people, and at least some of what happened is known. Maybe your character wants clarification. Sometimes you read about something or someone but there's just not enough and you want to go back and see for yourself.