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message 1: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited May 07, 2014 09:50AM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Alright, time travel authors, this forum is for you. It's a place for authors of time travel books and stories to talk about writing time travel, writing, publishing, etc. Make it your own. And .... go.


message 2: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments I'm already on record:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...

There were others, such as my Monthly Read thread, but I'll pass there as no one participated beyond Lincoln who was duty bound & he hated it anyway.

Still, I'll always answer anything on any of my threads.


Just saying.


message 3: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Michael Lewis (timothymichaellewis) | 101 comments Why do you always put "just saying" on all your messages, Howard?


message 4: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Loops in Time.

Read my books.

Then have a drink.

Just saying


message 5: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Let me specify. This is a forum for authors of time travel books not to promote their books but to talk about writing time travel, writing, publishing, etc. Or for general gabbing about the gentry.


message 6: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Michael Lewis (timothymichaellewis) | 101 comments Ok..didn't mean it in a bad way just not an expression heard used much, but then I am British so might be an American thing.

What would you say is your most accessible work Howard? As in something short or free?


message 7: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Tales of the Elastic Limit - Epic Fables by Howard Loring

Twelve short stories of Time, several just a few pages, all stand alone.

Discussion in my threads.

For example, in both Paul S's & my Monthly Group Read we compared & contrasted our books & we talked about Myth, pace & timing, etc. & we just scratched the surface.

I'll answer any questions on my threads, or personal note.

I seem to get the better discussions in that fashion as there's less drinking.

This time I'm not just saying but it's true nonetheless.


message 8: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
I was actually just thinking of posting a topic related to my current book project that I thought might make for some fun conversation. One of my characters is a time traveler trainee who is struggling to learn the lingo of the century he wants to travel to. I've had fun writing it but it made me realize how difficult it would be to identify slang or figures of speech from decades of prior centuries. I could tell you the decade difference between "groovy" and "righteous" as expressions but I doubt I could peg a difference in speech from 1860 versus 1880. I think I could positively I.D. slang terms maybe as far back as the 1930's but then things get blurry. I think it would make a fun time-traveler quiz if we could lump a bunch of decade-specific phrases together across from possible corresponding decades and then have a mix and match test. Anybody have any good gems they think would work well?


message 9: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 188 comments In the current monthly read, Bee had a character struggle with that. He was trying to replace "I'm sorry I stressed you out" with correct English Georgian speech. The character pulled from memory the correct substitution, which was, "I'm sorry I discomfited you."

:)


message 10: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
Ah, very cool. I am behind on my reading this month, I need to catch up with the current book. Sounds like people are enjoying it.


message 11: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Nathan wrote: "I was actually just thinking of posting a topic related to my current book project that I thought might make for some fun conversation. One of my characters is a time traveler trainee who is strugg..."

That's where the etymology dictionary comes in handy. Entry for "groovy": http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?a.... But, yeah, I certainly couldn't produce any slang words prior to about the 1930s off the top of my head. I'm sure plenty of time travel writers and historical writers accidentally use phrases that would never truly be used for the time period. It would be nice to be able to be truly authentic, but I doubt there's any software out there yet that could check for historical accuracy for phrases so that an author wouldn't have to check individual words and phrases. To complicate matters even more, you've got phrases and words that are used only regionally.


message 12: by MK (last edited May 07, 2014 02:23PM) (new)

MK (wisny) | 188 comments Nathan wrote: "Ah, very cool. I am behind on my reading this month, I need to catch up with the current book. Sounds like people are enjoying it."


It's really well done. I'm liking it very much!


message 13: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
Discomfit has definitely gone well out of style. That's a good word.


message 14: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 188 comments Nathan wrote: "Discomfit has definitely gone well out of style. That's a good word."

It is! :D


message 15: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
Amy Wrote: That's where the etymology dictionary comes in handy. Entry for "groovy": http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?a....

That's a cool site. I like that it lists the time it was popularized. That is really the test. Most slang words are regular words that just take on new connotations, like Marty McFly's use of "Heavy" in the BTTF films. I always loved the Doc's response. "There's that word again. "Heavy." Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth's gravitational pull?"

Makes for fun writing challenges to be sure.


message 16: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 88 comments I agree that slangs can be quite challenging. I had once to make Australian soldiers in WW2 speak in their typical Aussie slang and it was nothing like classical English! Things get much worse as you go back in time, with languages being basically nearly incomprehensible for modern persons, like in the case of Old English. Since you can't expect readers to be able to or even enjoy reading Old English, you have little choice but to make your past characters speak modern English if you don't want to lose your readers quickly.

As for time travel in general, I love writing on that theme because I am a fervent student of history and it gives me a lot of pleasure to research various time periods for my novels. However, one must be cautioned about being thorough and exact about documenting your time travel novels, as some readers are very picky about historical exactitude. As an example, one of my readers remarked that in one of my novels about WW2, I had used a sub-type of aircraft engine that was not yet in service at the time (1940) but would enter service only in...1943! It's hard to make everyone happy.


message 17: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments There are glorious slang dictionaries -- I have a Partridge's Dictionary of English Slang that I have studded with post-it tabs.
What is more difficult is developing the 'ear' for period speech. In other words, an Edwardian is not only going to use period slang, he's going to speak like a man of his time. This is subtle and hard.


message 18: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Michael Lewis (timothymichaellewis) | 101 comments The problem with slang is that it is very regional - especially in England. Slang in 1800 Manchester would very different from in London because there wasn't the same amount of travel there is now. Even now people from "the north" often have a very different set of slang words than the south of England, so I wouldn't worry too much about authenticity except in not using slang from a totally different country or era or using something unintentionally amusing, like an Australian using the word Thong!


message 19: by Brenda (last edited May 08, 2014 06:52AM) (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments The other problem, especially with historical stuff, is that slang and profanity is not what people wrote down. Good gosh, impressionable women might see it and it would affect their weak brains. It is far more fun to fish for Roman obscenities, which major poets were happy to use in their poems to slang each other. When you Google up, say, a Dryden translation of Ovid or Catullus, the poem is translated nicely into English except for two or three key words, which stay in Latin. Yep, those are the dirty ones. Since only men had to learn Classical languages, keeping them in Latin was as good as a secret language.


message 20: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
Thanks for making this thread, Amy. I think it will be really fun.


message 21: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Nathan wrote: "Thanks for making this thread, Amy. I think it will be really fun."

You're welcome. I think this could be one of the more interesting sections of our group. It will give writers (both published and not published) a chance to talk about writer-y things and not necessarily just time travel. I suppose non-writers can hang out here if they'd like as well.


message 22: by Padgett (new)

Padgett Lively | 15 comments I didn't really deal with slang in my book. But had to give a brief acknowledgement to the fact that one of my characters had to adjust to a new accent. He was tricked into using his time-traveling tech to change history. So when he returned to present day, he was in a New York City that was still part of the British Empire. So, of course, his American accent would have stood out.


message 23: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy wishes 'talk about writer-y things'

Myth is discussed here (#88):

www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1488011-...

Paul's excellent use of it is discussed here (#’s 43, 44, 45):

www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1535698-...


message 24: by Chester Hendrix (new)

Chester Hendrix | 17 comments I would think political cartoons of a given period might be a good source for words and phrases.


message 25: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments Depends on how far back in time you're going. The Victorians were mad on journals, for example, and you can find reams and reams of their own writings on line. Also they wrote millions of letters (not having text or facebook) and you can get a good grasp of 'voice' by reading many of them.
This is so not going to work for you further back in history. It is said that Alexander the Great corresponded with his tutor, Aristotle, for years -- he was off to conquer Asia and the old teacher was back in Greece. Now that batch of letters would be worth seeing.


message 26: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Michael Lewis (timothymichaellewis) | 101 comments Well I think if the person was talking or writing in a different language anyway then it matters much less - though might be worth giving them a different tone to make the language difference clear. That said "urban gangster" to fit Alexander's tone might not work, though it might fit the fact he was a Macedonian rather than a "more cultured" Athenian..


message 27: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Tim references Alexander, one of my favorite people:

Tim, I also heard that he had a good Rag Time band.

You know, the best band in the land.


message 28: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Michael Lewis (timothymichaellewis) | 101 comments I had to look that one up Howard...good one!


message 29: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments L. Sprague de Camp wrote a novel about the Alexander-Aristotle connection: AN ELEPHANT FOR ARISTOTLE.


message 30: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy's first post mentioned 'talk about writing time travel'

Yet I find it impossible to comply with the further stipulations of this thread, i.e.: explaining what I do without referencing my books.

So, in order to keep Amy sober, I’ve created a new discussion, located here, thanks:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 31: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
Okay, I have an author-y question. I am writing a series in first person and have been showing action and events from the character's perspective normally but the character's specific thoughts (interior monologue) on the actions in italics. One of my friends in my writing group said he doesn't like that practice as it is technically unnecessary since the whole story is from the character's perspective and we know we're in their head.

I personally enjoy the ability to only highlight the character's thoughts periodically and use the rest to show action and outside environment. I know it's really a matter of personal preference but I thought I'd see if any of you are writing in first person and if so, what are your methods for that? (not really a time travel question but maybe people can weigh in with their preferences)


message 32: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Michael Lewis (timothymichaellewis) | 101 comments Nathan, I am of the "whatever floats your boat" school of writing. If you feel it expresses what you are trying to say best then keep using it as a mechanism. No one likes all styles of writing and there isn't really a best style. Some styles will sell better and some maybe more fashionable to people with "high church" literary ideals, but if you feel it works, stick with it.


message 33: by Chester Hendrix (new)

Chester Hendrix | 17 comments Howard-
I think what Amy meant was, 'Please don't mention the title of your book, or include thumbnails of the cover or provide links to where it can be purchased'.

On the proactive side - bring your situations, paradoxes, stumbling blocks, cries for help, etc. here and everybody will pitch in to help.

Amy - am I close?

Your Buddy, Chester


message 34: by Howard (last edited May 10, 2014 08:33AM) (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Chester #33:

Chester, thanks, I understand but my books are written.

If someone has a question about 'situations, paradoxes, stumbling blocks' I therefore have an example for I already have crossed those bridges, yet the purview of this post denies me that option, for the example is couched within the overall Myth encompassed in the books.

That's fine, I understand, as I said.

As such, I'll be glad to discuss specifics, but not here, that's all.

Rules are rules, so:

Myth in Literature, the sure way to an exciting story:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Plausible Time Travel Theory:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Using true History in constructing believable Time Travel stories:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Trouble with Paradox:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Time Travel without a Machine:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Again, just saying


message 35: by Paul (new)

Paul (paullev) | 769 comments Great thread - thanks, Amy!

I'm currently about 12,000 words into writing the third novel in my Sierra Waters time travel series. (The first two are The Plot to Save Socrates and Unburning Alexandria.)

I tend to write in one of two ways: either I concentrate on just one story or novel, or I write a whole bunch of stories and novels at the same time.

I'm using the second approach, at this point. So I'm now also writing the fourth novelette in my "Ian's Ions and Eons" time travel series (the first three were published in Analog in the past few years).

I'm also about 11,000 words into writing my 4th Phil D'Amato novel (not time travel). (The first three are The Silk Code, The Consciousness Plague, The Pixel Eye.) And I've just started writing a brand new short story, from an idea I had almost 20 years ago, not time travel.

And you know writing this very post made me think I should take a look at the beginning of the 4th novelette in my "Loose Ends" series (time travel, first three stories published in Analog in the late 1990s).


message 36: by Paul (new)

Paul (paullev) | 769 comments Nathan wrote: "Okay, I have an author-y question. I am writing a series in first person and have been showing action and events from the character's perspective normally but the character's specific thoughts (interior monologue) on the actions in italics. One of my friends in my writing group said he doesn't like that practice as it is technically unnecessary since the whole story is from the character's perspective and we know we're in their head.

I personally enjoy the ability to only highlight the character's thoughts periodically and use the rest to show action and outside environment. I know it's really a matter of personal preference but I thought I'd see if any of you are writing in first person and if so, what are your methods for that? (not really a time travel question but maybe people can weigh in with their preferences) "


That's a good question, Nathan. What I do is use the italics for interior thought when the thought is very pointed - such as an unspoken response to a question or challenge. In contrast, italicizing just general, "soft" thoughts brings too much attention to them.

So, with this approach, italicized interior thoughts are relatively rare in my writing - and I think the approach gives me more flexibility.


message 37: by Chester Hendrix (new)

Chester Hendrix | 17 comments Here's an idea - why doesn't everybody describe what time travel 'vehicle' they used to propel their protagonists from one point to another?

I used an eclipse, coupled with explosions and my three different main characters [each from a different time] being in the same spot - a hot springs pool in northern France. I've never put a name to my mechanic... I guess you could tag it as a 'mystic phenomena'.

How about you kids?


message 38: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments I would not worry about the italics. Write it the way it looks right to you. If/when you sell it, your editor will kindly inform you that house style here at Random House excludes (or includes) italics. If you self-publish, come back and we can discuss some more. But it's not worth stressing about now.

I wrote a novel once in which the time travel was a side effect. The real project was to travel faster-than-light. But to test FTL you have to build an expensive and durable space ship. To test the theory, you could in theory do it more cheaply with time travel. So, the budget guys won, and they did time travel. Once it was proven to work, accounting ok'ed the space ship...


message 39: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 88 comments Chester wrote: "Here's an idea - why doesn't everybody describe what time travel 'vehicle' they used to propel their protagonists from one point to another?

I used an eclipse, coupled with explosions and my three..."


In my Time Patrol series, time travel was through a very high technology device that basically distorted time and space. That device could be small (to be implanted inside the body of a field agent) or of varying size to power vehicles and ships. In another novel, the explosion of a meteor made of anti-matter withing the atmosphere brought a whole jetliner from the year 1959 to the year 2012.


message 40: by Jim (new)

Jim Lion (jimlion) | 29 comments I used a near-death experience for each of my characters before they were unceremoniously thrust into the past against their will, and with scant warning.


message 41: by Garrett (new)

Garrett Smith (garrettsmith) | 246 comments Nathan wrote: "I was actually just thinking of posting a topic related to my current book project that I thought might make for some fun conversation. One of my characters is a time traveler trainee who is strugg..."

Can we just throw out questions to the crowd.
I would like to know why NYC cops say they 'bang in sick' when they call the station to say they are ill and won't be coming in. So, what did they do before there were telephones that got the slang started?


message 42: by Garrett (last edited May 18, 2014 08:31AM) (new)

Garrett Smith (garrettsmith) | 246 comments Nathan wrote: "Okay, I have an author-y question. I am writing a series in first person and have been showing action and events from the character's perspective normally but the character's specific thoughts (int..."

Nathan,

Take a look at The Martian by Andy Weir, the whole book is mostly one guy's thoughts and actions, with occasional narrative. The author does not use italics.

See The Museum of Extraordinary Things where the author did use italics. It was quite annoying. In a discussion group, some didn't understand that they indicated interior thought, simply because there was so much of it, it seemed the entire book was written in italics.


message 43: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments Italics are less easy to read, and should be carefully rationed for that reason alone. No paragraphs and paragraphs in italic!
As to cop lingo: have you googled on it? There are books about how to write police procedurals. Slang is ever-evolving, so I would not be surprised to learn that the phrase is specific to a time. I learned the other day that 'mutton shunters' was the Victorian term for 'pigs', as in cops.


message 44: by Padgett (new)

Padgett Lively | 15 comments Chester wrote: "Here's an idea - why doesn't everybody describe what time travel 'vehicle' they used to propel their protagonists from one point to another?

My characters travel via your basic time machine called a "Temporatus." It looks like a very streamlined motorcycle with a sidecar. I use a bunch of made-up technical language to describe it. It travels through the "Temporal slipstream" to find a "Temporal Inter-dimensional Flux" (TIF for short), where it can cross over into another timeline.

I have an author question regarding how important themes or topics are introduced without seeming heavy handed. For me, it's social justice and feminism. I find that the juxtaposition of a modern-day person in an historical situation can really bring some interesting perspective to these issues. I try not to get too preachy but just focus on the adventure. It is really a fine line sometimes, and I cut a lot of this out in the editing process. So, just wondering what issues permeate people's writing and how you deal with it via storytelling. Thanks.


message 45: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Padgett #44 is 'wondering what issues permeate people's writing'

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Look under EXPLORING HUMAN CONCEPTS


message 46: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
Padgett Wrote:I have an author question regarding how important themes or topics are introduced without seeming heavy handed...

I attended a writers conference in January where one of the guest authors discussed this topic. I thought their advice seemed very practical. They basically said- Write the story first. Don't think about theme until the story is done. Just write what has to happen. Then, when you go back and look at your completed first draft, see what themes emerge. Then decide if you want to revise in ways to strengthen those natural themes that the story evoked on its own. This might be a good question to give your beta readers if you let a couple people read your first draft. Don't tell them anything in advance, just let them read it and see what they though the themes might be. You may discover themes you didn't even realize you were addressing. Now you are prepared to go back in and revise with theme in mind.


message 47: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 225 comments Precisely right. If you start with a theme and write it, that's a sermon.


message 48: by Jim (new)

Jim Lion (jimlion) | 29 comments Sometimes the theme emerges from the guts of the story, but sometimes you'll have an idea in your head in advance, even if it's just a tiny little germ of a theme. I prefer blind justice to social justice, but also find the most interesting circumstances story-wise can happen when justice is absent.


message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim Lion (jimlion) | 29 comments In my time travel series I leave it one of the open mysteries of the book that the people doing the traveling don't know how they're doing it. A mysterious stranger sends them back in time after giving them a very difficult choice. It's activated by near-death experiences for most of the characters, but not all of them. So already, thematic ideas are built into the story - the meaning of life and death...


message 50: by Padgett (new)

Padgett Lively | 15 comments An interesting approach. So,you write just plot? I'm not sure I could do that. My plot is often driven by motive and purpose -typically representing an underlying theme. Even character development would seem to require some thematic underpinning. Did the author give any suggested readings on the approach?

I like the part where beta readers give you their interpretation of theme. Perhaps hidden ones you didn't know were there.


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