View Full Version : Time Traveler just a beginning

April 9th, 2012, 02:00 AM
Driving home from work on January 31, 2011 I just miss hitting a deer and I end up in the past. I hit a pole and as I tried to stand my knees felt weak. Also I started to feel dizzy. As I look I see that things seem different for example my 2011 Honda Odyssey is now a 1936 Ford Model 68. I am shocked to see I am in 1936 of the same day.

Earlier that day I was at home with my wife and kids. As I drove to work at Middlesex County College things seemed out of place. For example, people in their sixties and seventies are now in the bloom of youth. I was wearing a red shirt, blue tie, and a gray suit. Back in 1936 I find myself in a world that is half black and white and half color.

As a Professor of History I recognize that my simple suit from 2011 is now a drape cut suit and tie. While grocery shopping I meet a woman named Maria. We talked.

Hi Im Michael and you are?

I am Maria Sippo. What is your last name?

My last name is Katko.

What is your background?

Im Italian and Hungarian. What is your background?

Im also Italian and Hungarian. My paternal grandmother was Italian-Hungarian. My paternal grandfather was 100% Italian.

What about your maternal grandparents?

My maternal grandparents are 100% Hungarian. So Maria what about your maternal grandparents?

My maternal grandparents are also 100% Hungarian.

I fall in love with Maria. Then I think about my wife and kids in 2011.

April 9th, 2012, 05:05 PM
Do you really believe that these two individuals would begin speaking of their heritage at this point in their relationship?

April 10th, 2012, 12:50 AM
Your right probably not right away. I know I'm missing stuff.

April 14th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Im a little confused how your character initially seems to travel back in time as a sudden shock transition after hitting the post, yet then later refers to having seen people from the past throughout the preceding afternoon?

If he is presumably in the countryside (given the deer in the road it seems likely), would he immediately notice the jump back in time if he is already dizzy, disorientated and there are few clues around him? The car is obviously a big thing, but the model will have existed for more than a single year in history and so wouldn't be a strong indication of the exact date, nor would it automatically follow that he had travelled back in time at all.

Unless there are specific environmental markers, I don't think you could immediately specifically 'see' you were in 1936, or any other time period. You would need some kind of cues to help you work that out (unless there is a newspaper, calendar or something indicating it).

Its an interesting idea though.

Is this intended to be two separate extracts? It seems very disjointed to leap from "I've just crashed ny car, travelled back in time and can barely stand" to "righto, come to terms with all that now - Im off to the shops."

What you have is nice, it just needs filled out a lot more. Perhaps some further detail about how the character has determined where he is in time and some emphasis on his thoughts about that. Presumably he either has strong feelings about what has happened? Is he suspicious this is an hallucination? Or is he accepting that his life in 1936 is where he belongs as going off grocery shopping and returning to the mundane activities of a day to day life would suggest?

April 14th, 2012, 10:31 PM
I think you have a good idea brewing, but there are blanks that need to be filled in. For example, what is this man thinking? What does he look like? Also I would change the conversation between the two. Something along the lines of, "You don't look familiar, are you new in town?" Go around that. Other then that, this seems like it could be a wonderful time traveling story.

I would also suggest(if you haven't already), get some background information about the city in that time, the government, etc.

April 15th, 2012, 12:53 AM
Thanks those ideas are helpful. It might help me get unstuck.

April 17th, 2012, 02:27 AM
Strip away all the prose and you have a pretty interesting outline for a cool sci fi short story. At this point you could tell a pretty good story by adding no plot, just character.

Chapter 1: michael avoids a deer and ends up in bad wreck.

Chapter 2: michael awakes in the past. His Honda is now a '36 Ford. Wtf just happened? Maybe he goes to the hospital where they try to commit him. He escapes.

Chapter 3: while shopping for food he meets a beautiful woman who he falls in love with. But what does this mean for his family back home.

Finish the story.

I will say be careful with stories of time travel. Done right they can be unforgettable. Done wrong and they are absolutely unbelievable, and therefore unreadable.


I'm writing on an iPad and doing very little proof reading. I apologize for any typos or missing words.

April 17th, 2012, 02:32 AM
Thanks I never thought of breaking it into chapters.

April 17th, 2012, 02:53 AM
Hi Cassie,

I'm glad to see you went back to work on that concept you were writing about a while back. The car changing thing reminds me a lot of Roger Zelazny's magnum opus: Amber. You might want to consider skimming that for some ideas about inter-dimentional travel. Keep working on plot and character development in your head, and a story may materialize.


April 17th, 2012, 09:08 AM
I like the premise. I haven't read the other critiques, so I might be repeating what others have said.
The way you're writing it smacks of dreamy ambiguity. I like that, a lot. But, it's certainly rough around the edges. I would generally wonder why you're character is so nonchalant about time travel that he starts grocery shopping.

A lot of the "choppy" feel that this has too it could easily be summed up by throwing in some internal dialogue about how this happens often - "At least this time I was wearing a suit. The time before I had been gardening in an old torn t-shirt and blue jeans; time wasn't kind with the wardrobe it gave me that day."

Maybe he crashed his car because he slipped back in time. Your character could be more annoyed with the inconvenient timing of the event, and the crashing of his car, than he is excited about time travelling.

Anyway, didn't mean to start rambling. I really like the premise I hope you keep working on it.

April 17th, 2012, 09:27 AM
Hey, I'm very new to writing so take what I have to say as a casual reader not a professional critic.

I like sci-fi and time travel a lot, and I like your premise, but I didn't believe the dialogue. Wouldn't they need to establish some sort of rapport before inquiring about each others background? Even once rapport is established, I think people discover more about each other in slightly less direct ways. For example, "what is your background". Instead in real life I'd say something more natural like "Where are you from" or "What do you do".