Why Writing Time-Travel Novels is Easier Than You Think

It was brought to my attention (not so subtly)  that I must be insane to attempt to write a time-travel themed fiction novel as the dynamics of such a task would be just too complicated; like the inner mechanism of a pocket watch, everything would have to sync and flow in tandem.  I grew up admiring Jack Finney for his eloquent prose and subsequent tale that follows Simon Morley in Time and Again (1970) and its sequel, From Time to Time (1995).  In fact, both novels still occupy a prominent place on my bookshelf.  As an author of romance/suspense fiction, I never wanted to limit myself to one genre and attempting to write time travel was the next logical choice (in my mind, at least.)

When would-be naysayer tried to rain on my parade, I simply nodded and smiled in a creepy sort of way that suggested the very insanity they were accusing me of.  Really, though, it’s like this: Writing fiction is a remarkable trek though “Freedom Park”.  It’s not supposed to be realistic, hence why it’s categorized under fiction.  Granted, there are certain things to be careful of when writing about things in the past.  I am meticulous about researching (a.k.a Googling) every minor detail.  If my male protagonist is popping a Tic Tac, am I sure the one-and-a-half calorie breath mint was available in 1967?  Other than that, creative license belongs with the author.

I weaved my tale by marrying an old relic with the appropriate setting and words and thus, a time travel novel was born.  (Along with its sequel and subsequent third and stand-alone time travel novel.)

It’s not scientific. We’ll keep science where it belongs – on the shelves of college bookstores.  With an open mind and a heart that aches to get the underlying love story told, writing time travel is as easy (or as difficult, whatever your stance might be) as writing any other fiction novel.

Just be sure that if the present day is in the year 1986, the word “smart phone” stays out of your book.


This post is contributed as Guest post by Barbara Avon.


Barbara Avon is the author of six novels. A romantic/suspense trilogy, a two part romance/time travel story and a stand-alone time travel/suspense romance. She is also the author of three children’s books. Avon won second place in FACES Magazine “Best of Ottawa” award in 2017.

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