Questions Your Story MUST Answer

January 15, 2019

Any Time-Travel story needs to be able to answer the following questions. The protagonists of your story don't necessarily need to know the answers, but you do and your audience should be able to figure it out. The more consistent your answers, the better the time-travel in your story will feel.

General Questions:

What's the base theory behind your time travel? Specifically, are travelers able to affect the timeline?

Are your travelers primarily moving forward or backward through time, or both? What's the difference?

What are the constraints on time travel (e.g. timeframe limitations, duration, etc..)

Variable Thread Questions:

How far back or forward is the destination time?

What, if anything, are the travelers trying to change?

  • If they're trying to change something, what is their plan? 
  • In either case, what precautions are they taking to prevent unwanted changes? How might those precautions fail?

What do they actually change? Remember to consider grand and localized effects.

How do their changes affect the thread? Do they result in the expected outcome? What are the unexpected outcomes?

How does your story handle The Outsider Problem?