Sunday, March 22, 2015

Running Off To a World Away or No Risk Time Travel



Chris Karlsen
by Internationally Published Author Chris Karlsen

I think I speak for most writers of time travel stories, when I say we are fascinated by the possibility. Since we can't go to the past, or ahead to the future, we live through the experience via our characters.

Speaking for myself, as much as I love certain periods of history, if the ability to go back became a reality, I'm too much of a weenie to actually go. I suspect sooner or later something terrible would happen to me. I'd get taken for a witch and wind up tied to a stake on a pile of kindling with a circle of torch-bearing villagers gathered around. Or, baring that calamity, I fear without protection, I'd fall prey to ruffians. I couldn't count on a knight or prince inviting in to his castle.  I might, if I was lucky, get a job as a tavern wench. I'd have to hope I'd make enough to feed myself and have a roof over my head. It would have to be in a tavern that didn't expect me to offer any other "services" beyond bringing tankards of ale to tables. I'd also like to squirrel away enough money to suss out an actual witch who might give me a spell to get back home.

Knights in Time Box Set
In my Knights in Time series, part of the stories are set in Medieval England. Because this is an era and place I have enjoyed reading about since I was young, I knew when I decided to write a time travel, I'd use the Middle Ages and England. I've also had the opportunity to visit England many times, which enhanced my interest in setting a story or stories there.

Certain historical figures from the time are of interest to me like Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince. I'm also drawn to dynamic events of the period. In the Knights in Time books, the heroes are all friends, warrior knights. The stories either start, or include the battle of Poitiers, a great English victory fought in 1356. The knights fight alongside the Black Prince in that battle and I gave the prince some page time.

In Journey in Time, book 2 of the series, the hero and heroine go back to the year before the battle. If they can't get back to the modern world, the hero will be sent to France to fight in the war. The heroine will be left alone and if he is killed she has no one to protect her in a time and place totally alien to her. Her terror of that future coming to pass is a core portion of the story.

What is wonderful about writing time travel is the opportunity to bring a setting to life, to see the emotions it evokes in the characters. I like to paint the scene and then see what the characters react to. Sometimes they surprise me:)

In Knight Blindness, book 3 in the series, I tried something different. I brought the knight forward in time to the present day. I didn't leave it at that. He was transported from the battlefield where he'd been blinded by an enemy French knight. Now the hero is in our world, a world he has no context for, and he cannot see what is transpiring around him. The French knight is also brought forward but with his sight intact. I wanted to show how the two different men react to this new world, how they make their way in it.

I'd describe writing time travel as the opportunity to live another life for a short time. I share my pleasures and fears through my characters. I want them to experience the various aspects of the unfamiliar place. I walk every step with them, make them take the risks, and am delighted when it all works out.  


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15 comments:

  1. I want to thank Story Finds for giving me the opportunity to offer up this article on why I like writing time travel. I look forward to chatting about it.
    Chris Karlsen

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  2. I love the article. It's very interesting. I love all your books Chris!

    Sharon

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. I appreciate the kind words:)
      chris

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  3. I love your time travel stories Chris! I feel like I take the venture with your characters. But I'm with you, I'd be nervous to take the risk. Thank you for letting me escape fictiously.

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    1. Hi Angela,
      They are fun to write. Lots of strange and wicked things you can to a character in time!!
      Chris

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  4. Great article Chris. I am currently working on a time-travel romance and couldn't agree with you more!

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    1. Hi Samna,
      I do enjoy them. I love being in the different places in my imagination. I can paint but I can try to recreate what I see on paper.
      Chris

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  5. Interesting article. I enjoy reading your stories.

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    1. Hi Kathie,
      Thank you. Time travel and reincarnation were favorite topics of my parents and discussed a lot growing up.
      Chris

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  6. I, as well, have used different times and worlds and have been playing with the idea of time travel. You are an inspiration, Chris.
    JR

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    1. Hi Jr,
      Thank you. The time travels seem to be very popular with my readers. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they center around knights:)
      Chris

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  7. Great article, Chris! Best of success!

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  8. Great escapism, love time travel ideas, and interesting article.

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  9. Thank you, Susanne. Time travel is such a curious possibility but fun to toy with.
    Chris

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