Every since I was young I’ve been fascinated by the thought of time travel. Not travelling to the future, however, but to the past. I always wanted to solve certain mysteries, like how the pyramids were built, or who Jack the Ripper was. I also wanted to see people from history that I admired, and see what they were really like.
There are some eras which, in particular, interest me. The ancient civilisations always engross me, as well as the Tudor and the Stuarts. I love the dark Gothic of Victorian London, as well as Belle Epoque Paris, the 50s, 60s, 80s and 90s. It doesn’t matter that I grew up in the 80s and the 90s, I’d like to explore them as an adult, there is something so attractive about the music, film and cultures of those decades.
With the excellent television adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, 11.22.63 currently airing on the Fox channel here in the UK, and the much-anticipated second season of Outlander on Amazon Prime, it got me thinking about how time travel is an excellent writing prompt.
Where would your character travel to? Why? How? Would they travel back in a machine? Through a wardrobe? With a car? What would happen to them in this ‘new’ old place? Would they fit in? Would they be in danger? Would they be rich or poor? Invisible even?
And even if you’re not interested in writing a time travelling adventure, just imagining what it would be like to live in a different time can help with historic novels, or even just researching the background of a character or a flashback.
Where would you travel back (or forwards) to?