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Question
I'm a college student with a minor in Creative Writing. I would like to ask this question regarding the time travel plot in fiction.

Once I put my character back to the past, can the character change the course of a historical event? For example, can he change the outcome of a battle during the American Civil War?

My teacher said No. He said the character could only help bring about the actual event.

I'm a bit confused. If what the character does is only contributing to what really happened, then how can the plot be exciting? Is it true that he cannot change anything in the past?

Could you pls advise  according to books that you have read?

Thank you.

Answer
Hello Lee,

I do not agree with your teacher.  If your character can only help to bring about the actual event, who is he helping or who is helping him?

The purpose of fiction is to create. Time travel into the past is always in an effort to change an event.  If it is fiction then he can do things that bring about a different situation or event.  But then you are into another situation.  You would have to continue with the new situation to a logical conclusion.

In our imagination we can do anything if we are logical. This means that you continue item by item from your premise.  If your premise is that he can change something, then you only have to show how he does and the result.  The result may be a totally different world, but that is what fiction is. It helps to show what might have been instead of what is or what was.

Science fiction writers write about time travel, different universes, ETs all the time and we know they are not real.  It is fiction.  There is no limit to our imagination.

This is my opinion.

Best wishes,
Dorothy

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Dorothy K Morris

Expertise

I can answer questions about writing fiction, creating characters and re-writing. I cannot answer homework questions.

Experience

I am a published author of nine novels in The Mockingbird Hill Series.

Organizations
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR

Publications
NOVELS in the MOCKINGBIRD HILL SERIES: SECRET SINS OF THE MOTHERS, COYOTES OF CREEK CROSSING, THE EIGHTH EVIL, THE TIME IN BETWEEN, DIRTY RICE, TALLY'S NOOK, FROM THE FAR PLACES, NATURE OF THE BEAST, (THE RANKS OF THE INSANE (to come out summer 2016))

Education/Credentials
Studied writing at at American University in DC

Awards and Honors
Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in The World, Who's Who in America.

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