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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.

Since it is fiction, anything is possible. Regardless of what your teacher said.

I would suggest the possibility that if your character did anything- it could or would change events which domino into changing history-- even to the point of causing people in his own time not being born, different culture, different society, different laws and president, etc.

The character might do something-- or say something, that changes events.

Anything is possible. You are the writer.

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Jannie Balliett


I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

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Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

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