Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

The Time Travelling Writer

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Watched Safety Not Guaranteed tonight.  Enjoyable in its peculiar subdued way.  While the movie isn’t really about time travel, the plot sort of hinges on it.

But it got me thinking about time travel, and how it might help a writer.  I once wrote a short story – a terrible short story (though the idea, I think, was rather good – in which a writer suffering from writer’s block discovers a mirror in the attic of  his house, and finds that the mirror reflects thirty seconds (or a minute, or whatever) into the future.  He manages to use this mirror to write all his bestselling novels, by grabbing a pen and a book, sticking them in front of the mirror, and copying the thirty-seconds-in-the-future writing onto his present-blank-pages.  Neat idea, right?  (Why the story was so crap was that, while it did have a plot, it wasn’t a very good plot, mainly because I focused on the idea, rather than on dramatising it.)

I was wondering whether a writer might travel back in time to the start of his writing career, and pick up where he left off in the future, such that he didn’t have to spend the years learning his craft, but could just jump right in at a higher level of mastery.  And if he kept doing that, and therefore got more years to write at this higher level of mastery…

But wait – if I travelled back in time, I’d still be old.  I wouldn’t go young again.  Bugger.

Up to Book Two in Oliver Twist.  It’s enjoyable, but knowing the plot from the musical is a bit of a downer, though the prose almost makes up for it.  But perhaps I’m mistaking my mysterious feelings for disappointment because I rarely read the same book twice (reading things twice is for when I get older and have read enough to know what I’m willing to spend my time on reading again), and as such have not experienced the full experience of reading a book twice, and the necessary difference in that experience.

Experience.  Let’s just say ‘experience’ again, because I didn’t say it enough times in that last sentence.


Written by epistemysics

November 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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