Yeah, I am a different anon. Thanks for the early bday wishes; I love all the detail you go into for the post! I am however also the Homeward Bounders / Gardens anon, which not to be too spoilery or anything but one line in one of your Counterclockwise works reminded me very much of said book. As for eaten asks it is a documented problem that if a user doesn’t use a space after an ellipsis that asks get eaten so I avoid that punctuation altogether.

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Hello to both of you anons!

Mobius+birthday+homeward bounders!anon: thanks for the info! 🙂 I had no idea that ellipsis in asks make it more edible for tumblr! ~Learning new things every day~

I am both A) pleased that you’ve read my Counterclockwise works and B) a little concerned about what happens in Homeward Bounders–even more than what you’ve already mentioned–because I try very hard to make Counterclockwise kind of bleak and ominous so… oh dear.

Time-travel!anon: Hopefully mobius!anon’s tip about punctuation helps as well? I love hearing about–then brainstorming–about time travel shenanigans, so I’d hate to miss out on any cool asks on the topic.

If you are still taking these like 2 days before my birthday in March. Would you ever write a mobius-esque story where it has a circular structure and a twist somewhere that would change the context of it? (For at least the second reread.)

Happy Early Birthday, anon! 🙂

I think what you’re describing is more a style/technique than a plot concept.

The essence of a twist is to make everything up to that point mean something else entirely with the new context and so a second reread would be, inherently, different because the reader is informed of what will happen. So what you’ve described in the second half of your prompt is inherent to having a twist.

The first half, though, is interesting because… hm… a mobius-esque/circular structure does not necessarily require a twist. It CAN be that the mobius-esque/circule structure IS the twist (in that, plot twist, the beginning is the ending the characters are caught in an infinite loop) but that is not MANDATORY.

I think it depends on the… vibe? atmosphere?… that is the beginning/ending. If there mobius nature of the story is something that the readers realize (with, perhaps, dawning horror) then that is a twist. If it’s something the readers already know (and accept peacefully) then it’s not a twist, it’s just how the story is written.

But as I said before, anon, this is more of a style/technique than a plot concept, and while I think it would be cool to write I don’t know if I have the skill or appropriate story that would best suit this kind of structure.

I mean, given the recurring themes of this ask box event (or what few asks got through) this would be some kind of time travel / reincarnation / legacy inherited and passed down through the ages…

[Oh shit. This explains my bizarre choices in fanfiction rereads–lately I’ve been (re)reading Dark Is Rising and Inuyasha fic which are not fandoms I would normally associate with each other, but they do kind of have the above mentioned themes, I suppose.]

I mean, okay, in the twist of dawning horror type of story, the easiest thing I can think of is that the hero goes through their adventure and somehow becomes their own villain. Either time travel or non-chronological reincarnation, the hero decides that they have to preserve the timeline by living the villain’s life and then it turns out that there never was an “original villain,” just the hero fighting themselves over and over.

… but that’s not really something that would compel a person to reread it, would it? It’d be more of a “stunned and horrified, let me chew on the concept” sort of reaction, wouldn’t it?

I mean, having already brought up my current binge-reading of Dark Is Rising fic, I’ve always kind of wanted to write a fic in which Will Stanton, as the last Old One, goes back in time to teach Merlin, as the first Old One, because they are canonically part of a Circle. I had vague thoughts about making it a crossover with BBC Merlin and somehow incorporating canonical “normal childhood friend Will” into it, but then I stopped watching BBC Merlin after season two so…

But using that as an example as well as other!anon’s (or, at least, I think you’re a different anon?) missing “out-of-order student/teacher relationship” concept it’d be a whole I taught you but you were my teacher but I’m teaching you cycle. We are both teacher and student, ad nauseum. But in order to get that draw to reread it’d only be one character’s POV as they are teaching the other character and slowly realizing that their student was their teacher via flashbacks and “my teacher said their teacher once ended a war by pretending a crab was god and that sounded like an exaggeration because I definitely didn’t find any records of that, but desperate times call for desperate measures holy shit I can’t believe that worked.”

So that way it’d be more compelling to reread and see what little hints are sprinkled throughout.

All that being said, anon, maybe one day I’ll write something using this technique, but I don’t think I’m anywhere near that level yet… But thank you for the prompt, and again Happy Birthday! 😀

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Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

So, I sent you an ask about how glad I was to see the time travel “would you ever” brainstorm, but with that last post, now I’m worrying you didn’t receive it? In summary: good, maybe Avatar the Last Airbender for the teacher/student dynamic, but otherwise, I can’t imagine a better fandom for either of the possible offshoots than what you’ve already got.

IS TUMBLR JUST EATING ALL OF MY ASKS?!?! I swear, anon, if I had gotten that ask I would have responded to it already. I just thought this particular ask box event was unappealing. T_T

I’m glad you liked the time travel “would you ever” brainstorm, anon! Though… I’m a little unsure what you’re referring to about the Avatar the Last Airbender for teacher/student dynamic?

Unless you mean the one in which the time traveller experiences their life out of order from everyone else but their loved ones are always there anyway so it’s okay?

I mean, that would work pretty interestingly with Zuko and Uncle Iroh? (OR MAYBE EVEN LU TEN AND UNCLE IROH?! Maybe Lu Ten never actually died–he just got thrown out of the normal flow of time?)

But yeah, ~time travel~ is always fun stuff 🙂

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Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

Would you ever write a time travel fic where nothing needs to be changed? Like … like a domestic AU story, but with time travel, in concept? Nothing to prevent, no horrors to avert, just … life, but with a character that can time travel.

I think I’ve hit a point where every time I get a prompt for a concept I’m always just like: wait a second… have I already… seen this before…

And in this case, yes, sort of here, in which rockstar!Gaara goes back in time after both breakups to the day he and his siblings had their first official gig and the same day he met Shikako.

And, well, explained like that, I suppose it doesn’t match your prompt, anon, because while it’s not a horrible crisis, arguably Gaara starts off maybe wanting to prevent the breakups. But he quickly finds that there’s no big mistake he made…

But it’s still not quite what you want, anon, so I went back to the drawing board.

So… “life, but with a character that can time travel.” And again I stumble because my brain just automatically wants to make certain connections. “A character that can time travel” to me is my original character Leanne Peridot from my series Counterclockwise but then again her life is pretty awful. If anything, for her, the time traveling IS the horribly crisis that she’s trying to prevent.

It’s, again, not what you want, anon, so I went at it for a third time, trying my best to stay away from any preconceived notions, and I think I would say it depends on the mechanic/type of time travel. And I came up with two tentative possible stories based on different time travel mechanic/types.

A) The Accidental Rewrite

It’s, as you said, someone who goes back in time not to prevent anything horrible, but it just… happens. And I think, maybe, the time traveller has no say in it. One day they went to sleep the next day it was three years in the past. And the thing is, they didn’t have a shitty life… I mean, could it have been better? Yes, maybe. But it was a satisfactory life.

Except… was it? Now they’re starting to wonder, were they supposed to do something more with their life? WERE they supposed to prevent some horrible thing from happening and they messed up so badly to the point that they didn’t even KNOW about the thing they were supposed to prevent?

And at this point you have to wonder: is it a loop–which makes the time traveller doubt everything about their life–or, which I much prefer, is it just the once. And life moves on.

Because if it’s a loop then that means the looping becomes the center of the story. How the time traveller games the system and what differences they make between lives, not so much what they make of this new chance at life. So I think if I were to do this kind of mechanic, it would very much be a “it happened once and I still don’t know why, and maybe at first I tried to look into it but otherwise I just figured it was my second chance at the three years,” got a slightly better job, maintained my friends and family relationships better, etc. Maybe met a significant other when before they didn’t have one. The time travel is what causes them to change their life and it is a mystery but it doesn’t become their life.


AND

B) The Chronic Condition

(That pun though)

Basically, Counterpoise but without ALL THE HORRIBLE THINGS I DO TO MY CHARACTERS. Time traveller slides in and out of different points in time and lives their life out of order from everyone else, but it’s okay because they know people in each era and it’s kind of just like traveling and visiting friends/family except instead of around the world it’s across time.

Maybe at first it is scary. They can’t control it. They don’t know when they’re going or what will happen. But after a while, they grow accustomed to it. They can’t control when they’ll travel, but maybe they can control what era they’ll go to. Or maybe they can sense when they’re about to travel and maybe they can hold it off for a few hours or days just to get ready instead of just getting ripped away from what they’re doing. It becomes easier. Manageable.

And I quite like the idea that a person can always have loved ones even if they don’t see them often or even in the same order. My grandparents meet me for the first time when I am the same age and we are friends, then they meet me as after a few years whereas I am younger. Then they see an old, familiar looking guest at their wedding. Then every so often, I visit them at their house, give gifts to their kids (my parent and aunts/uncles). Then I am born and for all intents and purposes meet them for the first time and they get to witness the stages of my life as I grow up.

Like… who cares if the milestones are out of order so long as the people we care about are there.

So I guess what I’m saying is. Yes, anon, I would maybe write a story about time travel without a dramatic purpose.

Story A would work in any series–original fiction or fanfiction–whereas Story B is just me being nicer to Leanne. Which, I mean, I probably should be nicer to her anyway (because if her entire life is suffering, it won’t be as deliciously satisfying whenever I make sad things happen).

Is there a particular series/fandom you wanted to see either iterations in?

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Check out the Ask Box Would You Ever!

There’s something I’d like to share, and I hope sharing it with you is appropriate; it goes like this: If I could travel through time and change things, how far back would I go? About a year ago, I’d go very far back, take another run at basically my whole life, make sure that a sibling who died to an accident doesn’t, make sure that harm I could only recognize in hindsight doesn’t get done, that sort of thing. (1/2)

(2/2) These days, I wouldn’t go back more than a couple months, if that. I’ve made a dear, dear friend; she and I started dating, even, and I don’t want to take any chance that we wouldn’t meet–it’s worth the potentialities and “what if"s of a live lived with more experience. But I don’t know if that’s selfish of me, or if being willing to go back in time and start over is more selfish, you know?

I sometimes have this thought as well, anon. Except my reasoning is a little more pessimistic, perhaps. Like: “I’ve done nothing significant with my life, if I went back in time I would try to be a better version of myself.”

Now, in my slightly less depressed but still pessimistic thoughts I think “my life hasn’t been completely awful, who’s to say if I went back and changed things that I wouldn’t just make things terrible or, worse, just end up doing the same exact thing.”

And so basically, I suppose what I’m saying is that being satisfied with your life–accepting what’s happened and how it’s shaped you–is a sign that you’re doing better. That mentally and emotionally, you’ve forgiven yourself, though I doubt you were at fault at all–there is always an amount of guilt that comes from losing someone close to you.

I for one am happy for you that you’ve met someone–someone that makes you want to live this life, this timeline. I don’t think it’s selfish of you at all, even if you were capable of time travel.

You’re allowed to be happy, anon, you’re allowed to be satisfied with your life.

Yes it’s sad to have lost loved ones, that will always be a wound that scars us, but not being constantly weighed down by regret and grief is not the same as being selfish.

I don’t know if this is reassuring for you, anon, or it it’s helpful in anyway, but thank you for sharing and I hope this life continues to be one you want to embrace.