By Rory C. Keel
Intergalactic warp drives, transporter stations or a portal in a time continuum that can teleport us back to the future. The desire to travel through time is largely based on the desire to see the future and to know where life is going; or return to the past, perhaps to change the course of life, or simply for a sentimental remembrance of days past.
In writing there are two basic ways to travel through time: vertical and horizontal. Within each of these, several vehicles can be used to accomplish movement through time.
Vertical time is thought of as climbing a ladder. While in a particular moment of time in the story — flashbacks, flash-forwards, grabbers, bookends and brackets — move the reader up or down in that moment of time. Think of it this way, the reader doesn’t move forward in time but has a deeper understanding with the knowledge gained.
Horizontal time is the movement of the story in a linear direction. It differs from vertical in that the moment or events actually move forward in time.
To accomplish this, techniques such as stretching, condensing, leaps, bridges, foreshadowing, cliffhangers and suspense are used to move the reader forward.
When you write, incorporate these methods to make your story richer and move the reader through time.