As a writer of TIME TRAVEL books, I employ my own, unique definition of the NATURE of TIME, one neatly couched within the parameters of what I term the ELASTIC LIMIT.
The genre of TIME TRAVEL clearly involves two separate aspects, language and usage (plainly understood terminology as opposed to skill in employing such) but beyond these components, for a basic starting point of any lucid discussion on the subject, TIME as a concept must first be defined, for doing so makes or breaks any story’s scenario and therefore its credibility.
While few think they can fully understand the minutia of TIME itself, given personal experience of TIME passing, most people do believe that they know more or less what it involves.
Yet the FOURTH DIMENSION is never one set, fixed phenomena that acts in a standard fashion, and that’s where the common confusion resides, at least in reference to the aforementioned items, that is.
For historically, the flow of TIME has been understood as existing in two distinct ways not just one, and as each example acts very differently, most problems involving TIME TRAVELING plots stem from trying to mesh these two conflicting points of view, or not being aware of any distinction between them in the first place.
I’ll adhere to this standard interpretation, simplistic but telling:
Is TIME a Loaf of Bread, or is it a River?
Or, instead of River insert Hallway with multiple doors, or a Roadmap holding many connecting routes.
So, does TIME ‘flow’ in a point to point sequence, one PRESENT after another PRESENT and so on, as the recurring pieces of sliced bread in a loaf,
Does TIME act more like a River, where any current taken then becomes the PRESENT and so leads to various other possible pathways, with unending potential PRESENT choices up for grabs depending only on the several directions you could take?
Once the NATURE of TIME is defined using this simple distinction, the listed concerns then become moot, for any apparent theoretical conflicts are no longer in play, or at least they can be explained in a rational way that enhances the plot as opposed to using plots that under scrutiny fail to pass the test of credibility.
As such, any good TIME TRAVELING story can be filtered through this lens, and the lesser examples can be as well, with the differences thereby becoming apparent and understandable, as opposed to just being confusing, or simply boring.
But using either of these two standard definitions always has inherent disadvantages, leading to pesky things like PARADOX or unworkable theory or hardware, so I take another approach to avoid such pitfalls inherent to the genre:
TIME is a Bundt Cake, circular in NATURE.
Or rather, it’s much like an unending Corkscrew, still possessing a liner flow and direction, but no longer within a single, set dimension.
As well, according to my Theory, a moment in TIME is not static but in constant, erratic flux, always expanding and contracting within an exact threshold known as the ELASTIC LIMIT, and this fact coupled with the Circular Nature of TIME permits TIME TRAVEL, given your Hardware is up and properly running.
In my books, all EPIC FABLES on the elusive ELASTIC LIMIT of TIME, many other things are of course covered, which I’ll expand on in future posts, but these different NATURE of TIME distinctions are always taken into account, and so they aren’t a distraction to the overall narrative as experienced in so many books involving this most interesting subject.