Tuesday, April 23, 2013

World Building A to Z: Travel and Transportation

This month, it's all about world building and setting from different stories.

Travel and Transportation: Back in the Stone Age, one of the first computer games I've ever played was The Oregon Trail. The game takes place in the 1840s and the goal is to successfully lead a covered wagon with travel mates from Missouri to Oregon. What I remember about the game was that I had to ration my meals, hope that my companions didn't get sick and die, and see to it that my horses didn't gallop off a cliff. That sort of thing. My experience playing The Oregon Trail taught me about stuff to pay attention to when I write about travel and transportation in a story:

The Destination: Where do people want or need to travel to, and why?
The Transportation: What vehicle brings the traveler to the destination? 
The Costs and Risks: What is the cost and potential for loss that comes with the trip?


In Brodi Ashton's EVERNEATH, Nikki passes over being an immortal in the Everneath to return to the Surface where she could officially say good-bye to the boyfriend she left behind before she got sucked into the underworld. The black and smoky Shades, serving as transportation, lift Nikki out of the Everneath and drop her off at her neighborhood convenience store. The consequence Nikki faces for returning to her old life is that in six months, she'd be whisked off to the Tunnels, another version of hell.




In Tamara Ireland Stone's TIME BETWEEN US, Bennett travels from 2012 back in time to 1995 in search for someone close to him. His transportation is his time travel ability.  The risk he takes in going back into time is that he'd fall in love with Anna and then lose her when he returns to his own time. 

What are other things to consider when you're writing a story about a world that involves travel? 

Are there any books out there on time travel that you recommend?

19 comments:

Lynda R Young said...

Oh I'll have to try these. I love Time Travel stories.

Elise Fallson said...

Writing about traveling can be tricky. A writer doesn't need to put in all the details about the 10 hour ride it took to get from point A to point B. I guess that's why I like quick, futuristic time travel so much in books. Everneath sounds like a book I'd enjoy, I'll have to check it out. (:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Time travels are hard to find .Both those books sound really good.

Pat Hatt said...

Time Travel is grand, can make up your own rules to it and away you go, that and alternate realities is what I use.

Ghadeer said...

How about, The Time Traveler's Wife? That was interesting.

Banker Chick said...

An interesting topic, I am struggling through a story that has to do with getting from here to there. The author could have done a better job.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Jay Noel said...

My family members would always die of dysentery.

John Wiswell said...

Golems and dinosaurs! I've got my Fantasy world transportation battened down. Trying to live on the fun and risky transports.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Lynn Proctor said...

well i am still in the middle of the "outlander series"--i can't say i love it, but it does hold my interest!

Mina Burrows said...

I hadn't thought that the mode of travel was that important unless the story was specifically about a travel device. Interesting. :)

Laura Marcella said...

I loved playing Oregon Trail on my little Mac computer in the early 1990s!! Best game ever.

Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Daisy Carter said...

I have this shiny new idea for a fantasy, and I hadn't even thought about transportation yet! But now...the ideas! Thanks! ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Back in the Stone Age - funny!
I've always liked the idea of teleportaion, which is why I've used it in my books.

S.P. Bowers said...

I loved Oregon Trail. That was the best game ever!

Julia King said...

I remember Oregon Trail. I agree with S.P. Bowers, it totally rocked back in the day. :)

Teresa Cypher said...

Interesting post. Right off the top of my head, I'm not really coming up with anything. The Time Traveler's Wife has already been mentioned. It was okay. I recently read a book that was another type of time travel--incidental due to space travel and relativity. That was "Dancing With Eternity", incredibly good book.

Good "T" post. :-)

Nicole said...

Oh, Oregon Trail - that game is so very classic. ;)

Medeia Sharif said...

I enjoy time travel stories.

I like seeing teleportation, but I don't read about it too much.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for commenting! I haven't read The Time Traveler's Wife yet, but I'd like to get to that someday.

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