Stuck in the Past – WIPpet Wednesday

The other week I introduced my work in progress, Time Shifters, by featuring the opening few lines of the novel. This week’s WIPpet takes place well over three-quarters of the way into the book and a lot has happened in that time. My main characters Maisie, Danny and Lizzie are stuck in the past, in 1730 to be exact, where Lizzie has gone missing and Maisie and Danny are desperately searching for her. This following extract is (roughly) 27 lines from chapter 27 when Maisie and Danny are at a safe house in London owned by their future selves…

“It’s worrying me,” Danny said. “Why our future selves didn’t come with us. Where do they go and what are they doing?”

“They’re protecting us. They said they had stuff to deal with.”

“Yeah, bad stuff.”

“You don’t know that.” But I was worried about them, which meant I was worried about us.

*       *       *

I had a bath. Not a proper 21st century bath with hot water from a tap and bubble bath, but it was a bath all the same in a tin tub with hot water heated over the fire. There was a selection of 18th century clothes to choose from in one of the rooms on the top floor. I chose a bluish green shimmering dress that was too big for me but was at least clean and warm and suitable for 1730.

On the second floor were three bedrooms belonging to each of us. The bed in Lizzie’s room was unmade, clothes lay scattered over the floor and the wardrobe doors were open. She seemed to have left in a hurry. Danny’s room was next to Lizzie’s at the back of the house and despite being furnished in an 18th century style it was filled with battery-operated gadgets. My room felt familiar as if it belonged to me, which essentially it did. It was filled with things gathered from all periods of time, the old alongside the new. The window overlooked the street and I shivered as I closed the shutters on rain soaked London. I thumbed through the novels stacked on the windowsill and noticed there were books by one of Mum’s favourite authors. I picked up a book I didn’t recognise and realised why when I saw it was published in 2018.

I opened the top drawer of the chest of drawers and gasped. Lying on top of jumpers and t-shirts was a photo. It was of Mum and Dad standing outside our farmhouse with Ollie, but he was older, an adult, taller than Dad and he looked like he’d been working out. This was the future if we didn’t find our way home in time. Mum, Dad and Ollie’s future without me. And mine without them. I put the photo back. My future self needed it but I didn’t because we were going to get home.

If you fancy joining in then all you need to do is get writing, choose an extract that has some kind of connection to the date (27 lines from chapter 27 on the 27th February for example), and share your WIP via the linkie over on K. L. Schwengel’s blog. Oh, and make sure you have a read of the other WIPpet Wednesday posts whilst you’re there.

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11 Comments

  1. Fantastic post!! Well written and a great sense of urgency. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The idea of the “future selves” helping out is very inventive and intriguing. Time travel always makes my head spin because of all the what ifs and the risk of changing something that would eliminate you. But then again, if you’re there to change it . . . see? *ouch, my head* 😉

  3. That’s a really interesting concept – how would you interact with yourself if you were a child and met yourself as an adult? Nice job!

  4. I love time travelling books, and am intrigued that your characters have some sort of relationship with their future selves – and that their rooms are already fitted out (to their tastes). The untangling timelines always makes a great read, but I can imagine how hard it is to plot. Looking forward to seeing how this one pans out. Great post!

    • There has been a lot of untangling of timelines but it has been really enjoyable to write. The good thing about time travel (because it doesn’t yet exist as far as we know…) is that you can make up your own rules… it’s just sticking to them and making sense that’s the problem!

  5. Hi Kate. This excerpt from your story is fantastic, so mysterious and intriguing. I like the way your characters seem to have multiple versions of themselves in different times – unless I’ve got that wrong??!! Whatever the case I’m keen to find out what happens next and I’m sure many people will be too!

    • Ah thanks Elaine for the encouragement. My characters do have older versions of themselves, which has been a very fun element to write!

  6. Pingback: Kate Frost – Rain-Soaked London – WIPpet Wednesday

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