I am writing a time-travel story in my "spare" time. It begins with a plane crash. It's a small cargo plane with two people on board, a man and a woman. They travel to the distant past ca 500 BC in ancient America. So here's the question I'm confronted with. What supplies/ materials/ etc., are in the cargo?
There is a limited amount of room on the smaller cargo planes so whatever is on board, the space limits both size and weight. If you had to choose three essential items, what would they be? Remember that if the item is a consumable, then eventually it will be used up.
There are other difficulties in the scenario of course. Shelter, food, water, something to defend themselves from wild animals.There is an absence of modern technology and no power--or limited power once the batteries are dead.
What will happen when they encounter other people? How will they communicate? How do they come to the conclusion that they have moved through time? What kind of mistakes would they be likely to make and how would those mistakes affect their ultimate survival?
In most stories about time travel, one individual travels to another time and ultimately settles there, usually marrying the "hero" or "heroine". After all, one of them must give up all that they have known and settle in the new time period. But what happens when the hero/heroine are both from the same time and must adapt to the new place and time? Both of them have memories of another place. How will that affect their decisions?
Anytime the writer undertakes a story in the past or future, there is an enormous amount of world building that must be done first. Even if that story takes place in an actual location, there is world building to do. Where are the streams located? The mountains? What kind of climate was it in that time period? What type of flora and fauna? Many familiar plants from the modern times are not native to this continent and were imported with each new wave of immigrants. Some animals that were around then are extinct now. And some animals that are present in the country now were not around then. Horses, cows, certain species of sheep...
Obviously, they can't butcher a cow for dinner. Maybe they could catch a turkey. What types of weapons and traps would they use?
Practically every scene contains something I have to stop and research. Will the reader know and appreciate the work I do? Possibly not. But if it isn't the best I can do, then I will know and I will be dissatisfied with the book for the rest of my life.
In the meantime, I would like to hear what your thoughts are. Three essentials in the cargo. Think about it. Leave it in a comment. I'll draw at least one entry to use in the book and add the donor's name in the dialogue. Something like, "Oh, Kelly wanted me to bring her (X) because she used all of hers."
Don't forget to stop by Amarinda's blog to see what new mischief she's up to at http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com/ and then of course stop at Kelly's blog to find out what she's done with the blog saga at http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com/