The Challenge of Writing A Time Travel Story

    The best time travel movies have one thing in common. The portal to the past or future is believable. Back To The Future is the best example of a believable way to go back in time. If you've seen the movie you know that the character played by Christopher LLoyd takes a DeLorean automobile, soups it up and with some bells and whistles enables Michael J. Fox to go, well, back to the future.
     If you haven't seen the movie what I've just said won't be a spoiler. As the title implies, Michael J. Fox is definitely going back in time, it happens pretty early on in the movie so nothing has been ruined for you.
     I bring this up today because I'm reading Stephen King's new novel 11/22/63 which is a time travel story. The basic premise is that a guy goes back in time to prevent the assassination of JFK.  It's much more than that, but you should read the book and take an incredible ride. As usual, the story is amazing and I literally can't put the book down.
     My only beef is the portal Mr. King has chosen for his main character to do his time travel. I won't say what it is here, but I expected more from the master. Simply, it's too easy. One of the things I was looking forward to was an imaginative portal so I sighed in disappointment when I found out what it was.
     OK, there. I'm throwing a little pinprick at a giant.
     Once Mr. King gets his protagonist and us into the past, then he shines. The rules he invents made me smile at how clever they were.  For me, next to having an imaginative portal, the other challenge of time travel stories is the do's and dont's a character must follow. In 11/21/63 Stephen King dazzles us with how things work.
     I'm assuming the book will be a film and it'll be terrific. My only wish is that whoever writes the screenplay takes some creative liberties and finds a better portal.

The Most Important Reason To Complete A First Draft Of Your Screenplay

     This is so fundamental it's ridiculous, but a screenwriter can never hear it enough times.
     You finish a first draft to see how good or bad your screenplay is. If it's more good than bad, you commit to completing a second or third or fourth draft until it's finally done. If it's bad you have 3 choices:
     (1) Decide if it's worth rethinking
     (2) Put it aside for the time being and let the idea germinate
     (3) Junk it permanently
     Don't be ashamed to junk it permanently. It's better to cut your losses before you get even further into the miasma of trying to make something unworkable work. Kind of like the economists say: don't put good money after bad.