I just finished reading "A Constant Variable" and have to say it was both an enjoyable, and reasonably realistic take on time travel. As a big fan of any story that messes with the space-time continuum, I'm typically a pretty harsh critic when it comes to the matter of paradoxes. In the case of the constant variable however, there were very few moments during the read that anything cropped up as inconsistent, or irrelevant. Which is good. And important.
One of the hardest elements of writing time traveling stories, I imagine, is keeping your dates, times, and characters in order, and making sure your audience doesn't get lost in the mix. Because this story is based in a smaller, more personal setting, the elements of time travel become simpler to grasp, and events that transpired earlier on, aren't lost in the fray of what's happened since. It's well written and has some genuinely funny moments, (when I found out Tayah had sent his double to the pool party I laughed out loud.)
There are some opportunities for improvement, if I may say so. For one I think there is definitely time for more character building, with some more background on Tayah and Jacob in particular. At an estimated 106 minutes, the script still has room for a little more personal time with its main characters. Jacobs motives could use some fleshing out. Finding an original motive for time travel is hard, granted, you don't want him fighting to save a loved one (see Simon Well's "The Time Machine"), and you don't want him doing it for academic purposes, (see the first half of Zemeckis's "Back to the Future.") And you don't want him scrambling to un-do all that has been done in the first place. (see Back to the future trilogy, Star Trek: First Contact, the Terminator series, etc.) Now what you HAVE come up with, is good. He desires to travel because he is unhappy with his life, and the paradox is, only in traveling does he begin to realize what was missing in the first place, (love, chemistry, purpose). The inherent problem then, is WHY does he not enjoy his life in the present? As Tayah says, he has a lovely wife, and home, and job. If it is a sort of mid-life crisis, I think that angle should be explored deeper. "Some men buy sports cars, others time travel." He needs to show more disdain in what he has, perhaps by describing what he'd always longed to have. Why is he missing the chemistry and romance from his life now? There's probably a paradox in there.. He's lost it because he needs to find it. But, I'll leave that to you.
Overall great job, great read. Keep it up. You have everything ironed out well. I was never lost or confused, and visually the movie would look very cool. Don't be afraid to get the audience to connect deeper with Jacob, he's a likable individual, despite his desire to never stay put.
A well written, well paced take on time and life.
NOTE: This review does not factor into the site rankings.
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