1. CharlieUK
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    CharlieUK New Member

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    6 months later

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CharlieUK, Jul 8, 2011.

    6 Months later....


    Significant jumps in time? acceptable or cheating and a bit over used?

    I'm working on an apocalypse style horror story.
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If nothing of significance that advances the plot happens in the story, then move forward 6 months.
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could reinforce the passage of time by showing how people have become more weary, how someone's beard has grown, how the seasons have changed, or whatever fits your story.
     
  4. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    My favorite series right now is House of Night. I haven't read the ninth (final) book, but the first eight books takes place over a few months. Maybe a whole year, all in all. And that's eight books. On the other hand, there's Legend of the Ice People. It's 47 books and spans from the 1300's to modern day. Many of the books skips years ahead of the previous and focus on a main character from the next generation, and some continue with the same main character(s) only hours later.

    The point is I don't think it matter if you skip ahead. Days, months, years, it doesn't matter as long as you make sure nothing too significant happened in that time (with some exceptions), as it could make the reader feel cheated. I mean something finally happens, and you skipped it? That wouldn't make me very happy. ;)
     
  5. Domino
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    Domino Active Member

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    I'd rather read "Six months later" and jump straight into the good stuff than be bored to tears with a load of filler that doesn't add anything to the story. :)
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Use the jump, but avoid saying, "Six months later..." or any of that rubbish.

    That sort of stuff works in films (and only just), but not in prose. In prose, you have to show that time has passed with your words, even if someone makes a reference to something that happened "so many months ago". Do whatever you're comfortable with, but "Six months later..." is corny and terrible.
     
  7. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    You could just jump without giving any, "six months passed" line and instead have your character give an overview or something. Like, "Mark stared up at the bright moon, now at it's highest peak in the sky, and sighed. He couldn't believe six months had passed already. The jump seemed to have lasted only a month."
     
  8. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    You could always split the story into separate parts. (e.g. Part 1: Apocalypse, Part 2: Six Months Later)

    As long as you make it obvious to the reader that a time-skip has happened, whichever way you choose to do it, then there's no problem with doing it. If the reader doesn't know about the time-slip, then it could easily cause confusion.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. NSR
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    NSR New Member

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    You'd be better off writing 'Six Months Later' than confusing your reader. Even if you want to avoid that wording exactly, but are unsure of a better way of phrasing it, write that and then come back to it at a later point and inspiration may have struck.

    Alternatively you could use dates at the beginning of chapters, to make the passage of time clear?
     
  10. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    The novel I am working on has "6 months later" between each of the three main parts. To illustrate that such a period of time has passed between each section, I have mentioned such things as the change of seasons and have used back references to events that have happened in the past.

    Mind you, having said that, the three major parts of my novel also have the advantage of carrying themselves off as shorter complete stories in their own right.

    One of the better ways to write "6 month later" parts into your story might be to break the novel into "parts." Part I is the start, with various chapters in the first time frame, and then Part II is 6 months later with its various chapters, and then part III and so on.

    As a reader, to have to write "6 months later..." kind of detracts from the natural flow you could create.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that you could come up with a fairly explicit but fairly subtle transition that depends on the story:

    But by October, she still hadn't saved up enough money...

    When John's birthday rolled around, matters had changed....

    The summer garden was a disastrous failure, as was her attempt to grow peas in the autumn. She igored the expanse of dead plants and mulch all winter, but one warm spring day...

    ChickenFreak
     
  12. [ESCAPE]
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    [ESCAPE] Member

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    I think it would be perfectly fine; a LOT better than making people read a whole lotta crap you didn't really feel like writing :D

    Like others have said, "six months later, blah blah" is not something that keeps the flow of the story going. Maybe you can add a page that says "Six months later" and make that a part two?
     

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