1. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    Conveying the passage of time with no time markers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Chaos Inc., Aug 16, 2014.

    So my MC is drifting through nonexistence as a "babble of chaotic whispers" and I need to give the illusion of some time passing. If I can manage to go on with a few lines of nonsense can I give the reader the illusion that some time has passed?

    I almost feel that I should leave like 4 pages of scribbles between my last line and when things start to come back to coherency. Leaving it with my last line and immediately moving forward I feel I'm not capitalizing on the gravity of the situation.

    What are some tricks I can employ?
     
  2. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Switch to a different character viewpoint?

    Switch to a narration of events, or of how things work in this realm?

    Have the character fall asleep and wake up?

    All three might work to convey that time passed without giving us lots of scribbles that may not seem to work. Or perhaps they would...
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you don't need precision, just a simple "Later, " should often serve.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you're really creative, you can use something like a soliloquy and have the character make a remark or two on the passage of time.

    On a philosophical note, is it even meaningful to talk about the passage of time in a state of nonexistence?
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Can your character age, a few extra grey hair patches, nothing major?
     
  6. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    I really only need enough time for the reader to feel like there has been a passage of time. In the book, time has stopped but this isn't evident until after the events right after this.

    I'm looking at other strategies such as formatting my 1st chapter so that the lines "He tried to reach out but nothing responded. He drifted in darkness feeling as if his body dissolved (disintegrated) away leaving his thoughts to scatter about in a babble of chaotic whispers." appear at the end of the right page. The time it takes the reader to flip over to the next page and start off is like a pause in the rhythm before everything for the character begins to make since again. Very subtle but I want a little more.

    Another alternate way was to have four pages. One completely black, signifying the darkness he's in. The second there's a mess of questions and phrases that signify the "babble of chaotic whispers." The third page has far fewer words on the page but there seems to be a very specific question in the dead center. The last page contains only the question "Who am I?" I then pick up the story with "As the thoughts ebbed away only one question remained, "Who am I?" Followed by what happens next.
     

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