A lot of my novel ideas/concepts come to me with a time-frame, and most of time, this spans years for my characters. This poses a few problems me and it’s a bit frustrating and time consuming to properly execute. 1) For one, my character voices need to change with time. Their voices need to mature just as they have matured through the years. 2) Transitioning skips in years need to be smooth so it’s not as jarring, but at the same time it needs to be different from the previous “voice” yet still feel natural. It’s also difficult to keep track of your tone, style, and mood when you have distinct breaks that require you to change your character voice. And it’s not really a question of having too much background information – usually, I have significant events that happen to my characters that distinctly shape the future versions of my character and it’s important to the overall story. But the problem is, I don’t want to always have span years for my novels. I’ve thought about starting the story much later and revealing these past events in things like recollection, dreams, etc., but it’s not a technique I like, and sometimes, it’s not an effective technique for the type of story I want to tell. Like currently, I have a psychological drama turn thriller novel that I just started. It’s an idea that has haunted me for weeks and I’ve finally figured out my story and the main aspects of it. An important aspect of one of my main characters is his childhood and I know exactly which scenes to write, how many years to jump to get to where I need the story to be, but I’m not feeling it. I’ve written the first scenes in different child perspectives, but the more I write, the more I realize that I don’t want to explore the childhood years in this much detail. But it’s still an important aspect of my character and revealing it through snippets in later scenes won’t work for this story. So my question is: how do you effectively cut down OR convert the same growing up experiences/events to fit into a smaller time frame without having to span years for it? Is it just a matter of converting the events to occur at a later time - closer to where I want to pick up the story? What about the events that can't be converted?