1. John Carlo
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    John Carlo Active Member

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    Help: jumping five or six months after several chapters of real time.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by John Carlo, Nov 9, 2011.

    Hey everyone,

    I'm in the thick of a first draft right now. The whole novel is generally forward moving. The first eight chapters deal with a guy (protagonist) finding out his girl is pregnant, and how he is dealing with that (it's better than this, but that's the gist). I basically want to jump to the birth scene from her second or third month of pregnancy. It just seems awkward to me. Everything is in real time, and then all of a sudden, I jump five or six months. And I still have to catch the reader up to speed as to what the protagonist has been doing all this time. What would be a nice transition to do this? The woman really should be giving birth before the middle or at the very beginning of the middle of the story, as much needs to happen afterwards. Any thoughts? I'm looking for smooth transition. It's a comedy, by the way.
     
  2. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    Start by commenting on the weather? Providing they know what time of the year you jump from, you could describe a scene with weather 6 months in the future to ease them into it, and then describe the girl in her nine months gone state..
     
  3. Wes
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    Wes Member

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    Maybe not skip right to the actually delivery. Maybe skip a month and a half to three, and then another two. Just highlight the important parts of the journey. Or if that doesn't work, go straight to the delivery, but use flashbacks for the months that were skipped. Just an idea. Good luck with it.
     
  4. John Carlo
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    John Carlo Active Member

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    I like this, as it was my original idea to do it this way. And Prophetsnake, I like your idea about the weather, it's a nice simple way to show time passing. Now I just have to make sure I've commented enough on it in the previous chapters. Probably will mix these two ideas. Thanks for the input.
     
  5. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I think an easy way to "show" that time has passed is to have a paragraph or two where you "reflect" on what happened in the past. From reading this they will obviously figure out that time has passed if you use sentences like "It was only 6 months ago that [reference to an event that happened earlier in the story]".
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it would be considered strange, it happens all the time. I have read books where years pass by between a chapter and the next, and yet it's perfectly comprehensible. I think it's more how you do it rather than the jumping ahead in itself. Try and check other books to see how they have done it and how well it worked is my advice. :)
    In my own novel I have more or less a year going by with nothing more than a short meeting between two characters in all that time. actually I have time skips in several places and no one of the readers commented on that as a problem. I don't think you need to explain everything/anything the mc has been doing during that time more than in a general sense, especially if it's not holding any importance for the story. Remember: "drama is life, with the dull parts left out".
     
  7. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I got criticised in one of my novels for jumping ahead three months or so (although in my own defense they were boring months!) between chapters. So my process for these sorts of transitions now is to break the books into distinct parts.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    Skip ahead, but give a brief synopsis of what happens to introduce the new chapter
     

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