1. Kait52
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    Kait52 New Member

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    How to add a significant time jump?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kait52, Jun 12, 2016.

    I am working on a new book and there is a ten year time jump halfway through the book. I am not sure how to go about writing about said time jump. The characters change so much in the second half from the first half and I really want to put some of the major things that happened, but I am not too sure I want to do it all in flashbacks or write whole chapters for each of the events. Anyone have any ideas or experience adding such time jumps to their writing?
     
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  2. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well wouldn't it be easier to just have them as memories instead of flashbacks? You know like make a short mentioning of something from the past, without basically retelling the same events that happened earlier. Just a thought.
    I usually don't jump to much forward in time (6 months to a year), but I also mention that the time has passed, and squeeze in memories of the previous activities in passing. Flashbacks are more useful for backstory type stuff, and I don't think you need to use them considering you plan on telling the early years first before the decade leap forward. But then again I find your way of going about your writings to be a bit confusing, but you could devote each event to a chapter I suppose. Will it add to the story with the recounting of previous events of the past? Though I don't have the first clue about your story, so this is all guess work on my end. Perhaps sharing a bit of it once you have met the required 2 week/2 Critiques/20 messages requirements, you can post it in either the Short Stories or Novels threads. Or you can PM somebody and let them take a look at it, to give you an informed opinion on what you could do to solve this dilemma of yours.

    Welcome by the by, and Good Luck. :supersmile:
     
  3. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Stephen King did a great job of this in It. It followed two storylines that were 30 years apart. He jumped back and forth in a way that's very natural, sort of following an individual character from each time period, then concluding the earlier story about two thirds of the way through to focus on the climax of the second part. I would imagine that this wouldn't be as effective for much shorter work though.
     
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  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Along the lines of what @newjerseyrunner indicated, find a few novels that you've read and enjoyed that have a similar structure (jump in time) and character development in that gap. See how those authors addressed the issue within the storyline. Take notes, and see what would work with your writing style and storyline, then implement.
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Are you planning to jump back and forth, or are you just moving on to ten years later, and continuing from there?

    If you're not planning to jump back and forth, many authors divide their books into 'Book One', 'Book Two' etc. Sometimes they name each section with a different name. That works really well. It's an easy structure for the writer to use, and the reader is left in no doubt when they start 'Book Two' that it will be another phase of the story.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
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  6. Kait52
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    Kait52 New Member

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    I think that's what I am going to end up doing. I'll separate it into three books and make books two the ten year time jump and maybe write a chapter for each year that something important happens.
     
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  7. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Don't put those events in unless they are really relevant to the story and heighten the tension. You don't have to put anything about those years in. You can sum up the passage of ten years in a single sentence. If nothing relevant to the story happened during those ten years, this is the best way to do it. Many of James Michener's books cover generations of people. He makes the transitions easily, summing up years in sentences very effectively.

    If you add in events just to give the sense of passing time, you will only bog down the story.

    If these events you are thinking of heighten the stakes or the tension, then you should definitely put them in.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  8. Kait52
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    Kait52 New Member

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    The events that happen in the ten years are important for the character's development. The story is about rape and I can't just skip those ten years and have the girl be completely different without explaining some of the hardships she went through with trying to raise her son and deal with the son's father.
     
  9. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    { Chapter 1

    Words....

    Chapter 10

    10 years later.

    Words.... }

    That's one option. Kind of depends on your story though doesn't it? Say you started off with a conversation during the birth of a child.

    "He's the prophet, pass it on."

    Then ten years later he's growing up as an orphan.

    I knew a put that kid somewhere... really shouldn't have checked my baby into that bar.

    Lot of different plot devices.
     
  10. ScribeJun
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    ScribeJun New Member

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    i am also starting a book (For shits and giggles, and it starts with the father and mother briefly talking about their son. im still thinking how can i move the story years later, when the boy grows up a small bit, saay 8-10 years of age.
     

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