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  1. MasonAdey
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    MasonAdey New Member

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    How to show, not tell

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by MasonAdey, Oct 5, 2011.

    I'm currently embarking on writing a sci fi novel, i'v been planning it for ages and i know exactly what i want form the narrative, i'v planned out the main plot points. I know how i want to start it and i know how i wan to end it etc.

    the protagonist Samuel has the ability to control time ( stop, slow down, speed up, rewind etc) but this is more of a plot point than the actual basis of the story, basically without giving too much away Samuel has always used his ability for small things just to better his life, rewinding the last few seconds so that someone doesn't spill coffee on him, re doing moments in which he made mistakes, being sometimes brutally honest with people to get things off his chest and then taking it back etc etc. basically he's always used it for small personal gain and its his personal "code" not to change anything "big" until he witnesses the hit and run of a girl and decides to try and save her. which isn't as easy as he first though it might be. i wont tell you anymore but thats a basic premise

    the problem i'm having is that when i eventually do star to write it i don't know how to make it clear that Samuel has the ability that he does, how do you make time travel clear to a reader without saying " hey. this is time travel ok?". I'm not overly fond of the comic book style " ever since i was small i could do X and this meant Y and now my life is like Z" i'd rather SHOW the audience. but i just dont know how.

    any help?
     
  2. jjonz
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    jjonz New Member

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    you could go back to a date in time when the protag was directly involved in an event. or take the action to a place in the future where the protag is a witness. Also, is there a device or medical condition that is required for the time travel?
     
  3. MasonAdey
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    MasonAdey New Member

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    No not really he literally just has to concentrate on a clock and will it to stop/go backwards or whatever it is that he wants it to do or focus on a certain amount of time he wants to skip backwards/forwards.
     
  4. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    You could have a scene with him not liking the outcome, the spilled coffee scenario for example. Bring in the clock or watch or what have you into the scene where he focuses to go back and change it. Then replay that earlier scene with everything the same, but with different results. When he comes back to present time, you could have a brief comment about what he just did and perhaps a feeling he gets when he uses this power; Does it make him tired? does it hurt? is it like a drug? etc... No information dumps or anything, just something simple to get the reader an idea of what this character can do and how it effects him.
     

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