1. Callum Brooks
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    Callum Brooks New Member

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    Jumping years

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Callum Brooks, Nov 13, 2014.

    Hey guys, I'm at a bit of a cross road.

    Do you think it is okay to jump years in a book?

    Basically I have a very good first ten chapters that really set up the story, then either I jump forward six years or I have made another story line that can continue straight on from chapter ten.
    My concerns are you don't generally see this in books jumping forward in time, plus with the new story I have created to continue on from chapter ten I don't feel it's as strong a story line. However I would have the chance to develop characters more.

    Also if I went with the slightly slower story line would that really grip an audience as a first book?
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a Peter James book (sorry, can't remember which) that has one chapter where the MC walks through Southend-on-Sea. Road by road, shopfront by shopfront. If you live there you could probably sue him for libelling your house. It's SO tedious.

    My point is that a blow-by-blow account isn't necessary. If the story jumps six years, start the next chapter with "Six Years Later", or "Peter just didn't know where the time had gone. Was it really six years since he beat Harry Potter at Quidditch?"
     
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  3. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    There's no reason why you can't jump six years so long as the reader knows of the jump. If nothing happens in those six years then it would be a bit of a drag writing about them which would result in you losing the reader's attention.
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Happens all the time. My current project is a historical novel covering about 500 years. All of my historical chapters have skips of time (otherwise the ms would be massive). Some skips are as short as a few days, others as long as several years. I have a break of 225 years between one historical chapter and the one that follows. As @cutecat22 says, just make sure that the reader is immediately oriented in time and place when you make a jump.
     
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  5. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    It's not unusual for a book to skip over time. If nothing exciting happened during that time then why force the reader to read through it?
     
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