1. Wade_John
    Offline

    Wade_John Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mixed Plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Wade_John, Jun 9, 2009.

    Hi good people!

    i am rookie, so i just want to ask whether a mixed plot (forward and flashback) is permitted. For example: Chap 1 - 3 will discuss about the mature life of A, he lives in the year of 1998. Chap 4 will discuss the childhood of A on the year of 1975. Chapter 5-6 will go back again to the mature life of A in the year of 1998. Is that possible to that way? I am afraid that it would probably cause confusion among the readers.

    For better example maybe u can watch the movie "The Hours" starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep. They lived in 3 different periods, how do we actually put that kind of situation without making the readers confused, but them excited and gnawing for the story more. Cheers


    :D
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Certainly there is no rule against telling the story out of chronological sequence. Writers do it all te time.

    How well it works is a matter of how well you write it. With a nonlinear chronology, your transitions have to be managed well.
     
  3. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    If you're actually seen (or even better, READ) The Hours, you should already know that changing time periods like that is, obviously, possible, and in some cases a more suitable way of recounting the life of your character.
    As to what is "permitted"....we may be a forum of writers, but that doesn't give anyone here any authority on what is permissible or not in your own work. As long as you write well, you can write whatever you want, regardless of what other people think.

    That said, don't try to break alllll the rules.....baby steps....
     
  4. Wade_John
    Offline

    Wade_John Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    any significant book that mirrors your examples?
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You could also read Kurt Vonnegut Jr's Slaughterhouse Five. The main character actually experiences his life in random order.
     
  6. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    Middlesex spans several distinct periods, but does so in a fairly chronological (but nevertheless extremely entertaining) way...Lolita by Nabokov visits I think 3 different periods in the narrator's life (as well as having a foreword that refers to a 4th)...I can't think of an example off the top of my head that goes back and forth....Watchmen, if you include graphic novels, does it....
     

Share This Page