1. amariel
    Offline

    amariel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1

    need help with rushing forward in time

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by amariel, Apr 20, 2010.

    hi all,

    i've just joined this forum to put this question out there: i've developed a story in which a character is born under strange and mysterious circumstances. now, i need to "fast forward" through his childhood so that i'm able to go ahead and start writing about his young adult life. any suggestions? is there any way that i could do this that wouldn't seem too fragmented?

    thanks for any suggestions!

    anne
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Why not simply start with him as a young adult? You can allude to his "strange beginnings" later in the story, in bits and pieces.
     
  3. Halcyon
    Offline

    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    England
    Personally, I would simply explain his birth as a prologue, maybe with a specific date under the "Prologue" heading. Then you could fast forward to the present day (or whenever) for the start of Chapter One, again, possibly with a date under the "Chapter One" heading, so the reader knows how much time has elapsed.
     
  4. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I'd go with Cogito's solution. To be honest, it seems to me like it would make a needless prologue, which is one of my pet hates, and something of which there are far too much about.

    If you start with the character as a young adult, and reveal his past through imposition, then you can do so slowly (to keep your reader interested) and without it feeling like an infodump.
     
  5. amariel
    Offline

    amariel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    fantastic! that seems obvious, it's funny how we get involved so deeply that we have tunnel-vision, and cannot step back and see our own stories clearly. thank you! i will proceed as suggested!
     
  6. Cecil
    Offline

    Cecil Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    1
    Lot's of stories manage to do just fine by starting with the character's birth and then just using a little exposition to get to the desired time. Just so long as it's interesting of course.
    Harry Potter goes from baby to eleven years old very quickly.
    Alvin Miller goes from new born to...(don't remember).

    It's all a matter of what you need to do for your story, and where your story needs to start. If every last detail of the character's birth is relevant, then you might want to include it as a scene, but if it's something very simple, like being born during an eclipse, and it has no impact on the plot until he's eighteen, then you might want to start with him at eighteen and cover his birth in a single sentence.
     
  7. amariel
    Offline

    amariel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    good point

    in this case, everything about the character's birth is relevant to the overall story, and needs to be told in scenes. i wrote it assuming that i would be able to flow through "a little exposition," and continue the story a few years down the road, but my confusion lies in how to go about writing the "little exposition" in a convincing and continuous way.
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Relevant, yes. But not importanant for the reader ro know before the story begins, right? You should have plenty of opportunities to expose the circumstances of his birth before the reader needs to know about it.
     
  9. black-radish
    Offline

    black-radish Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Well, you could write it in chronological order, so chapter one or the prologue (yes yes I know people on here hate prologues, no discussion about that again please!) could be about how he was born, and then you skip to an age where the story develops.

    You can also write several scenes about his birth, or even before he was born, and simply start the next chapter with: "The following years were almoste as if he was a normal boy" or something, just give a small summery of how he learned to walk or talk or maybe 1 particular incident.

    I don't know the story, so this is just an example!

    Hope I was able to help you!
     

Share This Page