1. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Quick question about time.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Youniquee, Feb 3, 2011.

    In the current chapter I'm writing my MC has gone to bed. Since nothing happens the next day, when she goes school, I'm thinking of skipping it and going to straight to a scene at the ending of school. I'm worried the passing of such a huge time range will be jarring for readers...like..Huh what happened between all that time?
    What do you think?
    Stupid question, I know xD
    Thanks :)
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Erm. Jumping ahead to the end of school next day is a tiny jump, and probably not confusing at all.

    And if really want to make sure just introduce the scene in some way.

    "The next day, at the end of school Emmy was standing in the corridor talking to..."
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's really easy to do time skips, and not jarring at all if the reader is given enough clues. First of all, make sure you haven't hinted at any events in the time you're skipping, even if it's the smallest thing like, "I couldn't wait to see my friends tomorrow at school" - change it to "I couldn't wait to hang out with my friends after school" or something - something that will show that the next point of interest is after.

    Once you move to the new scene you just have to start a sentence with, "That afternoon...." and whatever the character is thinking, or a summary of what happened in the gap (maybe better to save it a few lines to get something rolling in the scene). As long as the reader is expecting the jump, and it's explained after the break it's no issue at all.:)
     
  4. Jaybrownuk
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    Jaybrownuk Member

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    Like Almighty said I think your safe if you make sure the reader is well aware of the jump before and after. Also there are no stupid questions when your serious about improving your writing.
     
  5. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Time jumps are fairly standard - you'll get the hang of it as you write more.

    Jumps in time even decades long are not unknown.

    -Frank
     
  6. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Agreed.

    It isn't so much that you have to tell the reader that the MC woke up, showered, went to school, the classes the MC went to etc. It isn't a journal of time and the reader expects that you are going to skip chunks of time. A reader hopes you will do so.

    It's this kinda thing:

    "...I think to myself that I must get to sleep. I stare at the clock. 11pm. School will be tough tomorrow and I need to be rested. I need to fall asleep.

    The bell rings on my final class and I am free for another fourteen hours. Perhaps I will have an easier time falling asleep than I did last night. Watching the clock, as I did...."

    Yadda, yadda...not a world class example but give an idea. I always feel that the 'from' jump to the 'to' jump are better served with a tie between them even if just a little.

    My thought but I'm sure there are better.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    READ!

    that's how you can learn all those little tricks of the writing trade... all you have to do is open up a few novels by decent writers and you'll see how they do it... it's a lot quicker than asking here and having to wait for usable answers...
     
  8. Cornys
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    Cornys Member

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    Just think of the vast spans of time that Harry Potter's 7 books covered (a year a book). Time jumps can be tricky at first, but it won't be long before you get it down :)
     
  9. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Harry Potter is a great example of time jumps. They are also just a geat read. :)
     
  10. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Lol...I actually think asking is way quicker. Considering I have to look though the book for one....Thanks everyone so far.

    Anyway, this is an example of what I have now.
    Is that confusing?
    Thank you ^^
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    any work of fiction is going to have time jumps occurring constantly, unless it's being written in 'real time' which next to never is done, so i don't see how that can possibly be a time factor in re finding some... it's not worth arguing about, but just had to mention that, since your response puzzled me...
     
  12. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I thought it was a bit abrupt, but not too bad.

    That's the simple, "level-one" time switch. More nuanced ones can make the prose much richer.

    -Frank
     

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