1. Baller Dale
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    Baller Dale Member

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    Showing hours have passed

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Baller Dale, Aug 14, 2012.

    Two characters in my story are stuck in an elevator for a long time and I was wondering how to show this without actually saying it.

    Any ideas? :)
     
  2. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    Ferdinand&Alfonso Member

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    You could have one of them fall asleep and then be woken up by the other. They could be getting hungry and one of them could be complaining that they need food. Or that their friends will be missing them. They could play a game to pass the time and you could mention that a few games have already been played. Are people trying to get them out? Like has the elevator stopped between floors and everybody's looking for them? In that case there could be other signs, like being in the different stages of rescue and all that.
     
  3. Stupid-Face
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    Stupid-Face Member

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    You could also describe how the elevator is getting stuffy or say that the characters are changing positions every now and then. You could write about their dreams or thoughts whilst in the elevator or you could even write the characters getting really impatient and make them check the time, the longer the time in there, the more they check the clock.
     
  4. fwc577
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    fwc577 Member

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    If you're having a scene where they are stuck in an elevator chatting then you want time passage do the transition with a metaphor imo.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would leave the scene briefly. If it;s a first person story, you could relate a memory for the dividing scene. When you return to the elevator scene, a character could notice how warm and ripe the air in the elevator is becoming. Or if bothe characters were standing in the first scene, they can be sitting on the floor when you return to the scene. A full bladder is also an indicator that time has passed.
     
  6. webghoul
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    webghoul Member

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    Maybe you can make brief statements of what one of the characters should have been doing that moment. A little like ".. by this time, Mom's already taking the waffles out of the kitchen oven..". and then you can go back to the elevator, saying something like ".. it's getting a little bit humid now, and I don't think this scarf still looks cute". and then go back to the flashback again. :)
     
  7. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I tend to quite like the biological aspects of waiting. The need to eat, go to the bathroom, the ache in your backside growing from having sat too long, yawning because they've been doing nothing for too long, or even the old one of running out of conversation because they've already run out of things to say.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  8. Juganhut
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    Juganhut Banned

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    Have a person eating a sandwich because he was in a rush on the elevator. When he gets hungry, he/she knows time has past. Maybe they can here outside when they are in the elevator. I know at the hospital there is a clock that I can hear ticking before the door opens and you can hear it chime too.

    Like others said, falling asleep, flashbacks, converstations that you do not explain but can mention they spoke for an hour, ect. Every movie I have seen with people trapped in an elevator/phonebooth/atm/car/house/panic room/plane/ect have all used flashbacks to add debth to characters and took focus off the people ACTUALLY in the elevator.
     

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