1. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    Skipping time in stories?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Natbutterflyblue, Mar 6, 2011.

    I want to know if its lazy to have a few years skipped between some chapters?

    At the start of my story the Characters flee an assault on the castle and eventually I want them to form a resistance. I think its more realistic if this doesn't happen immediately. So with the time between escaping and forming the resistance what should I do.
    A - Start the next chapter three years later, with a MC reminiscing to fill in the extra details or
    B - Have a chapter explaining what happened immediately after there escape as well as generally outline the time up until the resistance is actually formed?

    Interested to hear what people honestly think :)
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I vote for neither: I'd start with the resistance, and not the assault on the castle. That's your real story; the assault, however dramatic and exciting, is backstory.

    ChickenFreak
     
  3. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    Interesting, I never considered that. I could use the assault as a prologue I guess.
     
  4. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Up to you, but i really don't like option B whatsoever. Would feel like one giant info-dump.
     
  5. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    Your right it would end up that way, I think Ill start the three years after the assault, making the assault a prologue, and gradually introduce the information regarding the last three years.
    I was really stuck on this but now I know what Ill do, Thanks guys :)
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read authors that had years pass over a single paragraph. Others have done it between chapters.

    For your story, I would have to agree with Chickenfreak. You don't need a time skip. Your story sounds like it begins at the assault.
     
  7. AimlessWords
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    AimlessWords New Member

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    I don't really like either option. I've messed around with reminiscing and it's really hard to make more than a sentence or two sound natural. It just doesn't usually fit into the story. But then again, you might have better luck with it than I did.

    I don't think the assault is necessary at all. If there's anything important that happens during the assault, you can probably explain it in a few sentences. So I'll say I agree with ChickenFreak. The assault is more than likely backstory. Or am I completely misreading that and you never planned on writing the assault scene to begin with?

    Generally, I'd ask myself; Is this scene vital to plot or character development? Do my readers need this to truly grasp the story? I think I read somewhere that the beginning should start when you can't summarize what already happened in one or two sentences. A quick example off the top of my head:

    Being popular for most of her life, Alicessa was not accustomed to being an outcast.

    Any more about Alicessa's popular life would be backstory. It might be interesting to put bits in throughout the story, but we can understand what's going on without being told.
     
  8. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    Very good point AimlessWords, using that method yes it is just back story. I have already written it but I'm thinking of using it as a prologue.
    I think I started there because I wanted people to be able to better sympathize with the tragedy that leads to everything else. But perhaps thats not necessary, I might keep writing the next part three years later and decide later if ill keep it or not.
    Thanks for all the helpful feedback :)
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd just say three years later - blah, blah, blah happened. Try and foreshadow the gap in the previous chapter sort of mention where you want to be next.

    Then treat it like any other backstory bring it up when it is needed.
     

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