1. !ndigo
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    !ndigo Member

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    Story structure over a long timeline

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by !ndigo, Jan 5, 2015.

    Okay, here's my basic plot outline...

    Two siblings (7 and 12) get separated in an attack that (probably) kills their parents. Both think the other is dead.
    The younger sister gets taken in as an apprentice and grows up...
    The older sister is off in another country and goes through this long struggle to make a life for herself.

    Seven years after the attack (now ages 14 and 19), they end of accidentally running across each other again and then more stuff happens...

    Here's my problem:
    I want to skip over the time that the younger girl spends as an apprentice and start her story around the seven year mark when she begins the quest that eventually has her run into her sister.
    But... I want to write about the older sister's life growing up on her own.

    I'm struggling with how to structure this because the two plots don't happen at the same time.
    Ideally I would swap between characters but I've only ever really seen that done to swap between two places in the same timeline, never two places and two timelines.

    My other option seems to be to trace the older girl's story for a while, then suddenly introduce the little girl back in and then start switching back and forth.

    It just seems odd to me to go for such a long time without mentioning the little sister at all.

    Third option would be to change the plot and the timeline somehow so their stories were happening at the same time. Like toss the older sister in jail/slavery/hospital for a while so she only gets out and starts her life about the same time the little sister is starting her quest.


    Any thoughts or recommendations? Thanks!

    EDIT: I had originally planed the little girl as the MC which is why it's so weird to not see her for a long time. I guess I could swap which one is my MC if I need to though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Pure opinion: I like this option but I'd re-introduce the younger girl at the time they meet up, then reveal her backstory as the story goes on.
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it would be that weird to reintroduce the other sister part way through the book. You may want to give her a slightly more substantial chunk of time when she's first reintroduced so we can get used to her, but I think that would be fine. Like, First 5% of book, both characters, then 30% character B, then 10% character A, then back and forth between them for the rest?
     

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