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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Time shift!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Oct 9, 2015.

    Okay. I was recently discussing this premise with a member and decided to bring it here.

    The premise being, chapters that change POV and a time shift along with it.

    So lets say we have 3 characters.
    Chapter 19 in thise sense, has a normal time line. Gonna use math to make sure I am not misunderstood. So minutes 1:00 to 1:30. At 1:20 she said something to someone over the phone.
    Now Chapter 20. Shift POV to the other guy on that phone call. So it starts at 1:20 and continues on to 1:50. At which point he meets someone.
    Now Chapter 21 Shift POV again another character. His time line is more like 1:40 to 2:10. This being referenced in the fact the person that meets the POV from chapter 20 hasn't left yet and this guy witnesses the them leave.

    The next ten chapters are all gonna break like that. I can't give other spefics but like in one chapter girls are gonna notice an explosion off in the distance, while another chapter is going to be from the POV of who causes that explosion.

    My question. Is do you guys think this is cool interesting or horrible or have any thoughts or advice about it?

    Tagging people I think are awesome! And or whose opinion I am especially interested in.
    @ChickenFreak
    @dreamersky1212
    @jannert
    @Lea`Brooks
    @Jack Asher
    @Steerpike

    And the list of people I know on here who are awesome continues to grow! lol
     
  2. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    This actually isn't a new concept. Dean Koontz used it regularly in his novel False Memory.

    The trick is to be very clear in your writing when this happens. Start each chapter with a specific phase or scene from the chapter before, so the reader knows the story is jumping backwards a few minutes. But it absolutely can be done.
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    It comes to me as no surprise that it has been done. :D


    I guess it might sound weird but I am also curious just your opinion. If you think it is gimmicky or clever. If you like or hate the idea. It is true that your personal opinion probably isn't going to change me trying it. I consider you my friend and I like learning what my friend thinks. :)
     
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  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  5. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I would have to see it to make a call here. It's an interesting concept, but I think it would rely entirely on your execution.

    If you do it well, awesome! :cheerleader:

    If not, readers are going to be confused as hell. :bigconfused:
     
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  6. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see no reason why this couldn't work. As always, you need to be clear who we are, when we are, and where we are at the start of every scene, but other than that it sounds pretty reasonable. Just remember that with each shift in POV character we also have a shift in POV, which could be jerky for the reader and can open you up to potential POV breaks. As with all things, the way it's written will determine whether or not it succeeds.
     
  7. Lady Marmalade
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    Lady Marmalade Member

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    Ooh, yeah I've seen this done before but without the specific time inserts.

    Basically if you're going to switch perspective constantly you need to make sure each POV is distinguishable from the other. Make sure to always keep track of what exactly is going on for each specific time because if you get confused with what's going on then the audience will too.

    This type of writing requires a LOT of planning but when it's pulled off it can be a very enticing read. For example when a big event happens (like say a murder) and it's narrated by one character (bystander perhaps?) and then the reader gets to see more of what happened through the eyes of another character (the murderer).

    I think it's a cool technique to reveal perspectives like this, just be aware that there are a lot of pitfalls for this kind of writing style. However I don't think it's gimmicky, I've only seen it twice before so I think it's more of a rarity these days.
     
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  8. jaebird
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    jaebird Active Member

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    I've seen this done well several times before, but my question is, how many times are you going to do it in this story? You say at least ten chapters are going to use this, and the thing that would concern me is that you'll be repeating a lot of stuff. It works good to give different perspectives, and reveal things that you couldn't with the current POV, but I think it would irritate me if after every chapter I had to go back and reread something that already happened.
     
  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Currently I haven't finished but it looks like I am going to have 10 chapters that shift POV and seven POV shifted too. 3 repeat. lol

    The thing is, they don't see the same thing. So it isn't like A vs B in A head. Then in B head, then in audience head.

    Every scene is different. The split is because they are seperated, and thus not seeing the same things. The time shifts come from references.

    Like one guy fights a girl. The next chapter you see a guy that sees that girl before she leaves to fight. Thus inferring that this moment is before that fight and that she is about to leave and go to that fight.

    Or an explosion is heard in the distance. No context is given at the time. Later you are in the POV of that explosion. Meaning that this cementes the timelines. As when that explosion was heard. the other characters were doing something.

    This is just a way of expressing that these events are happening at the same time.

    Make sense?
     
  10. Mallett
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    Mallett New Member

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    As stated before, the idea isn't new. I think it needs to serve a purpose in your script, something to justify the usage, otherwise it's just confusing needlessly. Just my opinion.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    What about the purpose of being awesome and wicked cool looking! Because fights!

    On a serious note. Each fight reveals something about a cast member. Some are not as revelant yet but this is a first book in a series. Though the book is still stand alone, the action sort of hides the information dump aspect as now many of these characters who overall got very little screen time here can be introduced and understood without any additional context in the next book.
     

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