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The setting of my latest story is a alien world that uses a different calendar and timekeeping system. This is because the planet spins at a slower pace than Earth, so the days are longer.

However, there are two main characters. One of them lives on the alien planet, while the other one lives on Earth. I am worried that things can get confusing when they talk to each other (when they are not physically with each other) since the alien character's "day" could make up two of the Earth character's "days."

I have considered putting timestamps at the beginning of each scene or chapter (depending on if the setting changed) in order to make things clearer to the reader. For example, one timestamp may read "Siirox 48, year 2153. 32:13." However, I have never seen timestamps in fictional writing before, so I am wondering if this is okay to do. What I mean is:

  • Does it make the story look cluttered or amateurish?
  • Is it unnecessary? Is there a better way to lessen the confusion?
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  • Good question, and we've actually had it before -- I hope the answers there help you! If your question is different, you can edit to describe how this differs from that question and we'll take another look. Thanks. Jul 8, 2016 at 3:19

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