I'm writting a novel (in Spanish, I'm from Chile) based on Sumerian culture separated in two periods (Present & Future).

Present: archaeologists find some new sumerian stone tablets that hide great scientific data, religions try to boicot the investigation, scientists escape to space thanks to the discovery and leave Earth behind.

Future: many years in search of a new Earth-like planet, they find one, some kind of alien race communicates with humans, help them to find their way and to rise a new human culture.

Problem is I don't know how to join both sides of the story. I know that I have some pre-constructed ressources like space-odissey, or the build of the main character, or just let a blank part (undisclosed) and describe maybe the alien race experience in that time period.

What's the best way to bridge a large time gap in science-fiction?

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    Welcome to Writing.SE! Questions about generating plot ideas are off-topic here, but I think this can be generalised out into a question like "how to bridge a lengthy time gap in a storyline?", which would be on-topic here. – F1Krazy Dec 17 '19 at 16:17
  • Sounds like the 5th Element (film) but with Egypt instead of Sumeria... Um... I'm rusty on ancient civs, but isn't there a war or going on somewhere around present day sumeria's location? shrugs – hszmv Dec 17 '19 at 16:36
  • @hszmv Sumeria is southern Iraq. There are anti-government protests going on there currently, but - for the time being - no wars. – F1Krazy Dec 17 '19 at 16:46
  • @F1Krazy thanks for the advice, I edited the tittle with the question. And yes, like right now in Chile, there are a lot of protests there, I think my vision of present is more like "this era" and not "these days". Sorry if it was taken too literally. – Gonzalo Ledezma Torres Dec 17 '19 at 17:03
  • Yep, that's better, thanks. And regarding the protests issue, the simplest solution is to just put the archaeological site out in the middle of nowhere, away from the large cities where the problems are. Or just ignore the problem entirely and let willing suspension of disbelief do its thing :) – F1Krazy Dec 17 '19 at 17:14

Why not tell the stories in parallel, alternating chapters between the time periods, or showing how one bears on the other? That way, instead of action - gap - action, you have two periods of action woven together and the gap is outside of the book.

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  • I imagine the "future" timeline would be a spoiler for the "present" one. – Alexander Dec 17 '19 at 17:39
  • @Alexander - Not necessarily. Spoilers might not matter, and if they do, they don't necessarily need to emerge early in the future timeline. For example: The pilot episode of "This is Us," which uses this same structure. – Chris Sunami supports Monica Dec 18 '19 at 2:08
  • I think this is a good idea. I will work and develop some way to narrate the events back and forward when some object or context is related in both storylines. Thank you very much to help me open my mind @ChrisSunami – Gonzalo Ledezma Torres Dec 18 '19 at 14:55
  • It, by S King was written in the alternating chapter, modern time/past time. Part of the mystery was why the main characters didn't remember what happened to them in the past. – NomadMaker Dec 19 '19 at 6:32

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