Often when I write, I fast forward to a different time and place. When I do this, it sounds very unnatural and the pacing of the story feels too rushed.

For example(by the way, this was not actually a part in the story, but it's similar):

"We will be moving in a week. Be prepared."

None of us said anything, but we all knew that Father wanted a fresh start.


A week later...

"It's time to go. Hurry up."

I don't know how to explain it, but this transition sounds unnatural. The pace of it feels very...rushed.

How can I make a part like this more flowy and natural sounding, with a good pace?


1 Answer 1


Typically scene changes (including progress over time) are broken over chapter breaks) so Chapter X would be your first example and chapter Y would be your second chapter). If there are actions that need to be discussed over the prep, break down what happened in either chapter X or X+1. This example suggest you would be best to fill in chapter x with any description of the events leading up to moving out, with X+1 detailing the actual move a week later.

Another tactic is to insert a chapter of an unrelated scene between x and x+1. This Chapter Y would be a scene that should be important to the audience at this stage. It could be the villain doing plot important villain things, or a flashback, or a flash forward, that should tie the importance of x and x+1 to the overall narrative. In addition, the reader can better feel the passage of time when we return to the characters in X and X+1 as there is a noticible gap in the reader's perception of the events.

The scenes should accomplish one goal of telling the story, and having a move announce with a weeks notice is different then a move. You shouldn't have to timestamp this unless you are timestamping your chapters in a story (For example, the cartoon Young Justice, the scenes are timestamped with the Month, Day and military time and local timezone of the scene. The first episode opens with this where the sidekick characters and their mentors fight off villains in four different locations in the United States (Gotham, Central City, Star City, Pearl Harbor. Note of these four the first three are fictional cities but are in the EST, CST and PST time zones. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is PST timezone). A quick glance of the the time stamps on each scene shows viewers that these attacks are all taking place at the same time (July 4th, at 1200 EST, 1103 CST*, 0901 PST, and 0602 HST. The 1103 timestamp was shown out of geographical East to West order, and was the fourth scene in the quick transition. In effect, each scene lasts a minute and shows the fight is coordinated. It's not important in the first viewing, and only the Pearl Harbor scene shows any visible difference due to the time zone (as it is early dawn hours, compared to the other four which have typical day time lighting). It's only later in the series that the fact it was simaltaneous becomes important (immediately it excuses the mentors to discuss this fact without the sidekicks, allowing them to get into trouble, and several episodes down the line, the reason for the plot becomes important: Each villain uses their capture to get placed in the same Federal Prison for supervillains, where they are a key figure in the prison populous' attempt at a mass break out.).

  • While chapter breaks may be common, they're definitely not the only solution. Jan 11, 2021 at 18:20

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