Questions tagged [time-depiction]

Questions about depicting time in written works. Do not use for questions about managing time.

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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can you put a lot of time-skips as soon as possible in a story?

How can you put a lot of time-skips as soon as possible in a story? Because of certain restrictions, I am forced to put a lot of time-skips at the beginning of a story, but how do you do that ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
80 views

Are flash-forwards ever used as literary devices?

Flashbacks are common in books and movies. People only perceive linear time in that they only have knowledge of the past, even when those memories might seem to be artificially planted. What are the ...
2 votes
2 answers
128 views

Do I write the later chapters of my book in present tense because they happen after the prologue, or in past tense like the chapters before?

I've written my prologue in present tense. The rest of it is a flash to the past that leads up to that moment which I write in past tense. When I get to the current part of the book where the prologue ...
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1 vote
5 answers
130 views

What are some of the ways you can cue in your reader that your chapter is a timeskip to the past?

What are some of the ways you can cue in your reader that your chapter is a timeskip to the past? Let's say you write a chapter just to go back in time and reveal some details about some characters' ...
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1 vote
2 answers
851 views

What are the symbols that passes time called?

Many times in reading, I saw many symbols that indicate the time skip. I wanted to create the exact same stylish marks that many authors use but I wonder what's the exact name for it. I call it time ...
5 votes
3 answers
643 views

How to skip over a long period of time

I'm writing a ficional story about a historical figure. My MC takes twelve years to achieve a major success. But the bulk of the work takes place in three stages: at ages 17, 23, and 29. I have ...
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1 vote
2 answers
113 views

How much is too much for one day in the life of the main character?

Have you ever been reading a book and thought, "dang that must've been a long day?" I'm writing a YA fiction novel and in my plotting/planning/drafting/whatever you want to call it, I ...
3 votes
2 answers
132 views

Reminding the reader that while characters are out of the spotlight - they are still contributing to the story

Today I have a question about writing a long period of elapsed time. I have three main characters who each get their own chapters from their POV. Two of those three characters do not need much ...
2 votes
2 answers
62 views

Using alternative phrases to "meanwhile" or "elsewhen" to describe a non-linear flow of time as two consecutive events

I am currently writing a "time-travel" themed story that is more of a first-person perspective of all involved characters, and I want it to include the before and after reactions to the &...
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0 votes
1 answer
140 views

How to write a time skip without indication like "a moment pass" or "a few hours later"

Here is a short of what been stuck in my head lately “CUFFS”, shouts the man as he grows tired of the woman’s protest, using 2 pairs of handcuffs, both of the woman’s wrist fuse with her ankles, ...
8 votes
7 answers
3k views

How can I indicate time passing?

There is a scene in which my main character is hiding from the villain while they are both in the same room. I want this to be a suspenseful and agonizing stretch of time, but I’m not sure how to show ...
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3 votes
1 answer
94 views

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync with the main plot by a few days?

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync in front of the main plot by a couple of days and hide that fact from the reader until near the end, where it then becomes synced with the main plot? ...
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16 votes
8 answers
4k views

How can I show time passing with no way to measure time?

In the writing, I was doing recently, a character is locked up in a wagon and dragged across the country by rich slavers. How could I show the reader that time is passing when the character wakes up ...
1 vote
2 answers
156 views

I need help with the wording of this book I'm writing. I want it to sound like It is happening in the present, not the past! [closed]

There are tons of places I don't know how to make it sound like the present. Here's a sample. My nerves continued to grow at full throttle. Every step me and my team would make from here on out would ...
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3 votes
1 answer
93 views

Illustrating time differences between "then" and "now" in flashbacks

I am writing a medieval fantasy story, in which MC has suffered some serious injuries and has lost most of his memories leading up to when we pick up with him. Now, he does have the occasional ...
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3 votes
2 answers
147 views

How to keep my ideas organized and respecting a timeline?

I've always wanted to get into writing but always found myself coming up with increments of an event that already happened or imagine something that would only happen a bit ahead, distracting me from ...
4 votes
2 answers
91 views

Starting from future smoothing your way to present

Ok, so the hook for my novel is a quote from the future that my protagonist will eventually say. But I need a way for my novel to go back to present tense. In what way can I smooth my novel back to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
186 views

How can I radically time-jump for my epilogue well?

I'm working on a branching narrative kind of story, and the entire story focuses on the reader uncovering a mystery in the house that they're in. There's only one ending where they survive. In the ...
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3 votes
5 answers
460 views

How do I indicate that the next scene actually happens at the same time as the previous scene

I'm currently working on a script for a college project and there's one part of the script that sorta goes like this: A character heard a scream from outside of the room they're in and decided to ...
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

What format should I use when beginning a chapter with the time and location of the events?

What format should I use when beginning a chapter with the time and location of the events? I was thinking to use: Nine pm. Sunday, in Los Angeles, CA, USA. but I don't think it looks good, so I ...
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7 votes
5 answers
233 views

20 Minutes into the Future - problem with setting the period

I have just finished a short story, set in what is known as 20 Minutes into the Future - a time frame that's only a little into the future from our own. There is a change from modern times, but it is ...
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

How to write that a character waits a certain amount of time? [duplicate]

Let's say the character of the story has to wait a day and you need to write in the story in a smooth manner that they waited the day for the thing they were expecting?
20 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to continually and organically let my readers know what time it is in my story?

My novel takes place in a big world, with MANY POVs. Although I know when things are happening, I am afraid my reader doesn't know, due to the aforementioned fact. I do not want my reader to be ...
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11 votes
9 answers
449 views

How can I make a non-linear timeline less confusing?

My story is broken into 8 sections. Sections 1 and 2 take place simultaneously, in two different worlds. The other 6 continue in a linear fashion (switching back & forth between the two worlds as ...
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4 votes
4 answers
951 views

Time gaps in a novel

I am having issues when it comes to how time passes in the book I'm writing. I usually find myself describing the day from start to finish, and that's just useless material since nothing relevant ...
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0 votes
2 answers
92 views

How to show a short, sequential passing of time, without changing the scene [closed]

I was working on a story for practice; I have been putting it off for some time. I am extremely new to writing and honestly need to read more. I personally tend to think more like a movie camera, so I ...
14 votes
6 answers
1k views

Little disjointed scenes

My MC is going through boot camp. Physically and mentally, he goes from high-school boy to soldier prepared for combat. Along the way there's struggles, there's new friendships formed, there's the ...
6 votes
3 answers
484 views

What chapter timestamp to use in fantasy time travel novel?

(By 'chapter timestamp' I mean the text at the beginning of a chapter indicating when it is taking place). Here is a basic summary of the story so you understand what I'm working with: A man named ...
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39 votes
6 answers
5k views

How do you make characters relatable if they exist in a completely different moral context?

Usually when I read books in ancient-like settings (settings that are either in real ancient civilizations on Earth, or fantasy settings similar to those), there are relatable characters who employ ...
1 vote
2 answers
243 views

Flashforward Tense

I am a new-ish author. I've written a lot of books, but they've never been published. Anyway, for this new book I'm about to write the first scene is a flash-forward to the end of the book. I really ...
2 votes
4 answers
402 views

Writing a story about a immortal character

I have a character that I want to have live for 200 years. I've used the beginning to fill out his backstory with events that are critical to the story, including how he became immortal. How would I ...
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5 votes
4 answers
617 views

How should I deal with travel time in fantasy?

I suppose this is more of a question of if its even necessary, but I'll just assume it is. I am currently writing an outline for a fantasy story, and I don't know how to deal with distance. It's ...
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2 votes
2 answers
286 views

What genre mixes History and Time Travel?

I am trying to write a time-travel short story about two real people from history. The individuals are Jack Sheppard, a robber notorious for being a popular criminal who escaped four times in his ...
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10 votes
4 answers
4k views

The advantages and disadvantages of Fantasy-time

Many works of the High Fantasy genre are set in a pseudo-European fantasyland, in a rather amorphous time-period that mixes early-medieval and late-medieval arms and armour (but never gunpowder), late ...
2 votes
1 answer
127 views

Writing: Self made logical issue with time travel in a story [closed]

So, I have not gotten anything published yet, but I have had plans for future novels including the one I am most way done with at the moment. As for the Details: It's going to be a multiverse existing ...
4 votes
2 answers
289 views

How to depict writing from a different time period?

I am writing a story where the character is reading a writing from someone in Europe during 1348. The thing is I don't know how a person from that time would speak or write. The line they are reading ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

How do I write that years have passed in my story? [duplicate]

How do I write that years have passed in a short story, but without stating it? I have been trying all sorts of techniques, but it's just not sounding right in my story. I really don't know what to do....
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2 votes
3 answers
249 views

A mix of the Medieval Age and the 21st century period

Just a short question, but is there a term for eras or ages being mixed together in a story? To be more specific, I'm writing a story which is primarily set during the Middle Age. However, some of ...
5 votes
3 answers
243 views

How often can I use time lapses?

I looked at a few questions regarding time lapse, but I didn't find one that helped. In my story I skip parts of the life of my main character, because they don't drive the plot, but of course write ...
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1 vote
2 answers
95 views

Mashing worlds, good or not so good?

I have these two worlds in my mind, and don't really want to choose between the two, but have only time to write one story since I'm not exactly a spring-chicken. Would it be worthy trying to find ...
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

How to write a time-lapsed style scene in a screenplay?

This is a brief example, but it gets the point across ... deep in thought Bathsheba shakes off her zoned thoughts by dipping her brush into the green paint and beginning on the canvas with her three ...
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0 votes
5 answers
131 views

Time flips / thinking about past too often

In my story so far, in this chapter labeled "Longing", there are some time flips, where it begins in the present and then goes way into the past, the character is reliving a moment in his life, and ...
6 votes
5 answers
239 views

How do I cover many years with little activity without it feeling rushed?

In a story that I am writing, due to some time travel issues, the protagonists will have to wait a number of years before the next stage of the story happens. Things that happen between then and now ...
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2 votes
3 answers
384 views

How to show time lapse between two chapters?

I have a ten year time lapse between an event in my first chapter and the second chapter. The first chapter has an event that takes place during the protagonist's teenage years that lays the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
55 views

Readability for narrative type with respect to time

I am planning a series of fantasy novels which will be told in linear time with relatively small time jumps. One novel in the collection, however must span several generations while keeping the same ...
0 votes
2 answers
73 views

Complicated time jump allowed in a light novel?

Would it be totally wrong to make a few characters in your light novel time jump/travel whilist some other characters stay in the same period of time? How would you guys take on this challange? Would ...
2 votes
3 answers
158 views

For trilogies, is there any order of time periods the story should follow that is considered more appropriate?

Like totally chronological (starting in the beginning of the world's story events and going on to the future), or in the present-past-future order, or another? Is there any specific time order ...
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8 votes
9 answers
271 views

When writing Sci-Fi whats a good way to determine the year?

I'm having trouble deciding what year I want my Novella to take place. How do other Sci-Fi writers make up what year it is in their writing? I want it to be far enough in the future that the present ...
1 vote
1 answer
275 views

Using present tense for events in the novels past

I have a novel I am working on that opens in present tense narration. At the beginning of chapter two it is revealed that the previous chapter, and the rest of the novel, are POV narration from a ...
8 votes
3 answers
461 views

How do I show a long amount of time has passed?

How do I write the passing of a few years in a story? I have two separate character timelines and I want to show the characters aging throughout the story. Should I divide it up into parts? You can ...