Wednesday 20 November 2019

Stage of revision 4: Overall time scale

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Naturally we don’t want any two year pregnancies or characters maturing three years in six months.  Also you need to allow enough time for your characters to eat and sleep yet you don’t want to dwell on those matters too much. 

I’ve actually taken now to writing down the time and date of each scene as I plan it and I also work out how long the scene takes.  I leave these timings in the chapter headings until after I have completed this edit.  Normally anyway, if you’re showing and not telling the scene will take as long as it takes to write it or read it out loud though it will take less than real time if you read it in your head. 

Sometimes the writer is very well aware of the time but the reader doesn’t actually know. You can indicate times of the year by mentioning weather, plant life and seasonal markers. 

You can indicate times of day by meal times, the state of the traffic and the characters’ energy levels. 

Even if you plan your story out with time indicators it’s still worth checking that it all still works. You may have stretched or shrunk time as you wrote.    

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