Wednesday, August 4, 2010
What Time Is It?
I quickly realized that my little gimmick was only bringing the immediacy, and therefore tension, down in my story.
I do my best to steer clear of flashbacks and flash forwards and large gaps in time mostly because of my own experience and skill-level. I tend to write along linear time lines whenever possible. I've tried to write backstory through flashbacks before but it turned out catastrophically wrong.
I haven't seen too many articles dealing with time in a story but I can draw from other authors for examples.
By my first example, I must refer to a story I am currently reading by David Morrell called "The Shimmer." Mr. Morrell deals with flashbacks or backstory by having his POV character remember something that was done or said in the past and then simple starting the next paragraph or scene with a date.
The simple use of a date brings the reader to that time. The reader knows they are about to read about something that happened long ago but affects the story in present time.
Many other authors (too many to list) use the prologue to deal with large gaps in time where a story might actually begin at a certain time although one must read some backstory to understand present events.
How about you? How do you write in changes in time in your stories? How do you deal with flashbacks and flash forwards and memories of your characters?
at 2:56:00 PM
I am an old soldier, now reformed to backyard farmer, writer, blogger and aviation systems trainer. Although working on it, I've yet to earn the title of gentleman.
Things that interest me? Writing in numerous genres but mostly suspense, science fiction (speculative) and mystery. Outside of my full-time job, I love everything to do with aquaponic gardening and suburban homesteading. I often blog or post youtube videos about these subjects along with updates on my small typewriter collection, rants about our world's current state of affairs, surviving a zombie apocalypse or the antics of my backyard chickens.