Friday, May 30, 2014

Dealing with time

I always think the sign of a good writer is how they deal with time in a story, especially a transition across a number of weeks and months that isn’t just a jump from one point in time to another.  At one point In the Morning I’ll Be Gone Adrian McKinty does a really nice job in moving the story forward by several weeks, whilst also letting the reader know what happened during that time, but only taking a couple of paragraphs to do so.  He does so by blending little snippets about the main character and key historical events in a quite matter of fact way.  Reading it was one of those moments where I felt myself learning a useful tip about how to structure a story and deal with temporal shifts.  I’m going to have a play with using the technique in one of my own stories.  I suspect it’s a bit more tricky to pull off than it at first seems, with the danger being the narrative potentially seeming like just a listing of time-sequenced events.

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