Paula looks at time periods in stories
What period of time do your
stories cover? A few weeks, a few months, a few years?
Most of mine take place over
a few months (excluding any backstory between the characters). None of them
have covered more than twelve months.
Is this realistic? Maybe in
‘reunion’ stories where the characters have fallen in love in the past and then
meet again, it’s reasonable to suggest the spark is rekindled, and the couple
sort out their problems/conflicts etc. within a fairly short time.
But what about stories where
a couple meet for the first time? Yes, there can be instant attraction or even
instant dislike, but how much time should elapse before they reach their ‘happy
‘Timing’ is something that
usually (often?) causes me problems. While I am writing a story, I often get
the feeling that events are happening too quickly. At the same time, if I try
to slow them down, the story begins to drag. There’s also a danger of bringing
in unnecessary events that add nothing to the storyline as a whole.
Of course, different stories
require different techniques, but I usually cover a time lapse with a paragraph
summary of either some events or one character’s feelings during this time.
I’ll be interested to know
(a) what time period do your
(b) how do you deal with any
lengthy ‘time lapses’ in your stories?