Time Isn’t On My Side

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Tunnels of Time by fdecomite

Tunnels of Time by fdecomite http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/ / CC BY 2.0

I’m stuck. It’s not writer’s block so much as writer’s pause or writer’s stumble.

I’m contemplating writing a scene that seems self-indulgent. Since I’m contemplating it, I’m guessing it’s not that important, so I should probably cut it. And since I claim it’s self-indulgent, there really shouldn’t be a question, right?

If I follow Copyblogger’s Rule #22 to being a better writer, I’d cut 10% of everything I write anyway, so this scene would be probably be chopped out in the end anyway.

And since I’m supposed to be in the editing phase, why am I trying to create new scenes? Is this a new form of procrastination? Instead of watching TV so I don’t have to finish a story, I’m writing so I don’t have to finish editing?

No, it’s because I’m bad with transitions in time. I want my characters to do something to fill their days, to fill the time between the times they’re doing something that’s note worthy no matter if that time is hours or weeks. Even if the time-filler is just running around a track. I’ve even been brainstorming ideas that would make the scene more interesting: have a cop kick Julia out, more visions of her dead father… Brainstorming why it’s important: to further confirm that Julia really is a runner, to have the cop recognize her last name and be sympathetic and thus showing the small towniness of Lexington…all of which can be shown in other ways at different times.

So, what are the best time transitions you’ve come across in writing or reading?

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One thought on “Time Isn’t On My Side

  1. Emily

    New chapter?

    I’ve recently re-read WE, and since it is diary format… the transitions are just that, new dates.

    All the YA books and series pretty much were covering an action packed couple of days or whatever span of time… Or, if there were breaks, they mentioned classes, or major holidays that occurred between last event and current event.

    One thing I did like about New Moon [not that one should go there for writing advice, but I did like this devise] – when Bella is super-overly depressed in a way that only an overly-angsty teenager can be [does that qualify as purple?], and she’s just going through the motions of life… there are just pages with the name of the month that passed on it. So you have life crushing event and immediate aftermath, followed by month, month, month, and new event trying to snap her out of it. I thought it was a good visual representation of how she felt, and it didn’t pretend to do anything special with that time. Whatever may have happened during those blank pages wasn’t important to the main character, nor to the plot, so it just wasn’t there.

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