I've been reading a host of old favourites, classics and authors outside of my usual reading pool, in an effort to dissect the writing (from plot, characters and environment to voice, pacing and dialogue) and hopefully learn both what to do and what not to do.
When rereading Raymond E. Feist's Magician:Apprentice, I noted that while clearly there was need (in terms of larger plot focus/tension and character growth and development), the increasing size of the clock ticks is a bit jarring.
In the first (at least) half of the novel, we get time that is pretty linear - generally day-to-day, skipping a few hours or a day or two if needed for plot pacing. Once we get around two-thirds in, the scale of the story is increasing (geopolitical impact) and we're now experiencing gaps of weeks and months. By the time we're approaching the end, say around four-fifths in, we now have skips of months, seasons, and then even years.
To be clear, I (believe I) understand using time effectively in story telling:
Zoom in close, add detail, use time linearly, when you're building the environment, character, or plot tension for the reader. I've noticed this to be especially prevalent in specific genres (horror, thriller, suspense).
Zoom out, skim-skip along as needed, when you're maintaining pace, plot course, and reader engagement. (epic speculative fiction or historical?)
But in all my reading-for-reading and reading-on-writing I've yet to come across any rules or guidelines for authors on when and how to use this, so have no idea whether this is a learned skill that each author applies dependent on their writing style, or if they follow specific maxims (and yes, I agree rules for writers can and should be broken when the occasion demands).
So, is there a set of commonly-used/respected rules/guides for deciding on time gaps between scenes/chapters in a written work of fiction?
1. A search of Writers.SE on this topic only showed this question as even remotely similar.
2. No googling was done as I prefer to come to the best source I know. :)