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8

One way to show passage of time is by referring to time-based events. Over the course of a year you can use seasons for this; if we see your characters walking through the snow, and next see them walking through the fall leaves, we know that at least half a year has passed. For multi-year spans, look for milestone events: a graduating student who we last ...


5

Unfortunately, having a full-time job usually means that being able to write during the time period that is most effective or productive for you simply may not be possible. Because of that, you will need to determine what time you have available and then decide on where you can slice out a period of time that you can make available just for writing. Many ...


4

Assuming that your characters relationship with the past is similar to your own, look back through historically significant events until you find one that feels old enough but not too old. Also consider which aspects of our society make up the history you are looking at, because different types of memories age at different rates. For example, the days ...


3

The key word in your little conundrum is "context". Remember the basic elements of plot; setup, conflict, resolution. The setup is just that; you set everything up. Now understand that each new "timeline" is essentially a different context with a new setup. What Monica above suggested with the seasons is essentially a way of signaling the reader that things ...


3

I'll refrain from standard cautions about the advisability of prologues vs. weaving the back story into the main story and assume that you've definitely decided a prologue is the way to go. With that in mind: I think just having the first chunk labelled "Prologue" cues most readers that there's a time separation between Chapter One. Beyond that, I think ...


3

The previous answers are pretty good, contributing my penny. If you are writing a trilogy, you are talking about a specific set of characters which are time bounded (can exist for a specific period of time it's upto you to make them live in all 3 books and/or show their ancestors-descendants) in other 2 books. If you are depicting same people throughout ...


2

It depends entirely on your story and what you are trying to achieve. Certainly, most trilogies and pulp series are chronological, but there are a number that flow between eras. The one thing they all need, though, is something to connect the separate eras/characters/stories together. One example is Traci Harding's Ancient Future trilogy, which tells a ...


2

Most trilogies or series follow chronological order, but there's no requirement. Do whatever serves your story. As long as it's clear to your reader what's happening when in relation to other events, you can present events in whatever order works for you.


1

I'm thinking around 2300 or 2500, although my reasoning is that I consider the American Revolution to be history, and everything before that to be ancient history. Although, that's just me. Try judging time on technological revolutions, i.e. American, French, industrial, modern technological revolution. All advanced the game quite a bit. Or you could just ...


1

Writing a flashback in present tense can give a certain dreamy feel to it. For example, I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember Billy-Bob McJoe saying, "It's all about steady hands. All about hands and cheese and potatoes." He looks me square in the face, eyes hardening. "Never forget the potatoes." On the other hand, this is sort of ...


1

You could go with the old direct method: "Years later, Kate drove the same road..."


1

The way I see it, there are two different sorts of 'creative time'. There are bouts of inspiration, where new plot ideas and insights into character development arise, and there are 'inspired moments', where prose comes out more smoothly and you're just generally more productive. Insight-y creative time can usually be solved by quickly jotting something down ...


1

I don't think there's a name for the technique aside from nonlinear storytelling or nonlinear narrative. A story is "nonlinear" when it's not told in the order in which events occur, but the for a story to be truly nonlinear, we should be talking about a structure more complex than just a flashback or a framing story set in a different time. ("So," she said, ...



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