marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

and so to bed

Inserted a stop, and a hotel, into a story for no other reason that it dawned on me that really, she did an awful lot that day.

I'm bad with story time.  It's not only that I'm weak about scattering enough temporal clues about a story so that the readers know how much time passed between one scene and another.  (Though beta readers have complained about that.)

It's also that I tend to let the character run as long as they want on what they are doing.  It does lead to a certain tendency to pack more into a day than is quite feasible, either for time or for endurance.  It can be hard to judge.  A tedious climb up a mountain side, a panic-stricken flight through a forest, a train ride -- all can be summed up in a page when they might take much longer in reality.  (Even the flight.  They couldn't run too long in real life because they would be exhausted, but it would be longer than it takes to read the passage.)  More than once I had to ratchet open space in a story just to stick a night in there because the characters could not have lasted that long without nightfall catching them.

A more ambling sort of story doesn't have this problem.  A story about a young wizard attending college, a woman on a journey that implicitly involves long days without interruption, a young regal bride and bridegroom receiving the appropriate guests as news of the betrothal spreads. . . all of them imply that that action is not headlong, one thing right after the other.  Especially since there are often substantiate scene changes without the character's having decided to go to the other location in the last scene.  But then, the muse has her own notion about stories.

Tags: revision, story time

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