Tuesday, 24 June 2014

PLAYING WITH TIME



We say time flies when we’re enjoying ourselves, and it drags when we’re doing something we consider a chore. That’s untrue, as it’s our perception, our awareness, of time that changes. Time moves at the same speed regardless of our activities. 

Writers, however, can influence readers’ perception of time by playing with fictional and real time. For example, epochs can be covered in a sentence. The human race pushed outwards for millennia until they attained dominion over the known universe. This is an example of fictional time, used to condense and give information about the setting of a story. Although this example is genre related, individual memories of the past can also be dealt with in this way. I remember my early childhood as one long summer.  

Writers can also extend time. She breathed in and out, soft, easy, focusing on the rise and fall of her diaphragm.  This sentence takes twice as long to read as it does to complete the action. It stretches time through insight into the character’s mind. 
 
How time is portrayed impacts the pace of the story. Do you want to your reader to linger over certain passages? Internal monologue or adding details will accomplish this. Do you want your reader to focus on action? Dialogue, as well as physical conflict and movement, can increase pace; tense arguments, accusations etc., especially if no tags or descriptions are added to distract from the interaction taking place. Dialogue is one area where time on the page appears to equate with real time. 

Sometimes the words ‘relentless fast paced action’ is used to advertise thrillers, and I like my share (in print - in moderation) of adrenaline fuelled action as much as anybody. On the other hand, too much accelerated pace leaves no time to enjoy the beauty of a particularly elegant sentence or a measured leisurely moment between lovers. Adjusting time allows you to slow down, or speed up the story and, ultimately offers a more satisfying reading experience.

Writing Update
I’m managing to edit two chapters a day, more or less, which is faster than I expected – so I’m wondering what I’m missing!

The following is not a pity post, but a short exploration of doubt.

One challenge in blogging about my writing is it brings up the question, what if, once published, my book doesn’t fulfill expectation?  I’ve had some enthusiastic feedback from one of my beta readers (book still unfinished) on what he’s read so far, which gave me a definite feeling of relief.  I keep repeating those words to counteract the waves of doubt assailing me at odd hours of the night.

I imagine I'm not the only one who experiences such nagging uncertainties. Another question is what do I define as success? I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to receive some remuneration, but knowing people are reading and enjoying what I write is certainly top of my present list of writing goals.

I guess if I don't accomplish this aim, I’ll have two choices. Pick myself up, dust myself off and work harder to achieve my dream. Or decide I've been chasing a phantasmagoria. I’m hoping I know which decision I’ll take. 

Today’s Haiku
QUESTION
you are my lover
I don’t know if you’re my friend –
get back to me soon

Useful Links
If you’re interested, but not experienced, at producing your own book cover, this link is worth checking out.
This is a bit of for haiku lovers. (Thank you, Lisa!)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/17/vegetable-haiku-veggie-love-poems_n_5499674.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000033

I’d love it if you popped over to Wattpad and read any of my posted stories...just click on the links to the right.

Join me on Twitter at: teagankearney@modhaiku  

Thanks for visiting my blog, and please do leave a comment.
To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.

About Me

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Apart from writing, I'm compiling a bucket list of places I'd like to  visit...from Iceland to Hawaii and onwards....
         

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