Time warp, novel style

There are innumerable elements to an author’s style.  Those elements can’t all be nailed down and defined.  One particularly elusive one is speed.

How the characters move through time varies greatly.  A novel might be fast-paced overall, having five sentence conversations that last for what is supposedly ten minutes, or an equally fast overall novel might involve paragraphs of conversation that supposedly barely eclipse the length of an elevator ride to the fourth floor.

The little nuances in how the author measures time might add a subconscious effect on how realistic the story is found by the readers.  The time differences could also be more significant, such as changing how the story evolves.

Currently, in the throes of NaNoWriMo, I am writing with apparent haste and I have to wonder if my own time worries is causing me to project my personal time into the story.  Are my characters’ conversations speeding up and slowing down based on how fast and frantically I’m typing?

Alas, it’s hard to calculate how to expend time in a novel.  Events will still unfold the way makes the most sense, regardless to how much time the writer wants it to take.

Time is divided into scientific, unwavering units really, but when words start hitting the page it’s entirely subjective. Two different readers might even perceive different time amounts in the same scene! So really, it might be best to ignore time altogether….


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