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[Comments] (2) Chronological Order: I thought I'd avoided the mistakes that first-time writers make, but I think I found one that nobody told me. Your short story should be in chronological order. My story was almost in chronological order. There was one scene that I displayed (in two parts) before it "really" happened. But that little bit of jumping around created four time-shifts in the story, making the whole thing seem disjointed and plotless.

All day I gnashed my teeth trying to figure out how to get that damn scene into its chronological place in the story. So many dependencies, so many facts it establishes that I need later. I finally just dropped the scene into the right place and started hacking at the dangling references. The guts are still showing, but amazingly the story now has a plot. One thing happens, and it makes another thing happen, and things cause other things until the story ends, and that's a plot. There are no random notes from the future coming in and obscuring the connection between things x and x+1.

Maybe it's not that strict a rule, but I'm a well-known anti-fan of flashbacks, so for me it's chronological order or totally disassociated sequence of images. It can't be half and half, it can't be now and then.

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Posted by Brian Danger Hicks at Sun Aug 06 2006 04:01

This tip is not very helpful for time-travel stories.

Posted by Leonard at Sun Aug 06 2006 08:38

Maybe, maybe not. In a time travel story you could at least pick one character and tell it in chronological order from their subjective experience.


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