Time jumps can be performed between scenes or chapters, as well as inside chapters. You may state something like, "Three months later..." directly. Alternatively, you might include it smoothly into the narration: "Three months had gone and I..." Take cautious not to include too many timeskips in your plot. If they start to feel forced, readers will hate them.
Timeskips are used in historical fiction to show that certain events occurred at different times for different characters. For example, if I were writing about the American Revolution, I could describe the scene where Thomas Jefferson is burning books by saying, "Within sight of the Capitol dome, a young fireman was busy destroying papers left and right. He had been hired by our president, Thomas Jefferson, to clean out his office and burn all documents relating to the war with England." In this case, I have skipped over three months to immediately follow up on what happened during that time. The reader knows how long the time skip is because I included it with an indicator (such as "3 months had gone by...").
There are two types of timeskips: sudden and smooth. Sudden timeskips occur when the main character learns or discovers something new that affects the entire story. For example, let's say that in my novel someone murders their wife. This would be a sudden timeskip because everything in the story changes after this point.
The writer must demonstrate to the reader that time has passed—whether it is hours, a day, a month, or even years—somewhere between the event and the narrative. The tale should include time markers or allusions to show the reader how much time has elapsed from one point to the next. For example, if a story takes place over several days, the writer could say something like, "It was early Monday when John realized what he'd done..." Or she could simply tell the reader that it's now Tuesday.
Time can also be important to a story when describing past events. If someone tells you about an incident that happened last week but you know it didn't happen until this morning because you saw the sun rise this morning, then time is crucial to the story. Without giving away any plot points, let's say that the incident involved someone being beaten up by another student. If I told you everything that person did last week would happen before we left school today, the story would be too short. So I had to skip some details—like whether or not the victim fought back—to make room for other things.
In addition to showing time passing, writers often use descriptions of weather to indicate season or change of season.
The employment of characters in your script is one technique to demonstrate the passage of time. Their conversation, look, and position may even explain the passage of time without their character's name being spoken. For example, one friend of mine has a scene where two friends are having an argument and suddenly realize that it is late at night; they pause and glance at the clock. This can be done simply by showing the hour on a digital clock or a traditional analog clock.
Another way to show time passing is with setting changes. If your story takes place in one location but shows that it is later in the evening, then someone might leave and another scene might begin. You could indicate this by having some sort of setting change - maybe a window is opened, or there's a breeze coming through the room. Whatever the case may be, make sure you describe what's happening outside the character's view so we know that time has passed.
Last but not least, time can also be shown through action. If your character sleeps for an hour but does something else over that time, then that's enough to show that it has passed. Sleep is basically unconsciousness, so nothing happens while you're asleep - you don't feel like you've been there for an hour though!
Showtime is an important aspect in writing scenes.
What are some story examples of time? Let us choose a few novels at random and quote the opening lines: "Jennifer was 15 years old when..." "My brother was still suffering nightmares ten years after the Gulf War." "Sofia was 24 when she met Prince Charming and told him so." "It is only by standing back from our lives that we can appreciate how far we have come or how fast we have traveled.
Time affects everyone in stories, whether it is used to tell about past events (history), describe present circumstances (present tense), or forecast future actions (future tense). Time also plays an important role in creating tension and excitement as the story unfolds. We will discuss these topics in more detail below under the categories of history, the present, and the future. For now, let us just examine several sample uses of time in stories.
First, time can be used to tell about past events.
How should it be written? The easiest approach to jump in time is to use a new scene heading or a secondary slug such as "LATER." Because the reader will only see this, you may need to specify how the different times of day will be graphically depicted on the screen. For example, if it's night and then morning, then there's no need for text styling since they're both dark colors on light background. Or perhaps have a clock display during nighttime and disappear in the daylight.
You can also use the SLUG command to refer to specific points in the story. This includes chapters and sections. For example, if the chapter is called "Midnight" and the section is called "Abe needs to go to the bathroom," you could type "SLUG Midnight ABOBE NEEDS TO GO TO THE BATHROOM" to jump directly to that point in the story.
There are two main types of time jumps: linear and non-linear. In a linear time jump, the story or novel takes a sharp turn at the beginning of the jump and then resumes where it left off. This means that everything leading up to the jump is one continuous sequence and then everything after the jump begins fresh.
For example, if it's night and you want to go into morning, simply have the character wake up.
There are two ways to skip days in a novel: one is to use an epilogue; the other is to use a future script. In an epilogue, you bring the story back to where it left off with the main characters still in the same situation they were in at the end of the last chapter. This can be done by having them reach for their cell phones and find missing persons reports about themselves from the daily newspaper. Or someone might call and tell them that a friend has died. Or they might get an email from their ex-girlfriend saying she's moved on and wants her stuff back. The point is, something has changed in their lives and it requires them to move on too.
Future scripts are stories that you'll write down later. You can either start them now and finish them later or vice versa. Either way works well for scripting because once you have the outline ready, there's no difference between beginning and ending a story. You just keep going until you run out of pages!