Master of Our Universe - How We Handle Time

I'm not sure if you're like me, but there's instances where I need to fit different aspects in, but I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do it.  In real life, things don't happen immediately, but in fiction sometimes we need to "quicken" things up.  Then again, there's times we need to slow things down.  If I allow it, I can become "dead-locked" not knowing what to move around, and change.  I can become set against changing the time of day or the day itself.  But, there are situations where time needs to be altered.

It's at these intervals, I remind myself that I'm the master of my universe.  How I play things out goes according to my schedule, according to what works best for the book.

Maybe you've been stuck in this "limbo-like" state, wondering so  what am I supposed to do now? Well, if so, take comfort because you're definitely not alone.  These moments can definitely strike during the first draft, if you're a "panster" like me, meaning you write without an outline, and go with the flow.  But I find they really impact me during revisions when I'm trying to ensure everything is progressing with a certain realism.

Sometimes, I hit a block where I tell myself, wait a minute this doesn't work right now, and I have to think forward events through.  There's been times when I say that it took a half hour to do this, when logically the action could be stretched for an hour to two.  Well then...if the hour or two suits the purpose of the book better, it seems like a simple solution - right?  Might not seem like it in the moment if you get dead-locked as I have in the past.  But at this point, I try to recite the simple phrase:  I'm the master of the universe.  In other words, I don't need to feel compressed by self-inflicted constraints.  I can change things, rearrange events, maneuver time in my favor.


  1. I think it's important, too, to make sure the reader experiences these time-transitions as smoothly as possible. I've read books where I've experienced "Reader Jet Lag" - the time jumps were exhausting!
    In my current WIP, I'm struggling with making a week pass VERY quickly, but without leaving the reader thinking "What the HECK?!"

    PS Remember the cheesy old TV meme showing pages flying off the calendar, to indicate the passing of days/weeks? Oh, times were simpler then!

  2. yeah, I remember that happening in old movies and TV shows lol


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