What Time is it?

I'm not sure any of us like
it when our alarm goes off
Time is essential for guiding our lives.  It gives us deadlines, provides a gauge to celebrate occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays to mention a few.  The clock tells us when we should be somewhere.  It is a barometer for setting goals, and assessing whether we've reached them.

There are people who are on time for everything.  Then of course, there's always the bunch that can't allow themselves to be governed by a clock. (Personally, I'd rather move at my own pace...I'll get there when I get there...)

But, honestly it doesn't matter how much we respect time, we are all forced to acknowledge it.  As the saying goes time waits for no man.

And with time being so relative there's moments we wish it to move faster, wish it to slow down.  Not sure if you're like myself and my co-workers, but Monday through Friday, we are always saying are we there yet.  Of course there refers to the glorious weekend.

So how can we apply the human relationship with time to our writing?

Self-evident is the fact we need to be aware of time in order to write a book in the first place.  We need to know how a sequence of events unfold, and know the timeline.

You could have a character is on time for everything, or have one that is routinely late.  (If you could incorporate both, you could have an interesting tidbit of conflict between the two characters.)

Have your characters glance at clocks or watches to gauge what time of day it is.

Have a character complain about the fact they have to be up so early in the day.  (I know I did this with my FBI agent in Eleven.)

These are just a few ways we can use the aspect of time, and its human relationship in our writing.  What about you?  What ideas do you have to utilize this?


  1. Great post--time really is a wacky thing, isn't it? I like to include those perspectives of it dragging or speeding. I DO have a time weakness, though... I like to account for all the time. I have a very hard time skipping to the next spot with action. I have no clue why I can't but at least in my first drafts I write sort of 'real time'.

  2. Thank you for your comment Hart, and welcome to my blog. I find that as the writer we have to be in control of time from the start, even the first draft, or we would make A LOT of extra work for ourselves later on.

  3. Time is tricky, in life and definitely in writing. Transitioning is difficult sometimes. Sometimes, you worry that you need to tell the reader exactly what day it is. Sometimes, you worry you're not putting enough time in between the actions. Sometimes, I just don't know how to move from one scene to the next! Transitions in general are difficult.

    Good suggestions - and I have one more. The sun's relation to the horizen. If the character's looking out the window...wow...you've made me think about this! haha, I hadn't consiously thought of it before.

  4. Interesting post! Time is something I always have to work on in books. While I generally have a basic timeline, I'm not that attuned to it in my daily life! :-D

  5. Marion, I think a lot of writers could attest to not being attuned to time in life lol So many things to do, so many distractions


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