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A possible disconnect between chapters:

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by ChasingSuns, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    So before I begin this, I wanna clarify that I know that it's not usually a good idea to start editing before you've finished your first draft, but this has been nagging at my brain for so long that I wanna get answers. This way I have notes for later editing purposes. With that being said, here's my question.

    The first chapter of my story ends with the two main characters dropping off someone they were escorting in a village. I do not describe their time in the village. Instead, the chapter ends with them reaching it. The second chapter jumps ahead a couple of days. The person they were escorting has already left, and they are just now leaving. They go to the capital of the kingdom, and some things happen that lead them to bumping back into the person that they were escorting. So my question is, is it awkward to end one chapter with them approaching one location, and then starting the next with them leaving a few days later? Sorry if this isn't making any sense, my brain is having a hard time wrapping around if this is even an issue or not. Also, I must add that there is another time jump between them leaving and them reaching the capital.

    Perhaps I should just have them pass through the town, and escort the individual all the way to the capital?
     
  2. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    If there's nothing important about the village then you can probably get away with a short paragraph or two describing it and then move on.
     
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  3. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    I was thinking about that as well. Although I don't really want to merge the two chapters because there are too many details that need to be said. So that being said, perhaps the idea of them continuing with her is the answer? Perhaps that would keep things moving more fluidly?
     
  4. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

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    The way I see it, chapter breaks are the perfect place to make jumps in time, whether it is two minutes or two decades. The way to handle it is to show, or otherwise strongly imply, that time has passed. Try to do this without telling. Character thoughts or dialogue can go a long way in getting this info across to a reader.

    In general, it is a good idea to have your narrative doing more than one job at a time, whenever possible. So, for instance, while having your two characters talk about this event at the beginning of the second chapter, you can also take the opportunity to characterize them by how they speak, what they say, how they interact, etc.

    I hope I'm making sense here--
     
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  5. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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    It will be fine as long as when you start the next chapter you indicate time has passed. Whether or not you mention that the other person has left already depends on if your main characters are going to directly encounter them again. If your MCs do some side journeying first then it doesn't matter when the other character leaves the village.
     
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