Tag Archives: time

#Innerscape part 10 – the thriller I had no intention of writing

I’m in way over my head! I write sci-fi, not thrillers or mysteries…so how did I get to a point where I’m having to work out time differentials for the plot?

Before I try to explain what’s been driving me crazy, I need to say that all of my favourite sci-fi books weave together a mix of history, culture, psychology, politics, technology, conflict and an element of mystery. Think Dune, and working out the relationship of the great worms to the planet’s ecology. All of that is normal because good sci-fi creates worlds, and worlds are full of people, and people do ‘stuff’.

I understand all that, especially the bit about people doing ‘stuff’. My problem is that I never expected the characters in Innerscape to finish up doing mystery thriller type stuff.

I’ve read mystery thriller type books by the boat load, but there is a world of difference between reading in a genre and trying to write in that genre. I feel as if I’m groping for the ‘rules’ on the fly, and it’s hard. Integrating the requirements of mystery/thrillers into a sci-fi environment is even harder, and at the moment I’m stuck on ‘time’.

To make the plot work, various people have to do various things, together and in sequence, so I have to know when things happen, right down to the last minute. But…in order to make the Residents of Innerscape feel as if they are living for longer, time in Innerscape runs faster than time on the outside. About twenty minutes faster.

As an aspect of science fiction, this time differential between Innerscape and the outside world is not a big deal. I do some hand waving and a bit of arithmetic and the time flows make sense. Easy peasey…until I introduce the twin elements of mystery and thriller to the mix. Suddenly the difference between Innerscape time and real world time matters, a lot. So does how I present this conflict between internal and external time.

Right from the beginning of Innerscape, I’ve worked hard to make the reader feel as if time really is passing, hopefully without hitting them over the head with dates and durations and elapsed blah blah. Now, though, I’ve reached a point where I really am going to have to elevate time to the position of Very Important Plot Element, and I’m struggling.

The pic below is a screenshot of the StoryBox navigation pane for Part 10. It’s one of the reasons I love StoryBox as it allows me to outline, more or less on the fly:

innerscape navigation time

 

As an outline, the pic only makes sense to me [just as well or I’d have to post a Spoiler Alert!]. But it does show how I’m trying to work out what happens when.

Sadly, the reason I’m writing this post is that I’m sort of stumped…and procrastinating. Once I finish the post, I’m going to have to resort to pen and paper to storyboard the exact sequence of events because at the moment, I feel horribly muddled. -sigh-

If there are any thriller/mystery writers out there with tips, I’d love to hear them.

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 


What a difference a year makes

I’ve been thinking a lot about befores and afters lately.  Life, my life, was very different a year ago. Back then I was new at everything, including blogging. I’m hardly an expert now, but the screenshot below does show how far I’ve come.

wp stats march 2013

In comparison to other, highly successful bloggers, my stats are very average, however my point in sharing them with you is to highlight the importance of something we all know… and constantly forget, namely time. Even in this age of instant everything, good things take time to develop.

This lesson is particularly important to me because, like all new authors, I struggle with impatience. The six year old hiding inside this 60 year old body wants fame and fortune right now!

Thankfully I am 60 instead of 6,   so today I’m counting my blessings, and right at the forefront of those blessings is the knowledge that I am healthy. I still have time to achieve my dreams. I still have time to write more books.  I still have time to raise awareness of bushfire danger here where I live. And I still have time to enjoy the company of friends and family. That time is a gift beyond measure.

However as I take stock of my blessings, I know not everyone has been given the gift of time that I am enjoying. The children massacred in  Sandy Hook, USA were  not given that gift. And Lady Julia Prosser of Wales was not given that gift either. Lady J lost her fight with pancreatic cancer, and her family, along with the families of the children of Sandy Hook are going to have an awful Easter.

But its not too late for the rest of us to make this world a better place. We have the gift of time. Let’s not waste it.

Rest in Peace.


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