Passage of time in novels

NotaNuffian

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... I think that it is annoying because just like in anime (particularly DBZ withtheir 5 mins being so many episodes) , the passage of time is blurred until unrecognisable and only used when convenient.

I dislike that.

For example, in Kuropon's Runesmith, I have absolutely no idea how old Roland is at the time because time seems to be non-existent. It was through his inner monologue at the later chapters did I know that he was in his early twenties. I have completely lost track ever since he killed the soldier (he was ten, I believe) and then everything was a blur since he worked with a gnome, fucked a half gnome (both were under age of consent... I have no clue) , got stabbed and was forced to flee into a volcanic island. I vaguely recall that he was stabbed at fifteen, that was it.

Then there was Jason Asano and his miraculous speed in level upping, the time was vague as hell (like most novels) so I have no idea where to be in awe of.

Why do authors do that? Is it not easier to try and time manage? Or do they think that they might fall into the CN problem of their MCs taking a year to become god?
 

SailusGebel

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Why do authors do that? Is it not easier to try and time manage? Or do they think that they might fall into the CN problem of their MCs taking a year to become god?
Because it's easier to write that way.
No, it's harder.
I believe the reason is because it's harder to keep track of time.
 

Paul_Tromba

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A lot of time it is just forgotten. It's very easy to forget and it's also difficult to manage in a story where time isn't relative nor necessary. I have made it a habit to explain how much time has passed because it is needed for time travel but it isn't really necessary for a lot of other stories. However, there are plenty of stories that need a sense of time but don't have it because it was forgotten.
 

Bartun

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I write present time, try to avoid flashbacks entirely and character backstories are told through conversation. My story takes place in a time span of only 3 days, in 11 chapters and 68K words that some people call "intense low pacing". I try to include mundane things to show the time passing like characters eating, breakfast and lunch, taking a bath, and even doing their bodily needs. There is just no way people spend 3 days with someone without having to excuse themselves for a quick pee break at least once a day, right?
 

Kuropon

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... I think that it is annoying because just like in anime (particularly DBZ withtheir 5 mins being so many episodes) , the passage of time is blurred until unrecognisable and only used when convenient.

I dislike that.

For example, in Kuropon's Runesmith, I have absolutely no idea how old Roland is at the time because time seems to be non-existent. It was through his inner monologue at the later chapters did I know that he was in his early twenties. I have completely lost track ever since he killed the soldier (he was ten, I believe) and then everything was a blur since he worked with a gnome, fucked a half gnome (both were under age of consent... I have no clue) , got stabbed and was forced to flee into a volcanic island. I vaguely recall that he was stabbed at fifteen, that was it.

Then there was Jason Asano and his miraculous speed in level upping, the time was vague as hell (like most novels) so I have no idea where to be in awe of.

Why do authors do that? Is it not easier to try and time manage? Or do they think that they might fall into the CN problem of their MCs taking a year to become god?
Because I can, Lazy. :blob_hide:
 

NotaNuffian

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I did enjoy ccg
I lost faith along the way and dropped it. Jokes can only carry it that far imo.
Because it's easier to write that way.
No, it's harder.
I believe the reason is because it's harder to keep track of time.
Yeah, I do understand that issue, japanese WNs (then turned LN) like Mushoku, Tate no Yuusha and even Arifureta can't keep their time straight too.

In MT, the author did his best by raising a billboard with his age at every start of the arc, until Rudeus is a full fledged adult and he just say "fuck it" and I completely lost track of when Rudy met his
future self
. In TnY, time does not exist and aging up a loli for legalizing is a lowball, I have no idea what time it was when the queen came back. Then Arifureta... did the edgelord live in the "ultimate dungeon" for a year or two or what? Why are there no changes to his classmates?
A lot of time it is just forgotten. It's very easy to forget and it's also difficult to manage in a story where time isn't relative nor necessary. I have made it a habit to explain how much time has passed because it is needed for time travel but it isn't really necessary for a lot of other stories. However, there are plenty of stories that need a sense of time but don't have it because it was forgotten.
Which makes it frustrating, especially when the author just throws in a "oh look, MC cool af when he only spent one year to be top dog while all the old fogeys are dead dogs" . Time to me is a finite resource and I always believe that it should be at least present at the background, like Harry Potter with the changing of seasons in each book.
I write present time, try to avoid flashbacks entirely and character backstories are told through conversation. My story takes place in a time span of only 3 days, in 11 chapters and 68K words that some people call "intense low pacing". I try to include mundane things to show the time passing like characters eating, breakfast and lunch, taking a bath, and even doing their bodily needs. There is just no way people spend 3 days with someone without having to excuse themselves for a quick pee break at least once a day, right?
Yeah, that is correct. Sadly that is also not what the readers want.
Because I can :blob_hide:
...
 

Paul_Tromba

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Which makes it frustrating, especially when the author just throws in a "oh look, MC cool af when he only spent one year to be top dog while all the old fogeys are dead dogs" . Time to me is a finite resource and I always believe that it should be at least present at the background, like Harry Potter with the changing of seasons in each book.
I agree. It should take years to actually pull off most of the stuff they do. That's why a lot of them use cheats to speed through it. (I.E. Dragon balls time chamber.) It's just lazy writing because the author made the enemy too strong or they don't want to take the time to show their growth at a normal rate. Time has to work with the characters or else they're just being lazy.
 
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Kuropon

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But on a serious note, yes it's easier to give a vague timelapse instead of keeping everything perfectly timed. Think its similar to things like giving a rating like F,E,D etc. to skills in LitRPG novels instead of hard numbers it gives you some breathing space.
 

AliceShiki

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I think it's usually good to note timeskips of weeks/months/years, but the passage of days can be a bit more blurry.

On your example, it seems like there were timeskips of years that were not announced at all... This seems like bad writing to me. You don't simply go and advance 10 years in time without letting your readers know. Suddenly finding out that a 10 years old kid is now 20 is... Weird.
 

Kuropon

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I think it's usually good to note timeskips of weeks/months/years, but the passage of days can be a bit more blurry.

On your example, it seems like there were timeskips of years that were not announced at all... This seems like bad writing to me. You don't simply go and advance 10 years in time without letting your readers know. Suddenly finding out that a 10 years old kid is now 20 is... Weird.
I always put in how many years went by on each timeskip :blob_neutral:
 

Bartun

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I lost faith along the way and dropped it. Jokes can only carry it that far imo.

Yeah, I do understand that issue, japanese WNs (then turned LN) like Mushoku, Tate no Yuusha and even Arifureta can't keep their time straight too.

In MT, the author did his best by raising a billboard with his age at every start of the arc, until Rudeus is a full fledged adult and he just say "fuck it" and I completely lost track of when Rudy met his
future self
. In TnY, time does not exist and aging up a loli for legalizing is a lowball, I have no idea what time it was when the queen came back. Then Arifureta... did the edgelord live in the "ultimate dungeon" for a year or two or what? Why are there no changes to his classmates?

Which makes it frustrating, especially when the author just throws in a "oh look, MC cool af when he only spent one year to be top dog while all the old fogeys are dead dogs" . Time to me is a finite resource and I always believe that it should be at least present at the background, like Harry Potter with the changing of seasons in each book.

Yeah, that is correct. Sadly that is also not what the readers want.

...
Well, yeah. They don't have to like it, I just wanted to deviate from what is the standard and make it a bit more realistic in an uncomfortable way.
 
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remi
... I think that it is annoying because just like in anime (particularly DBZ withtheir 5 mins being so many episodes) , the passage of time is blurred until unrecognisable and only used when convenient.

I dislike that.

For example, in Kuropon's Runesmith, I have absolutely no idea how old Roland is at the time because time seems to be non-existent. It was through his inner monologue at the later chapters did I know that he was in his early twenties. I have completely lost track ever since he killed the soldier (he was ten, I believe) and then everything was a blur since he worked with a gnome, fucked a half gnome (both were under age of consent... I have no clue) , got stabbed and was forced to flee into a volcanic island. I vaguely recall that he was stabbed at fifteen, that was it.

Then there was Jason Asano and his miraculous speed in level upping, the time was vague as hell (like most novels) so I have no idea where to be in awe of.

Why do authors do that? Is it not easier to try and time manage? Or do they think that they might fall into the CN problem of their MCs taking a year to become god?
reminder all of jojo part 5 took place in less than 2 weeks
 

Hans.Trondheim

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... I think that it is annoying because just like in anime (particularly DBZ withtheir 5 mins being so many episodes) , the passage of time is blurred until unrecognisable and only used when convenient.

I dislike that.

For example, in Kuropon's Runesmith, I have absolutely no idea how old Roland is at the time because time seems to be non-existent. It was through his inner monologue at the later chapters did I know that he was in his early twenties. I have completely lost track ever since he killed the soldier (he was ten, I believe) and then everything was a blur since he worked with a gnome, fucked a half gnome (both were under age of consent... I have no clue) , got stabbed and was forced to flee into a volcanic island. I vaguely recall that he was stabbed at fifteen, that was it.

Then there was Jason Asano and his miraculous speed in level upping, the time was vague as hell (like most novels) so I have no idea where to be in awe of.

Why do authors do that? Is it not easier to try and time manage? Or do they think that they might fall into the CN problem of their MCs taking a year to become god?
I had a similar issue with my work, where a reader complained about my 'chaotic' time frame. However, I really did made it chaotic, since it was a major setting of my story (time-reckoning is non-existent, and the passage and duration of seasons are haywire, due to the loss of its god).

Well, it's his only issue with the work. I'm glad he's that invested on it to plot the events on his own. I did tell him not to do it, since it is deliberate.
 

K5Rakitan

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I printed out a paper calendar and wrote things on it to organize my thoughts. It's still not an exact science, though I've spent a lot of time thinking about how long a transcontinental flight will take and what impact shifting time zones can or should have on the characters.My brain is a total bitch sometimes, making me lose far more sleep than my characters.
 

CarburetorThompson

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My most recent story takes place from multiple perspective over only a few minutes. Because of that I give the time (and some other info like altitude) at begging of each perspective change.I feel though if you were writing more traditionally you could convey the passage of time more naturally through thought, conversation, or observation.
 

NitroxDarks

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It's fine if you manage your time by adding random amounts of time to something while do still have a general idea of how much time has passed. I did that and I'm perfectly fine, of course; I also use a note app, I'm not a masochist, let alone one that is so well advanced on their path.
 
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