Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jumping Ahead

I manage to get some reading time in these days and have begun to notice a trend that even some of my favorite, well-known authors are doing, and that is skipping ahead with regard to the time frame. I've done it myself, sometimes at the end of a story I'll do a brief chapter starting out, one year later kind of thing. But a few of the books I've read lately go over the top in my opinion.

Recently I read an author who I love. Through most of the book the writing went smoothly and at a nice pace. However, the last few chapters had me frowning as she would start some chapters and even paragraphs with something like three weeks later, then six months later, then four days later, and on it went until finally the end. It left me with the feeling that she got tired of writing the story and just wanted to get it over with, instead of writing out what her characters were doing.

For some reason that bugs the crap out of me, so I wanted to get your ideas on it. Does it bother you when an author jumps ahead like that in her story line? Just curious.


Emily said...

That does annoy me. There are rare exceptions where authors use time skips like this and it works, though the story has to be designed with those in mind. I see it most often in adventure/fantasy books where they go to travel and while you see some of the big action events, the boring minutia of the travel is skipped over because it wouldn't be interesting to constantly read about traveling on horseback, boat, etc. So in that case, I don't mind it so much. But when authors use it to skip developmental details, such as how a relationship develops, important plot points, etc., then it irritates me so much. I don't mind a time skip as an epilogue/look at the future, but using it constantly in the story for no reason? If an author can't bother to spend time and write the story, then I won't bother to waste my time reading it.

Tory Richards said...

Hi Emily! Yeah, some of it does make sense, and you'd expect to see it. But not so much in the contemporary books I favor. It's kind of disappointing that a couple of my favorite authors are doing it more and more, I guess because their readers aren't complaining. They're also putting out more books so I guess skipping ahead saves them time and allows them to publish more.

I do it once in a while but not more than once in a story and then usually at the end. I hope I'm not forced to eat my words later:)

LisaParker said...

I don't much care for cliff hangers... sometimes because it takes so long to get the next story that I lose interest to soon. The author must keep my attention at all times and make me want to read the next one.

Tory Richards said...

I agree! When I like an author who has written a cliffhanger I'll follow her on Amazon so that I'll be notified of the next release. But that's not often.