10 September 2010

Timing is everything...

In life, in comedy and fiction... timing really is everything.

I've found the men in my life seem to have the worst timing ever. In comedy, it takes a certain knack to deliver that one-liner at just the right moment -- moments I tend to miss in real life. You know, the come-back you think of hours or even days after a certain conversation? I hate when that happens. Although I have had some success in the past:

Dh models a hideous plaid suit jacket. "How do I look?"

"Lonely."


Timing in fiction can be just as tricky. Have you ever read a book where there seems to be too much going on in a particular wedge of time? Um, yeah... how can they meet, fall in love, have sex, defeat the bad guy AND find the missing diamonds in the space of twenty-four hours??? (Toss book at wall.) Or maybe the author skips entire days/weeks of time because nothing of interest happened. More realistic, sure, but distracting all the same.

I hate those bumps when I'm reading, so I'm careful in my writing when it comes to time frame. Okay, I usually have to smooth my own 'bumps' out in the editing phase, but I do my best. Don't want anyone tempted to throw their Kindle, laptop, etc, at the wall. Ouch.

I found myself wondering the other day about the timing in my current wip -- the big one, not the shorter one -- and if the events are falling into a feasible time-line. Why bother? I'm already asking my reader to suspend their disbelief and accept my alternate world-within-a-world, I don't think I can ask them to completely ignore physics, too. ;)

So far, I haven't had to change anything major to make things fit. Believe me, having to add and/or delete entire sections of hard-won-writing is about as painful as having an in-grown toe nail removed. Ever try it? The shot(s) to numb it are excruciating!

But I digress...

Let's suffice to say that I'd rather tweak my timing now rather than later and have to dismantle a finished story. Finished being a rather loose term. I'm not sure I ever really 'finish' a book to my complete satisfaction. :\ But that's a post for another day.

~~Meg Allison
Indulge your senses...
www.megallisonauthor.com
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