W asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

How do you create the illusion that a lot of time has passed in a book?

I'm not a big fan of just saying ten years later or a decade has passed etc.. but I want to create an illusion in the reader that a lot of time has passed. And I think 2000 - 3000 words is plenty so I'd rather not write more. Are there certain tricks to use in order to create the feeling 10 or 20 years has passed without explicitly saying so?

7 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    stephanie meyers just had sheets in the books that said i think october lmaoo and the months . brilliant! lol

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The volvo 747 made way for a Renault Senic with a determined looking grill face after anticlimatically coasting to a halt on the way home from the grocery store to buy the chocolate chips Martha needed to make cookies for the fourth grade bake sale.

  • 1 month ago

    Have a  dog in the household that got old, e.g. "when Hector was a pup." 

  • 1 month ago

    You sure you want to annoy readers who'd like you to cut to the chase, getting back to the characters and what's happening?

    Yes, you can show the passage of time by noting changes in something physical, a few thousand words about silver hairs among the gold or how big the tree has grown, but that's literally padding unless it serves a greater purpose.

    Everything in your novel needs to either illuminate character or propel plot.

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  • 1 month ago

    An object can be used to show time, wallpaper can fade, furniture develops squeaks and cracks. Gardens grow more weeds than flowers. Or you can show the positive side of time: trees grow from saplings to tall shady Oasises. A garden can go from a few struggling rose bushes to a floral fantasy A business in the  corner of the kitchen can take up the whole house. A baby can become a teen or a once awkward teen can be a beautiful young woman.

  • 1 month ago

    You simply give precise measurements of the distance between the continents of South America and Africa, before and after. By way of a simple mathematical formula called "subtraction" the reader should be able to assess the correct amount of time which has passed. And, as continental drift is a well-understood phenomenon, you can be assured of precision.

  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Some examples:

     when he looked in the mirror he could see only grey hair, not the dark hair of his youth

    each day it became more difficult to climb the stairs and she wondered where the spryness of her youth had gone

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