Time as a Story Element ~ Setting, Tone, Atmosphere, & Urgency

🙂 NaNoWriMo coming soon. 🙂

Elizabeth Fais

clockNational Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) is just around the corner—a yearly event in which writers commit to completing a 50,000 word (or more) novel during the month of November. One month. One book. Not a lot of time. So, time as a story element seems like an appropriate blog topic.

Stories unfold over a set interval of time. That’s a given. What I want to discuss is how different types of time can be used as story elements to set mood, further plot, and deepen character. [pc: morguefile.com]

Types of Time

There are four types of time that can be used to add atmosphere, set tone, and increase urgency in a story:

  • Clock time:  Sets mood and creates suspense.
  • Calendar time: Creates a context for events, such as prom, homecoming, and graduation.
  • Seasonal time: Creates atmosphere, as well as providing a backdrop and reason for cultural events and…

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