The Ruins of the Chateau of Pierrefonds,
Cincinnati Art Museum.
(The first print I ever bought, somewhere around the age of twelve, was a Corot. A cheap thing in a plastic frame from the local five-and-dime.)
I've just figured out a lateral reason why romance is so popular as a genre these days -- no one has time for it in real life.
Slogging along with my present WIP, I noticed something that made me pause and sit down under a tree to catch my breath.
The time frame.
Within the first twenty-four hours, my Lillie is attacked by a simulacra of her dead husband, detects a trap, confers with Dumbarton (the spectral hound), meets the hero, discovers a ritual murder at her husband's grave, realizes she may be under suspicion for murder, runs into a bean sidhe, and is attacked by a revenant.
Within the next twelve she investigates a desecrated grave, encounters a death messenger, exorcizes a pedophile ghost and probes psychokinetic activity.
And the story is just getting started.
No wonder she's developing a tension headache.
There's calculated fast-pacing -- and then there's head-long stampede.
I wonder if readers subconsciously and consistently graph events in a novel along a regular time frame.
If they do -- unless I spread things out and slow things down -- I'm afraid I may leave the reader feeling they've been swotted on the side of the head. Or suffering from decompression for the rest of the novel. Or just saying WTF?
So what time frames are you inclined to use during a narrative's progress?
How telescoped is your action?
You know you're in trouble when: you need to consult a dictionary to find a synonym for "meet."
To peel or strip. A word I hope never to see in an erotic romance.