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Offline The Author Guy  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 8:42:27 PM(UTC)
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Hi,

One thing that I sort of think confused a few people/or was not completely obvious was the time table of events in book 1.

Book 1 takes place over a grand total of 30 Astlanian days. 1 1/2 Anuropian Quarter Months, 3 weeks.

There were some multi-day gaps in the book, particularly near the beginning, but by the end time was pretty much contiguous.

Book 2 takes place over an even shorter period of 10 Astlanian days. One week/half a quarter month. By the end of Book 2, Tom will have been a demon for only 1 Uropian month.

This is a very fast time table for most fantasy books. I think this is why so many people were perplexed about things like a love interest for Tom...between adjusting and the various insanity, there was no time to really build a relationship for him. Under the best of conditions with a job/school how likely are you to find a new love interest with 30 days of moving to a new country? Particularly one where no one gets your Star Trek and Star Wars references?

Anyway, book ii moves into hyperdrive and we have almost the same number of words/pages in book 2 but one third the time, the fact that demons and avatars don't sleep, means we have round the clock 20 hour action that is all mostly sequential or maybe overlapping.

So do you guys think including periodic date/time updates would be useful?

T-A-G
Offline Nightmares  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:32:51 PM(UTC)
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Look like there will be a lot of actions in book 2. I think you should include time/date just in case some people might want to have a sense of time.
Offline Pathologic  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:37:59 PM(UTC)
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Yeah, cause then we know who does whom when and not just where (God forbid: there is no romance in a book). Could be helpful to put things into perspective ( e.g. the mirror thing in book one).

Edited by user Tuesday, June 2, 2015 9:41:13 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline The Author Guy  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 10:01:54 PM(UTC)
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There is a lot of activity. Lots of quick scene changes.

There are some very big events but....

It's about half of where I thought book ii would go.

So in many ways, it will set a very big stage for Book III & IV. I now cringe to hear people groan as I type this.

Long and short of it, the events at the end of Book I were so huge (in terms of freaking out the observers) that I felt it necessary to go into pretty good detail on the reactions and aftermath, particularly since those actions and the aftermath were sort of like opening the door to Fibber McGee's Closet.

All sorts of crazy starts spilling out now and the motives of some of the players become much clearer.

Offline Rosver  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 10:32:25 PM(UTC)
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Some fuzzy time clues would help. Let them observe that a few days had passed, or that they are travelling for about a week, etc.

Also confusing is that the time in the Abyss and the time is Astlan doesn't seem to be consistent. Sometimes they flow at the same speed sometimes it seems not. Antefalken's rendezvou in the Absyss is specially confusing to me as the time in Astlan and Abyss doesn't seem to syncronize and very little indication of time is given.

I'm glad that there is no romance and love interest. It would have been unnatural given the situation. And what is with the people nowdays, they constantly demand love interests and romance. Many fantasy books i read have this very contrived romance going on.

Seems Book II would have lots of exciting stuff.
Offline The Author Guy  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 10:50:02 PM(UTC)
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In the first book some of the time was a little fuzzy to me as well...I wrote it over a very long period of time.

I have subsequently gone back during the re-editing and stuck dates in the Word Comments, so I know what is/was when.

In theory, Abyss and Astlan do match up. I did check that, but I get the fuzziness--I felt it too. If I were waxing poetic, I'd say that time seems to pass much more slowly in the abyss since there aren't a lot of reference points (at least as far as Tom knew) No day or night, no sun, not a lot of weather. There was a lot of boredom while there.

Now, of course, there is absolutely no reason that time should move the same in all the realms, particularly as you get farther out. However one would expect nearby planes to have a similar t axis.

Of course measurement of time varies by planet rotation and that is something that inter dimensional travelers have to deal with and starts to actually get interesting by the end of book ii.

Anyway, for all nearby planes delta t or the change in time as measured by an accurate device should be the same move the same. But other than Tizzy, who is to say how 'close' the Abyss is.

However, while delta t is the same, the time of day maybe very different because of the rotation rate. days on one planet might be 3/4 the length of another planet etc.

Actually, there is quite a bit of discussion on such things in book ii (in conversations) as it starts to get important.

As a hint, a lot LOT more happens in the Abyss this time.



Offline Anskier  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:08:52 PM(UTC)
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I think it would be very helpful to have some time frame indications or dates, especially in cases of when the viewpoint shifts
Offline The Author Guy  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:15:09 PM(UTC)
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Viewpoints will be doing that a lot.

I am trying to get Chapters under control. I am going for fewer/longer chapters, mainly because Chapter breaks in Dead Trees require wasting a page if you always want to start a chapter on an odd page...and the previous one ends on an even one.

So therefore I am using

~

Subheadings to show point of view shifts.

Because so much is happening at about the same time, there are a lot of these. It's designed even more like a modern TV show with scene switching, than the previous book.

Offline Rosver  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:41:55 PM(UTC)
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There was an indication that time passes at the same speed in Astlan and Abyss. That is when Edwyrd depends on Tizzy to 'call' him from the Abyss through their 'connection' so that Edwyrd could have a target for opening a gate. Maelen and Tizzy was able to syncronize preperly.
Offline Pathologic  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:58:28 PM(UTC)
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It only indicates that in that interval roughly the same amount of time passed. The function, that describes the ...ehm... relative time passing, doesn't have to be linear.

As long as you don't make time travel possible, i wouldn't be overly concerned.

Edited by user Wednesday, June 3, 2015 12:02:12 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline The Author Guy  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, June 3, 2015 1:13:03 AM(UTC)
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Yes the time delta is the same between the Abyss and Astlan. Time does move the same.

There is no day or night in the Abyss, except in the courts. The fake days typically correlate to someplace on Astlan...not clear where.
Offline Killblah  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, June 3, 2015 8:55:24 PM(UTC)
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Astlan is a planet, with X rotational speed, gravity etc, so it should have a normal consistent flow of time, but the abyss is just a plane of existence so it probably doesn't rotate, also since its not a planet its gravitational force should be very different to astlan.

so for the flow of to even slightly match up. it should mean that magic effects the flow of time in the abyss, but it might not be that consistent, so could that result in tom experiencing annoying time skips e.g. one day in the abyss equal ten in astlan or vice versa?

just a thought.
Offline The Author Guy  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, June 3, 2015 11:11:54 PM(UTC)
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Well that's a very interesting possibility that I want to explore.

Much like gravity affects the flow of time.

On a large scale, I have to suspect that the topology of the multiverse might affect time, even as the curvature of space time affects time in our single universe.

E.g. Interstellar and it's black hole and wormholes.

My guess is that things within a given localverse have the same time flow (albeit different length of days depending on the planet) but that really far out planes might have a different time flow.

The thought that magic, or mana or animus or something might also affect time, the same way mass does, is quite interesting to me.
Offline Threefinger  
#14 Posted : Saturday, June 6, 2015 10:23:20 PM(UTC)
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One possibility for there to be some inconsistencies with the passage of time on Astlan vs the Abyss is that there isn't an actual disparity between the two, it just seems like it to people in the abyss. You could theorize that the fact that Astlan is constantly summoning demons has magically linked the planes which would cause them to become synchronized in time. However, when plagued with boredom and an inability to sleep time could feel like it isn't passing at all, I would expect to feel a little bit of fuzziness about the time if I had nothing to do for days on end, couldn't sleep, and there wasn't a day/night cycle. Honestly I'm fairly certain that the majority of people would wind up rather similar to Tizzy after a month or two if they couldn't find something to occupy themselves with. Maybe thats why he is insane? He went too long without having anything to do?

As for possible fixes for the readers not having to try to figure out what is happening in what order or simultaneously or whatnot, dates could probably be inserted over the perspective change breaks pretty neatly. I know that you are trying to save space so you can cram the dead tree edition as full of content as possible so the usual method of dropping lots of vague time related hints into the text would probably just eat up space, not to mention the editing backlog that would probably cause. Dates or a small time reference taking the place of the perspective change lines seems like an elegant solution, maybe a date/time/location?
Offline The Author Guy  
#15 Posted : Saturday, June 6, 2015 10:50:19 PM(UTC)
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What I'm doing for the moment is that I had comments in the Word Document to help me keep track of when was when.

So this week I went back and where I felt appropriate basically put a version of the comment in as a different style at some section or chapter breaks.

This is rather inconsistent about when they appear our how frequently, but I tried to not over do it. In some cases you could tell from the discussion/event what time of day it is (they are eating breakfast, the sun is setting) So there, I just let people assume it's the next closest time of day like that that you would have.

Then if they think they've gone too far ahead, they can will see when they get to it. This will be something worth beta demon advice. Too many, too few, add one here, get rid of this one etc.

Jerry
Offline Threefinger  
#16 Posted : Saturday, June 6, 2015 11:09:59 PM(UTC)
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Ah okay, if you have the space for it allocated already then it should be fine, that's really how I prefer it gets done anyways, easier to maintain your immersion in the story that way.
Offline The Author Guy  
#17 Posted : Sunday, June 7, 2015 5:01:11 PM(UTC)
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Just so I am clear

You like it worked into the paragraph?

I mean it's my normal mode is that if there is a large break in time, I mention it with "Jenn had spent the last 6 days cleaning up the rubble made by demons bursting from the walls." (Hint that doesn't actually happen)

Otherwise I assume or try to imply, that the next section is sequential or at best simultaneous, and if a break of a few hours, I try to speak of the time delay

The big problem is that in this book, there are lots of scene changes and you can be whipping between timezones on a plane (i.e. the sun is lower in eastern locations) as well as completely different planes or other places where time is complicated or different.

Offline Threefinger  
#18 Posted : Monday, June 8, 2015 12:19:23 AM(UTC)
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Personally I prefer it worked into the paragraph, for me its just feels like it flows better. I've seen both methods work but I usually don't bother to keep track of the dates if they are given.

Now for the scene changes I wouldn't mind if you put the name of whoever is taking the perspective for the new section in the break if there is going to be a lot of switches, about the only ones that you can instantly recognize from the first sentence is the Oorstemothians. sometimes it takes a second to recognize the perspective switch with some of the others. Well, at least for those that won't know when they buy the book that those breaks are for perspective changes. We all know thats what they are there for but new readers might not.
Offline The Author Guy  
#19 Posted : Monday, June 8, 2015 4:55:29 PM(UTC)
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Yeah, I tried to start perspective changes with "so and so said" this time around. Hopefully it will be much clearer, but I still fear as the cast grows heads will start to spin.

The perspective changes ~ shows up a lot this time and there are fewer chapters.

Chapters are still problematic for me in that something that slowly started long ago with book one and you can see it increase towards the end, is that for this story I writing it as if I am watching a television show or a movie. I.e. people come on say what they need to say and we cut to a new scene.

The problem is many scenes are only a few pages long and if each were a chapter, you waste a lot of dead tree space because chapters should start only on odd pages and if you end on an even page, the back page should be blank. That adds to the page count, which adds to the cost of the dead tree edition.

I really wish I could offer a cheaper dead tree version, but the only way I can do that is to offer a bigger page size, e.g. like a table top RPG manual that's 11x14 or something....which is pretty awkward to read while reclining or carry with you (of course you'd get the ebook for free)
Offline smw  
#20 Posted : Monday, June 8, 2015 5:58:22 PM(UTC)
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The Koban series which has quite a few different perspectives just uses "****" or something like that to signify scene shift. I don't think it is necessarily a change is perspective although it often is.

By the way, I highly recommend the series for when you need a break after finishing HH.

Then again... don't take a break, I will expect the next book out ASAP. Dancing
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