Like setting and conflict, time is one of those Important Novel Elements discussed in every writing class I have ever taken. When does one scene take place in relation to another? How is that conveyed? And whatever you do, don’t go overboard on the flashbacks.
All good advice, of course, however, nothing makes me more aware of how to use an element more than somebody who manages to refashion it in a fresh new way—and make it work. Such is Eleanor Updale‘s The Last Minute, in which each of the sixty chapters portrays exactly one second before the detonation of a bomb–with apparently very tense and compelling results.
Cool. I haven’t read it (though I do plan to) however, the concept alone is enough to make me rethink how to tap into the power of time.
So thank you Eleanor, and your The Last Minute premise, it inspires me.