Physical Space

Physical space is clearly an important element of a story's setting. So is movement through that space. Writing movement and the passage of time can be challenging, particularly if you are writing a novel or long narrative. Shifting scenes from a character's dialogue to action can puzzle even an experienced writer.

However, there are several identifiable techniques for writing time and space. Often, a writer employs these techniques so well that as readers, we don't recognize the shifts as interruptions. Rather, the narrative works something like our own thought processes, making associative leaps between memory, present consciousness, and contemplation. Some techniques, of course, are obvious shifts in the text. White space and page breaks are useful tools for moving from one scene to another. Notice how Ambrose Bierce uses section breaks in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."

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