Book Reviews - Women - Writing

Does it Spoil the Story?

Some novels published in recent years have a new pattern. Instead of telling a story chronologically, chapters can go back and forth in time. It is helpful that a date is placed at the beginning of a chapter. Still, sometimes I am confused.

I have also read books with several main characters with a whole cast of minor characters. I can’t keep track of all the characters and have to turn back, leafing through the pages to recall the character. I met someone who takes notes as she reads a novel.

Sometimes it is information overload. I learn and I get the message and yet . . . 

The goal of a novel is to tell a story. When I am carried forward by a story, able to feel the setting and know the characters it is a bit of magic.

Currently I am reading a historical novel about a nurse who was at the military base near Pearl Harbor when the bombs were dropped in 1941. It based on the true-life story of U.S. Army Lieutenant Annie Fox. The Woman with the Purple Heart is by Diane Hanks.  I am appreciating the chronological telling of the story.

Have you read a novel recently? What are your thoughts?

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Sharing this post with the Five Minute Friday writing community. Today’s prompt is: SPOIL Also linking with Sweet Tea and Friends and Senior Salon Pit Stop .

Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.

9 Comments on “Does it Spoil the Story?

  1. I haven’t read any novels that go back and forth yet. I do have some sitting in my Amazon wishlist though. I’m reading the Irish Boarding House right now.
    Thanks bunches for sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month sweet friend.

  2. the going back and forth in time is hard, particularly when I do most of my reading via audio book. Some folks narrate the back and forth well, but many do not.
    But I don’t mind the books with tons of characters, as long as they are distinct, if they muddy it up with too much similarities I tend to lose my focus.
    Your most recent read sounds interesting, hopefully reviews I read won’t spoil the story in the end. 🙂

  3. It can be confusing when a story goes back and forth in time. I notice this even in TV shows or movies at times. It sure keeps me on my toes and paying attention though as I don’t want to miss anything 🙂

  4. I agree, it can be confusing at times when the story is not told chronologically. I have read books where it has worked well – mostly moving back and forward between two timeframes – and the story has been revealed in a very clever way, but I read another book where the story was told backwards, and I struggled with this.

  5. I love this post. Yes I agree with you, I think it’s confusing when novels go back and forward in time, rather than telling the story in chronological order. I sometimes skip those back in time chapters, because it makes it harder to follow the main story, but then I miss stuff along the way.
    God bless.

    1. If it is historical fiction, I feel compelled to catch the details–but I’m a little frustrated to keep paging back. Thanks for visiting!

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