How to Seamlessly Write a Time Skip in Your Story?

Understanding how to write a time skip in a story can significantly fine-tune your storytelling abilities. If you’re having trouble executing time skips, you’re in the right place.

Understanding Time Skips

In essence, a time skip is a literary device that allows authors to fast-forward the story’s timeline, leaving out uneventful parts and focusing on the most significant events and developments.

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Types of Time Skips

Typically, there are two types of time skips:

  • Small skips: These are brief leaps in time, spanning minutes, hours, or a few days. This type is often used when changing scenes or moving to the next chapter.
  • Large skips: These are extensive jumps, covering weeks, months, or years. Large skips are usually marked by dividing the story into sections or starting a new chapter or book in a series.

Signalling a Time Skip

Signalling a time skip is crucial to avoid confusion. Here are some strategies to effectively indicate a time skip:

Clear Transition: Use phrases like “Years passed,” “One month later,” to indicate to the reader that time has passed.

– Use narrative description to give a summary of what transpired during the time skip.

Chapter breaks can be used to indicate a major time skip.

Changed Setting: Describe the new environment or how it evolved to show that time has passed.

Formatting: Use extra spaces between paragraphs, symbols like asterisks (***), or the inclusion of dates to signal a jump in time.

Timestamp the scene if that’s the narrative style you follow.

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Showing Character Development

Character development is an important aspect that can be effectively portrayed through a time-skip strategy. Changes in the characters over skipped time can instantly tell the reader that time has passed. Observations about character transformations differentiated by time, reinforce the idea of a time skip to the reader without overtly mentioning it.

Transition Paragraphs

Transition paragraphs connect what was previously known with the new information post a time skip. Therefore, it is critical to maintain seamless story flow.

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Avoid Excessive Detail

Remember not to overload your time skip signals with excessive details. The essence of a time skip lies in its subtlety and its ability to maintain a smooth and engaging narrative flow.


Mastering the art of writing time skips can simplify the storytelling process and enhance the story’s depth and reader engagement. The idea is to make the reader aware of time shifts without breaking the narrative rhythm. Remember, practice and experience will polish your skills in this area.

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