Sunday, 8 March 2015

Writing - A brief consideration of time.



It would be difficult these days for anyone to say that they are unaffected by the passage of time. We are often bombarded with comments regarding how much faster the world seems to be turning and how fast our lives are flying by. In fact the bottom line is that there are 50 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and so on. It's all about perception.

Image result for stephen hawking

Here is a remarkable man who knows about time and I would recommend his book 'A Brief History of Time'. It is very readable, has personal touches but there are some concepts which are difficult to grasp. I also believe that it has sold over 10 million copies.

Image result for Passage of time

Even writing fiction stories has a time element because it helps the reader get a foot hold in the story.

I heard an interesting take on why time seems to pass more quickly as you get older. Consider!

When you are ten years old one year is 10% of your time on this earth. However, when you are fifty years old one year is only 2% of your life. Psychologically it seems that time is passing more quickly.

Stories have elements of time by design or as a result of need. There are stories about time travel, stories set in the future and stories set in the past. Cessation my dystopian novel, is set ten years from now. It seems that time is almost like a flexible spine giving support, in some degree, to the stories we write.

I recently watched a film 'A New York Winter's Tale' starring, Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe.

Image result for Will Smith - a New York Winters Tale
Will Smith as Lucifer

Will Smith takes quite a small, but nevertheless significant role, as Lucifer and during a conversation rounds on the luckless Crowe (Pearly) who drops the time related word 'now' into the conversation much to the annoyance of Lucifer. It is interesting that Smith only appears a couple of times in a windowless basement reading 'A Brief History of Time' and when his demon speaks the word 'now' responds with his tirade beginning,

'do not speak to me of time demon speech'

"You have no idea what now is. 
Now, I was flying... 
Now, I breathed fire and I ate them as they fled. 
Now, I whipped my tail and the winds trembled. 
Now, I am hidden in this pale shade of flesh and bones. 
Now, I am witness to men's eternal salvation. 
Now, I am witness to his demise. 
Do not speak to me of time, demon, it's simplest ebbs and turns elude your meagre understanding - Find another way, NOW!!!! 


This relatively short tirade seems to me to embody the whole 

complexity of time and I believe is echoed in the well-known 

Salvadore Dali clock painting.


Image result for clocks salvador dali

The more you consider this painting the more, it seems to me, to be 

an excellent representation of the complexities of time. Do not 

neglect time in your writing.

I hope you have time to read this and consider the message.


God Bless