Dragging out timeline?

I am currently in the process of writing a WW2 book that has a 12-year timeline. That is a problem in itself because there is so much to fit in, but in order to make it accurate, I am having to drag events out rather a lot.

I have 4 written chapters, all of which are in 1933. Of course, not every year will hold that much importance. Do you think this is too much of a build-up? (My main aim is to show that the events of the Holocaust didn’t just happen over night)

Can you skip dates / time? Like, skip from one event in year (as example) 1934 then next chapter is 1937 w/ next event.

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Yeah, I was considering doing that, especially if the events don’t specifically effect the character


Just maybe put it in the background, like add some dialogue or the character remembering a news article in some significant way if you believe it’s important that the event exists in your character’s world, even if it didn’t directly or intensely impact them

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I sometimes have plot that span centuries. Still, let me say, not any kind of plotting expert here. But, I think time skips are OK.

Some will depend on story/POV, like the particular story and characters we’re following within the larger story and setting of the war.

Any scene needed to tell that story needs to fit.

But if for two years the characters did mostly the same thing every day, then it’s fine to summarize those events and skip periods of time.

Transition sentences and paragraphs work well for this right? After Frederick was released from the infirmary… three years they managed to hide in that factory…

There will be some months or years covered in detail and others skipped. That’s fine so long as the story progresses as it needs to.


Honestly I love it when writers add time jumps instead of lots of chapters in between that don’t really contribute to the story, and as a writer I love to use flashbacks, but I would say one thing that’s always been hard for me and that I can’t stand when I read is when the time jumps are unclear. Just be careful of that, otherwise you might end up confusing your readers more than necessary.


I’m doing the same on mine (1936-1945) and I put the dates at the top of each so the reader and myself can keep up. If there isn’t big things happening, you can skip. I think mine is moving pretty flawlessly, though I do a recap of the surroundings and such.

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Like for example:

Character’s birthday or something- “It’s been another year, and five years in total since such and such happened. I still feel like it was yesterday…”

You don’t want the readers to really notice the time skip, like some authors do.

-7 years later-

It just reminds me of spongebob.

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@SuperSuspicious @stellaaddison @KaranSeraph Thank you for the help :slight_smile: