Timing issue in a story I'm writing... help needed!

I’ve got the final (5th) chapter of a story I’ve been working on since NaNoWriMo all done, but I am worried that the timing of events is confusing to the reader. I’ve got multiple things going on in different places, and an environmental effect that is changing in both places at the same time. I fear I’m too close to the story to see the problem clearly enough to fix it, assuming it’s even there. I mean, I understand what’s going on but then I would, I wrote it :slight_smile:

I was wondering if anybody would mind reading the story and letting me know if the last chapter is indeed confusing. And if so, suggestions on how to make it flow better would also be welcome.

The main story is posted at http://planetretcon.com/books/lcl02-the-relic. Feel free to also read the first story in the series at http://planetretcon.com/books/lcl01-too-good-to-be-true. I’ve uploaded a text file rough-draft version of the final chapter to http://planetretcon.com/lcl/book2/chapter5.txt.

Thanks in advance. I wish I could offer something for this but the best I have is a free read of my stuff, which is already out there for free reading!

I wish I had extra time to help you by reading, but I would offer this suggestion. I make a timeline on a big piece of paper- one straight line and then hash-mark events, make bigger marks for days. This way I can “see” the novel’s clock. I’ve made big errors in my own work when I haven’t paid attention to those deals- things happening too fast, too slow, half the novel is during a three day period and the rest covers years, that sort of nonsense. I would go through what you have, scene-by-scene and tally up what you have. I bet that will help you sort it out and set you in the right direction for the future.

The problem sadly isn’t in how long things take. It’s about a 10-minute period of time in the story and several things happen setting-wide that all characters have to deal with, with lots of action keeping them (and hopefully the reader) occupied. One of the groups is causing the events, even. The problem is, to keep each scene dramatically cogent I can’t cut from one scene to the other right as the change takes place, so I am constantly jumping back in time a little bit as I go from scene to scene. So in one scene, the characters cause a change in the setting, and then we cut to the other group and that change hasn’t happened yet. I think it’s still followable but I don’t know that for a fact, and I don’t know how to make it better.