Writing a Dual-Time Novel

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By Carrie Turansky @carrieturansky

My latest novel, The Legacy of Longdale Manor, releases this month, and it’s my first dual-time novel. People have asked why I switched from writing historical novels to dual-time stories, so I thought I’d share a bit about that decision and what I’m learning in the process.

I’ve written almost thirty novels. Earlier in my career I wrote mostly contemporary novels and novellas, but for the last ten years I’ve focused on writing English  historical novels set in the early 1900s. I thought using what I’d learned writing those novels would equip me to write a dual-time novel. But I’ve discovered writing a dual-time novel is more challenging than I first imagined! Finding themes that can cross and connect two plots and discovering ways to weave that all together has really stretched me as a writer!

Learning why people enjoy reading dual-time novels has helped me include some of the elements readers expect. I hope including these will make The Legacy of Longdale Manor and other dual-time novels I hope to write meaningful and intriguing for my readers.

Carrie Turansky discusses dual-time novels on today's ACFW blog. @carrieturansky #writing community #writing #ACFW Click To Tweet

Here are some of the reasons I think people enjoy reading dual-time novels:

  1. The parallel storylines in a dual-time novel often give the story more complexity and depth. Readers enjoy finding the themes and connections between the two timelines.
  2. The alternating timelines create a sense of mystery. Readers want to keep reading to discover how the events in one timeline relate or impact the other. This adds an element of suspense that keeps the reader engaged and eager to unravel the connections.
  3. Dual-time novels often prompt readers to reflect on the passage of time, the impact of choices made in the past, and the way history repeats itself. This can make readers think more deeply about life, faith, and their own experiences.
  4.  Themes of love, loss, family, and personal growth can be explored across time and generations. This can create a more powerful reading experience as readers see how these themes impact characters in both storylines.
  5. Dual-time novels offer a unique narrative structure that is a change from traditional linear storytelling. This variety in style appeals to readers who are looking for something fresh and different in the next book they read.

Have you read any dual-time novels? What do you enjoy about that type of storytelling? Here are a few dual-time novels I’ve enjoyed. Please comment and tell us about any you’ve enjoyed.

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke
The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli
Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham
Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
The London House by Katherine Reay

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading

Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of  twenty-two inspirational novels and novellas, and a winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the International Digital Award, and the Holt Medallion. Her novels have received stared reviews from Christianbooks.com and Library Journal and have been translated into several languages to be enjoyed by readers around the world. Learn more at: carrieturansky.com

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