Feb 8, 2011

Time Zones

By Leesa Ostrander
I was recently in a meeting for pre-school mothers. The speaker spoke of many ways to encourage a happy marriage. The bulleted point I want to write on is – time zones.
He referred to time zones as where we are in our personal space and capacity to share with another.
The three zones are: private, parallel, and interactive.
Private being the time I need to myself – alone.
Parallel is the time I want to be with someone, doing as they are doing and not necessarily conversing.
Interactive is the time we are together conversing, transactional conversation and meaningful bonding.

I looked at this from the point of writing my character. As I interview my character I wondered if she wanted me in her “private” time. I realized that this was information that the reader did not need to know yet. I moved on to how she interacted with her daughter. This scene is parallel. They are busy getting ready and it is still important in the story. Lastly, the interactive scene was what drew me in. This scene created a bridge from me to the story. I was part of the movement and bonded with the character.
My question is what time zone is your character in? Are they ready for the bonding? Is the reader ready?
I am new at writing and think that of the stories I enjoy, I like the stories with all time zones, appropriate to the scene.


  1. I like thriller type novels which are long on action short on interaction...more like a sound byte. But oddly follow that same pattern. Interesting.

  2. Oh! I just realized that I posted a day early! I'm sorry Leesa. I didn't mean to jump the gun. I actually wrote mine a few days earlier and set it to post on the wrong day. I'll keep better track next time!

  3. Very interesting, Leesa. I am going to tuck this away for future reference. Thanks!

  4. No problem Melinda :-)~ I mistaked my day so it was not until late I realized I was suppoed to post.

  5. Very interesting, Leesa. I'll have to re-examine my characters to find out if I've got them in the right time zones.

  6. Thought provoking for writing. I find that in life my patience, kindness, health start failing when I don't get private and parallel time.


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