Writers Night Out, February 21, 2024 Using Time in Fiction

Readers need to understand when important events occur in a novel.

When do they take place? What happened before the book opened?  What’s the most effective way to describe memories without ruining the dramatic tension?

If you’ve ever struggled with time issues in your writing, you’re  invited to attend the

Cape Cod Writers Center’s Writers Night Out

on Zoom, February 21 at 7:00 PM



When we talk about the ticking clock in fiction, we tend to think first of suspense–putting pressure on our characters, heightening tension, etc. But writers can use time in myriad ways. By doing a temporal analysis of published stories and our own work, we’ll explore what drives characters (what makes them tick!), what haunts them from their pasts, what they yearn for, and how layering these can make for captivating writing. Included is a writing exercise that enables writers to shape a scene in which various vectors of time in their life converge. 


Tim Horvath is the author of Understories (Bellevue Literary Press), which won the New Hampshire Literary Award, and Circulation (sunnyoutside). His stories appear in Conjunctions, AGNI, The Best Small Fictions 2021, and elsewhere. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Stony Brook MFA in Writing and Literature, an English teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy, and a Senior Editor at Conjunctions. In addition, he teaches for GrubStreet, StoryStudio Chicago, and Long Island University’s MFA in Writing and Publishing.


If you plan to attend, please email writers@capecodwriterscenter.org

and mention “WNO February 21, 2024” in the subject line.