There is nothing more interesting than time: the days that are endless, the days that get away. There are days of the distant past that remain so vivid to me that I could walk back into them and pick up the conversation mid-sentence, while there are other days (weeks, months, people, places) I couldn’t recall to save my life. One of the last things I understand when I’m putting a novel together is the structure of time. When does the story start and when does it end? Will time be linear or can it stutter and skip? At what point does our understanding of the action shift?

Ann Patchett, “These Precious Days”