Compression and Expansion

Compression and expansion can help you control your essay's pacing and tempo. Actually, they aren't separate techniques so much as parts of a single technique for controlling the time flow.

This inner-time—fluid, variable, personal—can be simulated in writing by focusing on key scenes and developing them in detail, while other, longer periods can be passed over in a few words

Even in real life, where the clock moves with strict regularity, minutes can seem to drag on for hours while whole weeks vanish in an instant. This inner time—fluid, variable, personal—can be simulated in writing by focusing on key scenes and developing them in detail, while other, longer periods can be passedover in a few words.

When I stood to leave, my father continued looking down at his desk, apparently lost in memory. He shuffled a few sheets of paper, then carefully rearranged them in an order that seemed more satisfying. When he finally looked up, I saw deep sadness in his eyes, as though they were trying to tell me what he couldn't speak of. The following spring, I came home again.

Here, a brief but important moment is expanded in the first three sentences, while the last sentence compresses several months into a few words.