Temporal ordering concerns the order in which events occur in a story and the order in which those events are presented in a narrative. A narrative's events may be presented chronologically, in the same order in which they occur in the fictional universe of the narrative, or they may deviate from this order through any of the following anachronies: analepsis (flashback); prolepsis (flashforward); or co-occurrence, in which events are presented in such a way as to to lead one to imagine that that they occurred in the fictional universe simultaneously.
Much of the temporal ordering of Ann Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest is chronological. For instance, chapter VII ends, "[Adeline] slept no more that night," and chapter VIII begins, "When Adeline appeared at breakfast . . ." (110-111).
The temporal ordering of the novel is also, at times, anachronous. Long after its narrator first indicates that Pierre de la Motte is somehow indebted to the Marquis de Montalt, the reader is informed, in a moment of analepsis, that La Motte had attempted to rob the Marquis and that the latter had chosen not to seek legal retribution. The narrator begins this account thus: "Soon after [La Motte] had settled at the Abbey of St. Clair . . . " (316). As his settlement there has long passed in the chronological sequence of events, this line indicates that the narrator is leading his or her readers backwards in time to narrate an earlier event. Finally, The Romance of the Forest also contains many moments of co-occurrence, as evidenced by such introductory lines as "Meanwhile the persecuted Adeline continued to travel" and "While these scenes were passing in Paris" (205; 320).