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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Timelines

I have massive issues with time lines in novels. One day it could be Saturday and the next it could be Thursday. I tend to just make it whatever day would be most convenient for the story.

That's somewhat okay for the first draft, but at some point it has to be fixed. This is especially important in YA stories where the character goes to school. If one day is Friday, they can't be going to school the next day. The same goes with seasons and months of the year. Plus I have to take school breaks into account. I can barely remember what day it is in the real world, let alone my novels.

It's also a major issue in Three Days where the entire story has to take place over 28 days (not three despite the title). I can't lose a single minute in the telling of the story.

My original plan was to put all the scenes on note cards and make notes of when each took place so I could fit it into a time line. Then I had a better idea.

I Googled "timeline creator" in the hopes that someone would have a program that would allow me to create my own time line. And there are lots of them! Most of them are designed for teachers, but can be adapted to a more writer-ly purpose. Just make sure that if you download one, it's safe and fits your needs. The first one I looked at could only hold 9 events, far too short for a 50-100k novel.

I can't wait to test out mine!

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