Tangled Timeline


I knew that before I started thinking about editing my novel I would need to sort out my tangled timeline.

Before I started writing I had a pretty good idea of the beginning, middle and end of my story and meticulously drew out a time line. This worked well for the whole of chapter one (go me), but by chapter two it was apparent I needed to change the age of my main character, Grace, and things went downhill from there. My beautifully drawn, coloured coded (don’t judge) diagram was about as useful as a paper umbrella.

Today, I sat down with the intention of untangling my time line. As my novel jumps around a bit, veering from past to present it turned into one of those overwhelming maths problems I used to be given at school. You know, if Grace is 9 at the start of the book, but then stands one one leg and hops, during a snowstorm, during April, how old will she be by chapter five?

Luckily my husband, who has a far more analytical mind than I, came to my rescue and after taping many sheets of A4 paper together we managed to make some sort of sense of it all.

It has taken the whole day, but I am now super organised, and, whenever the urge takes me, ready to edit in earnest.


8 thoughts on “Tangled Timeline

  1. The timeline can be a nightmare – absolutely. One possible way of keeping it on track is to use hyperlinks from the text to your main outline. I’ve only ever tried it with non fiction. On the matter of editing, I did so agree with one of your correspondents on an earlier post that you should read the piece backwards, section by section or chapter by chapter.

  2. I tried the character sheets…a waste of my time. I have a vague idea about my characters before I start a story, but if I try to set them in stone before I begin, those damned people rebel; they have a mintd of their own. 😀

Constructive criticism appreciated

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