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.