Shannon Stacey

One day later…or was it yesterday?

Here’s a lesson I recently learned. Never say Screw the timeline. I’m just going to write and figure it out after…

Therein lies madness. For you. For your editor. Especially if the book takes place over a short period of time. And in the book I’m working on now, though it has a much longer timeline, it’s just as important because there’s a pregnancy involved. I’d like to avoid my editor saying, “You know, dumbass, she’s pregnant for thirteen months here”.

I think my timeline issues are exacerbated by the fact I write scenes madly out of order. When you jump around like a grasshopper on crack, it’s kind of hard to keep track of the continuity.

So my plan for today is to print up blank calendar pages and fill in what I’ve got written so far. Then the ongoing plan is to fill stuff in as I go along to avoid combing through the complete manuscript looking for time transitions, which isn’t fun at all.

We’ll see how it goes.

7 comments to “One day later…or was it yesterday?”

  1. Ro
      · March 30th, 2010 at 2:16 pm · Link

    :idea: Must be calendar week- I just did this two days ago for my latest wip. My timeline is tight, though, Thanksgiving to Christmas. Making sure we don’t have a 2 month holiday season!

  2. Jaci Burton
      · March 30th, 2010 at 2:17 pm · Link

    Timelines are the woe is me of writing. That and long action scene choreography.

  3. Shannon
      · March 30th, 2010 at 2:21 pm · Link

    It just occurred to me I use Google calendar with my iTouch, leaving iCal free, so I’m using that to keep track instead of printing out pages.

    Maybe it’ll help keep me on track.

    I hope.

  4. Annmarie
      · March 30th, 2010 at 6:11 pm · Link

    I’ve been yanked right out of a book by a wonky timeline. It is tres important.

  5. Jean
      · March 30th, 2010 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Timelines get me every time. In at least one book, my chapter titles are dates, which helps me stay on track. I try to do them as I’m writing, after having to go through Polar Bear on the Loose and put it all on calendar sheets after finishing the first draft.

    For those using Windows, yWriter has a great timeline feature built into it, which I’ve used for at least one book. Now that I’m using Scrivener….iCal might be the best.

    By the way, iCal allows you to set up different calendars, so you could do a book calendar, so if you ever need to work on multiples, you could use color coding to keep them separate.

  6. Heather Rae Scott
      · March 31st, 2010 at 2:40 am · Link

    (((Hugs))) I feel your pain. Kinda got sacked on this very subject. But you already know that. :cry: You can do it! I have faith.

  7. Shannon
      · March 31st, 2010 at 8:37 pm · Link

    So far I’m doing okay putting things in the calendar.

    And I love Scrivener, Jean! Yesterday I wrote 1100 words across seven different scenes and it’s a breeze with Scriv. With Word, that was a royal pain in the butt.

    (((Rae))) Timelines suck.

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