January 27, 2011

Timelines: Aaaarrrrgh!

Timelines are a difficult aspect of writing fiction, at least for me. I create scenes and assemble them into a book, and it all makes logical sense to me. But then at some point I have to fit the fictional activities on a real calendar. Because in the end, the story must be in synch -- all the clocks have to chime in unison.

As a writer, you just write. You know your story needs this or that, so you write scenes and make those things happen. Often these scenes are not anchored in time. They just float around in book-space until you nail them to a clock. The problem comes when, even using a trowel, you can't jam all the scenes into a coherent timeline. 

This is where I am now with Xmas Carol. It's not a huge problem. It just concerns a three-day space, into which I must fit about five days worth of scenes. I'll have to compact them somehow. Sigh. I'll get it, but still: grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Today will not be an easy editing day, but I'm on it.

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