Sunday, July 17, 2016

Avoiding timeline glitches

Sometimes an author gets so wrapped up in writing a scene and what happens next, and what happens after that, that they lose all track of time. One hundred pages later the characters sit down to lunch, yet the reader knows it has to be the next day by now. Maybe even the next week.

Then there’s the author writing book two in a series which comments back to an event in book one, only suddenly now it took place at night instead of during the day. Leaving the reader scratching her head in confusion.

When writing about significant events, make a timeline and keep it for potential sequels, flashbacks etc.

Watch how long scenes are. Can they really do all those things in an hour/day/ or whatever. Especially be aware of travel distances. Google maps may say you can get from A to B in two hours but what about traffic holdups, accidents, bad weather or construction?

When writing historicals remember that travel in the past was mostly walking pace even on horseback. A horse can’t gallop all day!

Have fun planning the events in your story. It’s your book and can be whatever you want it to be. But if your heroine is running five miles in a pencil skirt and stiletto heels with the bad guy right behind her, be sure to mention that she’s a former Olympian distance runner. And check how long it really takes to run five miles in heels!

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

No comments: