So, now, before I get my rewrites, I’m going to catch up on other things, like blogging.
Love & Freedom is the first book I’ve written along a time line. Having had editors find fault with my (admittedly hazy) timelines in the past, with the current book, I began a timeline.
I had never worked with a timeline before but had heard Jill Mansell speak about working with one so pretty much copied that (thanks, Jill!) I just began on a piece of A4 paper, landscape-wise, and wrote the date for the beginning of the book on the left. Then the next date anything happened to the right of that etc., sticking on new pieces of A4 as I needed them. It only takes a few words under each date to keep on track, like this:
15th July. H meets C. M working away. > 18th Aug S turns up > 30th Aug M discovers who R is.
You can see from my photos (!) – can you see, or does it just look as if the Andrex puppy went mad in here? – that I ended up with quite a document, and if your scribble is smaller than my scribble, yours might be shorter. But, the point is, it worked. And if my editor has queries, I will be able to answer them.
It was incredibly easy to keep track of my book and took a few seconds each writing session. I’m sure I’ll do this for every book from now on. And it has made editing easier, too (I always write 3 or more drafts) and although I looked hard, I didn’t come across any places where I’d got into a mess.
Whether the editor finds mistakes? Watch this space!
I also had a calendar for the year, so I knew which days dates would fall on and a backward-looking timeline for when each character is born/married/leaves the country etc.
NB If you’re wondering what the lion has to do with the time line, the answer is ‘nothing’. I just thought you might like to see him. He’s my favourite Christmas present, this year – a footwarmer for under my desk. Quite what he thinks about having my feet stuck in his head all day I have no idea, but I love him very much. Mwah.