Timelines, and Miss Cole's Next Big Adventure!

Tell me, what's the time span of your novel? Hours? Days? Weeks? Years? Not sure?

Time to make sure!

My book takes place over a week.  Originally it was about two weeks, but there was a lot of empty time when, without any good reason, I skipped days.  And when my plot hinges on time running out, it didn't make sense to waste time.  So I tightened up my time line.

I remember writing a play when I was in Year 8, and my English teacher helpfully pointed out actors don't stand around on stage doing nothing for an hour, as my stage directions suggested.  And it reminded me that the best part of fiction is you don't have to stick to the rules of reality.  Yes, in real life, parts of your plot may take forever, but in fiction you can skip this and merely imply it.

I'm going to call that the "How Jack Bauer Gets Around LA" rule.  I've been to LA once in my life, and let's just say if they stuck to how traffic really is, hours of Bauer's life would've been taken up in congestion.

Of course, the opposite is also true! If things feel a bit too fast, slow things down by extending scenes or adding new ones. 

I keep track of time lines on my whiteboard, but I also use notebooks.  Today, I'm going to demonstrate with my (let's be honest) AWESOME GRAPHIC DESIGN SKILLS!

No, my handwriting has not improved.  And that says "End", but it got cut off

 And, as the title says, I'm heading off on an adventure!!!! Where am I going?

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

An absolutely amazing opportunity came my way! I'm going over to India to work, but I'm really hoping to travel a bit too.  So between March 14th and April 12th, updates will be a bit random.  But I'm really excited to share all sorts of inspirational images with you!

Until then, I'll share tales of becoming a human pincushion when I have my vaccinations in February :P

Happy Friday!

Comments

  1. HOLY CRAP!! INDIA?!?!?!

    Wow, that's so amazing! I can't wait to see the pics--you ARE planning on sharing some pics, right? *she asks with arched, imposing eyebrow*

    As for story timelines, it's my achilles heel in my current MG book. I wanted it to be quick, over the course of a month or so, but the setting is a private school. It felt very awkward to sum it up at the end like, "And then it was October..." So I'm trying to stretch it over an academic year and take liberties with my time spans. It's VERY tricky.

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    1. Don't worry, I'll share plenty of photos :D

      Good luck writing the school year! I used to read Enid Blyton's "Malory Towers" when I was young and that was set in a private school. Maybe that will help with the timing?

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  2. OOh! India? I hope you have fun!

    The timelines in my books tend to span from a few days to a few months. It depends on the genre and the length I'm aiming for. Another factor is whether it's a series or not. If it's a standalone, there's a lot more information which translates to a very full timeline.

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    1. Thanks!

      Ooh, you're right, genre does come into it! Good point!

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  3. Well, the novel I'm working on right now spans a couple of years. The series it's a part of spans thousands of years. I think big. :)

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    1. *is impressed* WOW. You must have the most epic timelines!

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  4. My first novel in the series I'm working on spans a week also. My poor MC might lose her mind if it was any longer!

    I kept track of mine by making a calendar for it - complete with the historically accurate dates and all (since it's Victorian).

    And YAY! India! Have a wonderful time, take lots of pictures and pet lots of elephants!

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    1. My MC is also quite similar - I doubt she'd survive sane longer than a week!

      Oh. My. Gosh. I WANT TO SEE YOUR CALANDER! That is such a brilliant idea!

      I'll keep an eye out for elephants ;)

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  5. INDIA!!! What a glorious adventure that will be! XD So exciting!!

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  6. India - Amazing!! I'll be looking forward to your stories and pictures!

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  7. So, my current WIP is set to take place over two months. At the halfway point, I'm a month in, so right on target. I considered shortening the first half to two weeks, and it may prove helpful in the end to take off at least a week, but I won't know until I finish! My first book took 10 months, which was definitely too long and I would've shortened it had I not shelved the manuscript.

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    1. I didn't know my MS needed to be shorter until I finished writing and started editing. Then my characters had to give up their empty days and fight, fight, fight!

      Maybe one day you'll return to the shelved MS!

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