Pencil to Paper

The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Let Me Check My Calendar May 28, 2011

Filed under: Writing — katblogger @ 6:31 PM
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Let’s admit it. No matter how well thought out your ideas, how carefully mapped your storylines, how cohesive your conversations… stories always seem to veer off into a hopeless mess at one point or another. You need to squeeze in an extra scene. You accidentally skipped a couple of days. Or, worst of all, one of your characters is in two places at the same time.

When that happens, you’re going to wish you had some way to see everything clearly – to have your whole story laid out before you in an easily understandable way.

That, my friends, is where the calendar comes in.

This method is most helpful when your story stretches over several weeks. To make sure your characters are in only one place and that events happen at their proper times, you can map everything out. Then you won’t fall into the sticky predicament of characters referring to the same event on different days, which happened to me:

Character one: Yeah, I accidentally attacked this girl on Wednesday.

Character two: And this person just jumped me for no reason at all Thursday night!

Yeah… not a good thing. If you have the patience for it (which I don’t) you can assign each character a color and track their movements throughout the days to make sure everything matches up as it should. That’s really only for OCD people with time on their hands… but isn’t that just another term for writers?