Documentary Timelines

I’m not a full-time writer of fiction, which means that I basically have an hour a day to work on my stories, two if my early morning routine functions as it is intended to*. With Livia, I noticed that any task which required me to review the text for a specific thing or set of features took about a week. Song is nearly twice as long as Livia so it’s about a two week journey to finish any text-scraping task.

And I have just finished the two week odyssey to document the timeline of Song
s discussed in Making Timelines.

I will be writing more about how to fix a timeline as I go through that process but I wanted to discuss a little more about the purpose of the timeline and its relationship to how Song has developed over the years.

Song started, of course, as a NaNoWriMo project based on a dream I had years ago. It was little more than a title for a long time, then I had all the ideas at once and wrote a book which was actually two stories mashed together. The second draft I am working on now takes the first of those two and expands it out to a full length novel.

In that process I carried forward a lot of text from the earlier draft, and there are several spots where forward references are made: the characters talk about things that have moved to later in the story before they have now happened. So, this timeline for Song was focussed on being a documentary effort: I want to be sure of what I have before I change it.

This timelining work has also highlighted some places where things happen improbably quickly, or where the characters are at work on Sunday. This is what I originally started using Aeon Timeline for: making the relationships between events clearer so I could adjust when they happened to be credible.

But I have my document of what Song is like now, and from that I am going to collect more notes on what has to be corrected. On to the fixing up!

[*] which, right now, it’s not. Between the clocks going forward recently and binge-watching superhero TV shows I have been doing a woeful job of writing first thing in the morning. That’s an April thing to work on!

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