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There Went the Afternoon...

No forward progress in revisions today.  That time was instead spent reconstructing a timeline to ensure everything matched.

This novel's world has no means of instant communication.  If three days of hard riding are between two towns, three days will pass before news will be shared.  Even the gods can be surprised by events because my gods are not omniscient.  Time matters because decisions are made based upon known facts--often between the time the facts change, and the time the characters learn of the change.  Sometimes those consequences show up before the news. 

I had a timeline at one point, and I'm certain it's still filed away in some box, but it was easier to do a new one.  It did remind me how much happens in a little bit of time.  Halfway through the novel, and ten days have passed.  The rest happens over less than three weeks.  So even though I'm certain I kept the timeline straight on the last revision pass, I want to be certain.

And just because I wanted to list them, here are some folks who dropped out of high school, just off the top of my head:

Peter Jennings
Richard Branson
Walt Disney
Patrick Stewart
Ansel Adams
Thomas Edison


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Timelines qualify as a necessary evil, not cat-waxing. The last one I did revealed that one of my characters apparently never slept. Ooops!
Jan. 25th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
Hey, sleep deprivation can be an interesting plot mover. We tend to make silly decisions when we lose even a single night of sleep. ;-)

Jan. 25th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Do you have a particular format in which you construct your timeline?

It's amazing what those men went on to accomplish, isn't it?
Jan. 25th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
Mine was grid form in Excel. I listed the characters on the left, the date/time along the top, and color-coded the activity with a key down below. Pretty granular but that particular story needed it.
Jan. 25th, 2012 05:03 am (UTC)
Nothing fancy for this timeline--just pages with the days at the top, primary actions, and who knows what when. But when I was first plotting the novel, I had a kagillion index cards laid out on the floor. I'm a visual person. I had to see the whole timeline in order to place events and people in the right places. Then each card got two numbers: one for numerical order, one for the day it happened.

I need to find some female dropouts. Whoopi Goldberg, I think, is one.
Jan. 25th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC)
Neat! I did not know that about any of those except Edison. (And you can add Patrick Nielsen Hayden to that list as well.)
Jan. 25th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
Aha! I didn't know that.

I should have left high school a year early. My senior year course load was only five classes, including the "classes" of teacher's aide and study hall. I was excited about college my junior year. By the end of my senior year, I couldn't bear the notion.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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