Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Creative Writing Tip - Timelines

Some writers use outlines.  I guess my outline is more of a brainstorming session.  I know where I want my story to go but I am open to change.  I do, however, use a timeline.  A timeline is a wonderful tool - allowing for easy reference.  I believe there are timeline programs available but I'm "old school."  I like drawing my timeline and filling in the information.  The events of my story are listed in chronological order.  I add my characters as they appear - along with the chapter/page number.  Off to the side, I add notes giving a detailed explanation of events such as the day of the week the event occurred.  I also add other information that I can access at a glance.  When writing OF DREAMS AND SHADOW, I found it necessary to create Jenna's school schedule.  I had to know her class periods and the teachers as much of Jenna's activities were happening during school hours.  It is important a story stays true to the "facts" that the writer assigns to it. A timeline helps achieve this.

-DS McKnight