I’m currently stuck on my novel’s timeline, so I thought I’d share a bit of that hellishness with anybody out there.
Obviously timelines are important in any story, but especially in long, complicated stories such as in a novel. Not only do you need to know what is happening in your novel, you need to know when it’s happening.
And if you’re a visual person like me it is so much better to see the important events in your story laid out in front of you than to merely think about them.
That’s where timelines come in. You can:
- make your own with pen and paper,
- use a calendar, or
- find a program online.
I have, in the past, tried making my own and found that my ideal timeline consists of one, long sheet of paper tacked to my living room walls — satisfying, but not very practical.
Calendars are probably a lot of fun to use, but all those little boxes feel confining to me. Don’t judge me.
I’ve recently come across an online option on writershelpingwriters.net. They have a resource called One Stop for Writers that includes a 2 week free trial of all these cool features like Character Builders, Story Maps, Scene Maps, and you guessed it — Timelines. So far I’m really liking it.
Just so you know — I’m not affiliated with this group at all. I just thought you all would like to check them out.
Anyway, back to playing with my timeline.
How about you guys? Do you find timelines useful, or just another excuse NOT to be writing?
Please let me know in the Comments.
Thanks for reading.
2 thoughts on “Timelines”
I LOVE timelines for world-building history. You know, the kind of stuff like Tolkien did that will never see print until your heirs go “Ooooh! Notes that I can bundle and publish!”. But when it comes to timelines for my story, I don’t think I’ve ever done one. I usually just keep a general idea in my head. That said, the idea of the long sheet of paper on the living room walls always has a special nerd appeal!
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I WISH I was one of those people who could keep everything going on in a novel inside their head. And, yes, I have thought about leaving boxes and boxes of junk for my literary heirs to dig through on those months when they need money for the electric bill! Thanks for commenting.