Whether you are writing an epic saga or a serial short, it’s important to keep track of the events and timeframe of your story. The last thing you want is a reader calling you out on inconsistencies.
Solution: Create a timeline for each story. You can create it in word or excel, if you don’t have a fancy writing software that includes that type of information built in. Reference the date or point in time in your story, and include the event and which characters it affects.
This will allow you to go back and reference events, instead of trying to rely on that perfect memory of yours. This is especially helpful if you are writing a series. Maybe a character made a small appearance in book two, but that character can prove the innocence of the main character of a crime they are accused of in book four.
Keep a timeline. Keep it as a running document that you can add to and refer back to. It will save you time, and will make your writing tighter.
It also helps to keep a timeline of the characters backstory. Even if that backstory never makes it into the final version, it helps you understand why the character is the way he/she is. Everyone has memories, why wouldn’t your characters. Something to think about.
For more on character development, read my blog on The Personality Test.
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