Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Time Lines in a Novel…

July 3, 2013

Chronological – definition: arranged in order of the times at which they occurred

timeline_T2CAlthough I am not a pre-planner when it comes to my novels, I do take note of when events happen and the corresponding actions and their repercussions in my subsequent editing process. Continuity is an important factor in any story. We can’t have our character experiencing a rainy day in a city apartment in one paragraph and a sunny beach in the next – our characters have to get from A to B. The transition has to be believable- unless you are writing time travel of course!

In my novel, Life in Slake Patch I used the seasons to show the passage of time. Harsh winters restricted my protagonist visiting his lover for weeks at a time, heightening the tension.

There are as many methods as writers when it comes to planning a story arc. Some use index cards, others write out a time line on one long sheet of paper, while others give each chapter its own synopsis with references to the one before and after.

Graph by from:

LifeinSlakePatch 001What is your method of choice?

Take a look at these links:

Blog at