Chronological – definition: arranged in order of the times at which they occurred
Although 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.
“Writing makes a person very vulnerable. It opens you to public criticism, to ridicule, to rejection. But it also opens conversation and thought. It stirs minds, and touches hearts. It brings us into contact with our souls. So how can it possibly be a waste of time, an idle act, a mistake, a betrayal of truth? Who can possibly tell us not to do it?”
Finding something that excites and engages you is a rare gift. For writers (published or not!) the ability to immerse ourselves into words and create entire worlds with them is truly wonderful. No matter which genre or genres you write, you are the creator, manipulating characters, plots, story arcs and more. Techniques are as diverse as there are writers and authors. I free flow 90% of the time but planning your story has its merits as well as I am finding out with my latest project, Ockleberries to the Rescue. (The result of last year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge) Just remember to listen to that little voice; your muse; as stories can become an entity all their own, bringing new details, characters and story lines into play.
There are many of us who have to ‘fit in’ our writing time into day jobs, family life and other distractions but I have found if you ‘AVOWAL‘ your passion, you can organize proper writing time – more importantly uninterrupted writing time.
So for those of you who have not heard of the word AVOWAL – it is today’s desk calendar word. The definition is ‘an open declaration or acknowledgement’. May I suggest you declare your need for writing time and explain it isn’t a passing fad, a little hobby or unimportant. Time for yourself is important and given the opportunity it will make you happier and therefore make their lives happier. (It isn’t really blackmail – is it?)
Another important part of a writer’s life is finding a group or writing circle, where you can share your passion, give and receive support and encouragement. My group has changed my life dramatically and I can say I will never leave! We have local but also virtual members, who are spread across Canada, America, Australia and Europe. Our web site gives everyone access to writing challenges, the opportunity to share our work, receive feedback and even has a chat feature! http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com
If you don’t have a circle or indeed would love to start one, may I suggest a couple of books to help you start?