Coordinating Your Story

Friday, February 15, 2013
I was reading this book last year by one of my favorite authors. The hero was wearing these wicked awesome shades that was driving the heroine crazy becaues she couldn't see his eyes behind the dark lens.  A few lines later, he said something and his eyes flashed with some kind of emotion.  A few lines after that, he took his opaque sunglasses off.

So, I covered my mouth and was all like, "Ummmmm, that was so wrong. How was she supposed to know what his eyes looked like before if he just took the shades off now?"

I do this kind of thing ALL the time. I'll have someone sit down, and a few lines later, they'll sit down again...when they're already sitting.  I'd be nice to catch every single one of these oopsies, but I know that's kind of impossible.  Still, I wish I could somehow list out all the actions so I can go back to my data and figure out where everyone is and what they're doing when I need to know.

I haven't figured out the small details yet, but I did have a brain-child moment about the big stuff.  In the current book I'm writing, I knew I wanted all these different things to happen, but I wasn't sure when they should happen or in what order. It was obvious some things had to go before other things and so much time had to pass between some scenes. I was looking at my calendar, when I realized...Brilliant.

I dug up an old 2012 monthly wall calender and began scribbling events onto that.

I know, I know. I'm a little slow on the uptake, but doing this had never actually occurred me before. Now, I think I'll have to try it for every book I write. And, hey, I even feel green about it, recycling old calendars, and all. It really helps you figure out where you want to be in the story and where you want to go, all the while lowering the risk of coordination mistakes.

I would totally recommend using a pencil instead of  pen though. Learned that one the hard way!

What are some tricks you writerly people use to help keep track of the timing in your stories?  Cause, obviously, I need as many helpful tips as possible in that department.

In Other News:

My erotic romance writing buddy, Miranda Stowe, has happy news all over the place lately.  And since she kind of sucks about promoting herself, I feel I must brag her up a little bit over here!

First of all, she had a new release out last Friday. It seems to be doing well! She checked Amazon Kindle this morning, and MATES SINCE BIRTH was currently rated at 5,500.  That's a record for her!

Then yesterday, she got an email from the Sensual Reads Review site that her story, FRAMED AS A KILLER, received a 2012 Sensual Reads Reviewers’ Choice Award in their suspense category. Plus, in October, she also learned FRAMED AS A KILLER was a 2013 EPIC Awards Finalist. I'm so proud of her.

And that's all I have to chit-chat today. Well, I guess I COULD tell you my wonderful amazing husband, got a sitter for us on Tuesday night and took me out to dinner, then gave me a new computer printer for Valentine's Day, which was too sweet. Then, on the actual day of Valentine's he passed on his strep throat to me. But, I didn't figure you really wanted to hear about that, so mums the word!

Hope you had a great, amazing, healthy V-Day!  Toodles.


  1. A calendar. That's smart!
    I do that too. My CPs are like, "Oh, they're in the kitchen? Because two sentences up they were in the living room?" Oops. LOL

    Congrats to Miranda!

  2. Calendar! That's brilliant! I haven't tried that, but I think I will with my next book. I've famously had two Tuesdays in the same week in one manuscript, and skipped an entire day in another.

    Congrats to Miranda on all her good news!

  3. What a pretty cover! I need to use a calendar...I'm really bad about timing in my books. Thanks for the idea!

  4. I don't have any awesome advice...but I do like your idea of using a calendar to map out time lines. I once drew a map of sorts to figure out where my character was going and when. That really helped because I kept getting mixed up. And I think that 3300 on the ratings for your friend Miranda is pretty amazing. I think I got to 39K once and right now my latest release is somewhere in the million! :) So yes, good news all round for Miranda!!