The time is … wrong

Yesterday I discovered one scene I’d written was on a Friday and another on a Sunday. The second one needed to be on a weekday – people at work, college open, etc – but if I moved it to a Monday there wasn’t enough action in the intervening period. It’s a crime novel and we can’t just allow our hero to let the trail go cold whilst he takes the weekend off. I think I can fix it but am wondering how to best sort out this type of problem at the plotting stage. Thoughts welcome.

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2 comments

  1. elle6677

    Hello. I had the same issue with my novel. I had to change the day the body was found, so that my detectives went straight into a working week. Like you, I thought it would be silly if they had the weekend off. By the time the next weekend hits, they’ve both been fired 🙂 I’m not sure you can really plan these type of hiccups. I have since written a timeline with what happens on what day, so I can refer back. But I don’t think I would have known beforehand to do this. It’s all trial and error with me. If you find out any tips, let me know!!

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  2. Charlie Garratt

    I’ve now been through my draft and marked it all up, as day 1, morning, afternoon, evening, etc, in the text. It’s helped me identify ‘time stamps’ i.e. specific days and dates which are immovable, and where extra action or explanation needs to be added to fill the gaps. It took a few hours but very worthwhile because it doubled up as a mini-readthough for other issues, and there were a few!
    Someone has suggested using Scrivener so all the action can be put on digi-cards and I sorted out problems on an earlier novel using filing cards and coloured pens.
    I guess it’s always going to be a balance between plotting and wanting to get on with the actual writing.
    My next job is to use a 1939 calendar and the internet to make sure I’ve got the daylight/night-times correct.

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