Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chronology: Handy Tools

I've spent the last three days doing a pass through my new novel, trying to get the chronology worked out. It's a story that covers a lot of ground, time-wise, and since it took me about a year to write the first draft, some of the temporal stuff got out of whack. It turned out to be a bigger (but really fun) puzzle than I'd expected. Things that I thought happened in the spring time, suddenly had to happen in the fall, because a couple weeks passed between this scene, and then two months for that one. I think I've got it all figured out (for now) anyway, which should help my further revisions.

I came across two simple tools that I used a bunch, that aren't so unusual, but are really handy:

the first was a calendar, that would lay out a year at a glance calendar for any year. It sure ended up being helpful for me to know what day of the week it was on January 21, 2002.

the second was a day calculator, that would tell me how many days there were between two given dates, or give me a date x number of days from another (say 912 days from today).

You never know when you might such things. Mostly, I was glad to make progress after a busy week home with the kids for spring break last week.

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