aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Calendars and timelines

I'm writing a YA thriller right now, and it is so helpful to keep a timeline. I created a calendar, and then on each day I write down the key things that happen that day. It's a must for keeping all the plot lines straight. If I write that a character works on Tuesdays, then I can't have him solving the crime when he's supposed to be at work, at least not without some explanation. And until I put together the calendar, I didn't realize nothing was happening on Sunday - and with a thriller, something should be happening every day.

Sometimes things need to happen every hour. I remember when I was writing Buried Diamonds, I knew that the murder took place at at 5:30 p.m. during one night of a class reunion. Then I went through and made sure every likely suspect was doing something that they would want to hide at the exact same time - using drugs, hooking up with an old flame, etc - so that I could make them act suspiciously. If I hadn't made a little chart, I might have missed a few possible suspects.

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