Nah, not that kind of time travel.
At least not yet.
I’m a week and a shade away from my second NaNoWriMo and this time I’m ready. I’ve got a pretty good story plotted, some interesting character developments and an outline ready to be filled in. The one thing that could slow me down is the temporal aspect of the story.
Or, in other words, I don’t want to have to go back and change all the days in the story to prevent the mail being delivered on a Sunday. (It happened once).
The engineer in me took over. I built a simple time map, sticking the temporal location of each of my chapters where they had to be.
Some stories, it doesn’t matter. If there are no plot points or character developments that depend on what day, or time of day they occur, then you can disregard this.
I needed the antagonist (a big word for ‘bad guy’) to hear something disturbing on the radio on a Sunday afternoon. Plotting my story had that happening in chapter 12. Everything before and after needed to flow from that. Mr. Bill Gates has done something good (aside from the oodles of charity money he’s disbursed) and that’s Excel. A quick matrix and ten minutes later and I ended up with this:
In addition I’ve coloured the chapters to represent the four parts of the story structure. The outline is already broken into these sections so it wasn’t entirely necessary, but the visuals will help me set the tone. (If you’re curious, the pinch points occur in chapters 14 and 23)
I’m really looking forward to NaNoWriMo this year. I think I’ll have a pretty good first draft coming out the other end of it.
And if story structure is something you want to learn more about, hit this guy up.