Being a Better Writer: Time(line) Management

I bet a lot of you are going to be surprised by the actual gist of this post. Yes, I am talking about time management, but not in the way you think. Also, I’m fairly certain I’ve done posts on making good use of writing time before, so those still exist.

No, today I’m going to talk about a different kind of time management. And, before I start, I must stress that I don’t share all the credit for the idea of this topic. It actually came to me as I was listening to an old episode of the Writing Excuses podcast (I’m two seasons behind thanks to a massive backlog), and one of the hosts made an off-hand comment pertaining to the shuffling chapters around. With a start, I realized that there was an important bit of writing that I’d never considered writing about on this blog before, and put it on the list that night.

So, what sort of time management isn’t your own management, but something else? Simple: it’s the management of time in your story.

Some of you might be going “Huh?” after a pronouncement like that, and I don’t blame you. This almost feels like the kind of subject where you have to explain it to get everyone on the same page. Once you do, everyone nods and goes “Oooohhhh.” So let me see if I can get us all on that same page.

Every book has a timeline. That plot arc you’re following? It has a beginning, a middle, and an end (hopefully). Along, I would expect, with some nice ups and downs strung along the middle. With me so far?

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