Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Have A Problem With Time

Since high school, the part of writing I've struggled most with has been organization. It's not introduction or conclusion so much; it's transition, specifically, timing.

When I write, I lose all track of time. Literally. Like, on the page. I have no idea what day I'm writing about, or the day that came before it, or what day comes after.

It's an epic problem.

Because when I'm done writing, and I go through that first draft, I have sometimes 11days in a week in my stories, or maybe 4. Fridays follow Mondays. Afterschool detention precedes breakfast. That sort of thing.

Putting the hours and days and weeks into a logical timeline is one of the last things I do in revision. Because it's SO HARD! Because mine is SO QUIRKY! Because I can't GET IT!

I know. There are ways to avoid this. Outlines. Plot summaries. Those things.

But all that gets in the way.

So I just write.

All out of order.

Exactly like my hours and days in real life.

I never know what day it is. Or what day tomorrow is. Or what time two hours from now will be.

This is one of those things that is really tricky for me.

And I think it will be that way for many 11-day weeks to come.


Indigo said...

I think writers all have their eccentricities. Mine is weather. I tend to go from warm and rainy to a foot of snow with no snowstorm in the making. Wouldn't be a problem but my characters end up pitifully underdressed. Thankfully it's all first draft stuff. (Hugs)Indigo

Mary Brebner said...

UHG! I have the same problem! I've gotten to the point where I just barrel through my first draft and try to work out my issues with too many days in the week or too few hours in a day during revision.

Good luck!

Jennie Englund said...

So glad for the "time-less" company, girls! (tee hee hee)

Dayana Stockdale said...

I did the same thing when writing my first draft. I just totally ignored the days. Who has time for such trivial details when we've got crazy characters dragging us around? Now that I know the story and am in the rewriting phase, I kept up with an easy solution! I took my calendar and wrote the major events of the novel on it, so now as I work with scenes I try to slyly fit in how many days have gone by since the last scene. My WIP is an adventure story, so its really important for me to keep track.

Anonymous said...

I'm conscious of weekdays and weekends when I write YA. Time off from school is very important to my characters. Maybe because I'm a teacher and I like that downtime as well.