Timing is everything, no matter the genre

Mexico resort

Karalee’s Post #28 — I took last week off with my family in Mexico for Spring Break. I knew of Paula’s imminent goodbye to Contessa and all our 5Writer’s hearts are with her and John.

Thanks for sharing your story Paula.

Time marches on and that is something none of us can control no matter how many anti-wrinkle creams are invented and applied.

Although all around the world time is measured precisely, to me it is also relative:

  • one’s entire lifetime can be reviewed in minutes
  • childhood is  measured in milestones attached to age, often in weeks and months
  • every day can be split into segments; daytime/nighttime, hours, seconds, minutes
  • a year can be measured in months, weeks, days, seasons
  • historical events are often referred to in hundreds of years
  • evolution is measured in thousands or millions of years

There is also time to (or not enough time to):

  • eat, sleep or do other physical activities
  • work and play
  • laugh, cry, love, hate, get angry, etc.

Then there’s the timeline of my novel and every other writer’s novels. Timing is important no matter the genre. A book has to start and end;  scenes, plot-lines and relationships take time to develop; and timing creates tension and suspense whether in a love scene, an epic novel, or like in mine, a mystery thriller.

And timing is my nemesis.

In my outline I drew a timeline based on my protagonist’s recovery from an accident and then returning to work in the midst of my villain’s case. Layered on top of this timeline is the timing of my villain’s crimes and happenings in my protagonist’s personal life. It seemed to work in the table I’d set up, but in writing it out longhand the spread over six months was far too long to keep up the level of tension I wanted.

So I took the advice given in many of the how-to-write-a-great-novel books in my library, and shortened the timeline. And then shortened it again.

I’ve done this and I’m excited about the change in pace. Now the difficulty is lining up all my ducks again so everything happens at the new “corrected” time.

And time is running out.

May 15th is our drop dead send-it-out-no-matter-what time.

And starting June 15th it’s time to start our critiques.

Time will tell.

3 thoughts on “Timing is everything, no matter the genre

  1. One of the things I’ve learned from 5writers is how many times a manuscript can be reworked to its benefit. I once thought that re-working was merely a way to avoid having to face rejection by publishers or agents or the public. All of your posts have helped me change that perspective. I’m doing a redraft my self-published e-novel, just tightening up the language, and the improvement is very noticeable. Thanks to all of you.

    • Thanks for letting us know that our ramblings, musings and frustrations about our writing is helpful. My problem is spending so much effort on editing as I go along that getting to The End seems endless.
      Glad your revisions went well.

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