Posted by: nancyisanders | September 19, 2008

Fun With Fiction: Timeline

I’ve been working on my timeline for my middle grade novel. Here’s a picture of the design I ended up using.

I’m making a separate copy of this timeline for each of my  main characters. Also, I’m making a separate copy of this timeline of historic events that happened at Valley Forge and a separate timeline for the weather because it influenced everything so drastically.

I taped the main character’s timelines together, end to end, from left to right, so that I can see at a glance what is happening to each one of them on the same date. I folded it like an accordian so that it fits nicely into a file folder in my pocket files for this project.

Then I taped the historic events/weather timelines in the same way and stored them in the same folder.

Now I can track the pace of the plot as well as how each of my characters changes throughout the story. If I notice an area where there isn’t enough change taking place, I can make something happen to cause the change. Also, if I find a place in the plot that seems slow, I can increase the action.

It helps to have all these ingredients available at a glance so that I can make my story as action packed, tense, and interesting as possible. All these elements are what makes a middle grade novel grab and hold the attention of its readers.

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