At a certain spot in every story, I get to the point where I can no longer remember which day it is (in story—happens out of story, too, but that’s a whole different problem). When I hit that point, I sit down and create a story timeline.
I usually use paper and a pencil because I’ve yet to find a digital solution that I like as well. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
This morning I hit that point because my characters were switching planets and timezones. And if I don’t write it down and keep track, it’ll be Thursday for the whole book.
Here’s a peek at the beginning of the timeline, before I wrote anything too spoilery. Click to see a bigger version.
The bulk of my stories tend to take place over a fairly short amount of time, so my calendar is laid out for three weeks. That’s what fits on the page and it’s usually enough, although when I rewrote the end of Polaris Rising, it wasn’t. :)
P.S. I shared this on Twitter this morning, but then I realized it might be interesting to non-Twitter people as well.