Friday, June 23, 2017

Keeping Track of Time--Timeline Organizers for Your Book

One of my online students is working on a memoir that threads two storyboards (see more about storyboards here).  He wants to be able to plot life events in chronological order; although he is clear that the story may not include them all, it's helpful for him to have everything lined up so if an event needs a cursory mention, he knows where it falls. 

He needed a timeline organizer.

I find timelines organizers essential for both memoir and fiction.  I create them for my novel characters and my real-life people, so I can make sure I'm including correct dates, enough time passing between events, and realistic growth and change on the page for each person.
My student wanted a software application that would allow him to enter dates and events.  Then to print out the timeline to work with alongside his storyboard.

He said he would do this manually, but it's cumbersome--and I agree.  He also wanted to keep the timeline on his laptop so he could add events, take them out, and reprint as necessary.   

I didn't even have time to respond to his email when he sent back a great link for this video which explains a timeline organizer using Excel.  Click here for the link (and thanks, Tom!). 

Use this link to explore whether your book is developed enough to benefit from a timeline organizer--it's your weekly writing exercise.