Monday, 20 October 2008

A Manuscript and a Calendar

On Saturday, my husband and I were sitting in Subway eating sandwiches. I was looking out the window and noticed two interesting looking men walking toward the corner. As I often do, I watched them and made up stories about them in my head (all the while listening to my husband of course.) At one point I looked down for a little while. When I looked back up I experienced a moment of confusion. The men were still in sight, although my mind told me they should be long gone. It took me a second to realize they had stopped at the corner and waited for the walk signal. It was a strange moment of disconnect. I mentioned this to my husband and he pointed out how similar that was to the story I'm working on.

I've been going back over the manuscript looking for those points of disconnect, when the time frame of the story doesn't line up and leaves the reader disoriented. It's important to make sure there is consistency in the story so the time-line fits and things happen when they should. I'm putting all the events on a calendar so I can make sure everything happens in the right spot. The calendar goes back several years so when people mention important parts of the back story, everything matches up. It's taking a little time, but in the long run it should make the story more readable and less confusing. I want my readers to get caught up in what they're reading. They shouldn't need to stop to figure things out. As I'm doing this, I'm also finding other things that should go in the manuscript to make the story better. I guess this could be a good reason to save old calendars...


Kimberly said...

It sure feels good to get down to the fine tuning, doesn't it?

ali said...

That's a great idea Stephanie!

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