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August 19th, 2010

Timelines / Outlines [Aug. 19th, 2010|11:23 pm]
Hey writer-types:

What do you do when you need to figure out a timeline/outline for a story?

I think I have all the pieces, but when I try to lay them all out -- this needs to happen before that, and that needs about two weeks, and in the meantime the other is happening, so these characters need to go over yonder and then come back -- my brain starts grabbing wildly at any other line of thought, and I just can't get any traction. Heck, I even have an excuse to allow for temporal slippage if I can't get things to line up properly, but when I start to think about "okay, so how long should X be hanging out at Y" it's all ugh, I don't even know, let's think about some new setting detail instead.

I suppose I'm really only asking those who write out-of-order, like me. This is an incomprehensible question for those who write in order and only figure out where they're going when they get there. I already know where the story's going and where it's stopping on the way; where I'm getting in trouble is trying to make sure that it can make all its connecting flights, and isn't going to end up stranded in B-concourse of Instanbul International Airport...
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