Breaking the timeline

Broken slab in a church graveyard, Inverness

Sometimes, timelines are meant to be broken.

I’m not talking within the story. Unless you go back, rewrite where things change, and make it accurate…a book’s timeline has to be consistent. Authors can’t get a great idea, insert it, and ignore that prior events make that impossible.

I’m talking personal timelines.

I promised myself not to start on ‘Sword & Soul’ until after surgery, probably not until the stitches came out. My brain, however, has different ideas.

I’m a pantser. I rarely come up with a full outline, even in my head, before I put words to paper. That I’ve had the title for two of the three Heroes of Avoch novels before I started them is, well, pretty amazing to me.

I also tend to write a straight timeline. I don’t write one chapter here, save it, and insert it when it becomes relevant. I know some authors who will. Cool. They can work that way. For the most part, I don’t.

When I started ‘Scales & Stingers’, though…it was because I had one scene in my head that wouldn’t go away. It simply stayed there, teasing me, and letting my mind refine it until I gave up and wrote it down. It doesn’t come into play until 2/3rds of the way through the book. But it’s crucial, a major turning point, and had to get out of my head.

For the last three nights, I’ve had a similar experience with a scene from ‘Sword & Soul’. One that won’t come into play until close to the end (no, I don’t know exactly how it’s going to end yet – I’ve got 3 options, and this would work for any of them). I’ve started to think about it when I’m awake. I’ve been refining the lead in, taking care of some issues that would have to be dealt with to make it really work.

So, there’s a high likelihood that I’m about to break my own timeline.

I’ve got the synopsis for ‘Shield & Scepter’ done. I still need to work on the blurb. But that one scene for ‘Sword & Soul’ is likely to be written before surgery happens in 20 days.

I’ve learned the hard way that I need to heed the call of my Muse when she screams like this.

BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm

One thought on “Breaking the timeline

  1. Listening to the muse when she speaks is a good idea, even if it’s not your normal routine. And you will have that spark stored away to burst into flame when the time comes.

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