Snoopy you might be wrongTimeline. This is one of the most important things we must keep track of when writing a novel or story. Mess this up and you’ll confuse your reader.

And should I know it. After finishing three chapters, I sent them across the road to my neighbour and good friend, Joan. As I’ve mentioned before she’s an avid reader.

If you are a new writer  then my best piece of advice to you is to find someone who you can trust to read your work. This person must be a reader first and foremost, have a deep love for the written word.

Secondly, they must be honest with you. Yes, everyone wants their work to be loved by all. Praise is what drives us forward towards our final destiny, but it won’t help us to grow as a writer if people aren’t as honest with us, if our work isn’t right.

Joan picked up on my timeline. At first, I thought maybe she was confused. I was sure I had checked it, worked out just when my main character (MC1) did what he did. I had read back through the days and months when character two (MC2) had left the country. When victim (V6) had died.  Yes, I was right the police did arrive to interview MC1 on the fourteenth month after the death of V6 while MC2 was in America.  I was sure it was just over a year later.

But no! I wasn’t right. Somewhere I had lost the plot, or in this case, the timeline. The trouble is us writers are too close to our work. We have too much to think about i.e. where we’ve left certain characters, and what we’ve left them doing or not. If we’re writing crime we need to be thinking about leaving clues for the police to gather up later, as well as what is happening along the way to keep the plot lines moving, so it’s very easy to forget about the timeline.

Remember, we must move the story forwards while gathering up the treads of a plot as we go, so once we reach the end… we’re at ‘The End’ and our reader are happy, satisfied and eager for our next book.

Nothing worst than an incomplete ending.

So, don’t forget watch those timelines in case they make a run for it.

Have a great week writing.

Paula R. C.



  1. I have a story in my head that is set in two periods years apart and I constantly have to rethink the timeline for it all to make sense.
    Incidentally I keep meaning to say that I like this header picture. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s me head in hand, weeping at another rejection, but I can assure you I won’t be giving up. I took the picture in a local cemetery some time ago.


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