Okay, so I have the Time Warp (from the Rocky Horror Picture Show) stuck in my head this morning. But those two lines are important to any writer—especially a mystery writer.
Think about it, people read fiction as an escape. They want to be entertained and amused. In order for the author to deliver, timelines need to be, well, adjusted.
As someone on one of my mystery lists recently said, the fastest way to kill your story is to ask for a search warrant. True...
But the reality of solving crime isn't the only time issue an author faces. When do you introduce characters? How soon do you explain the crime? How long will it take you to write the novel? What about all those things that are not in your control? You know, those things commonly referred to as life?
Of course, I have no control over life. Who does? But the timeline of my novel, I can control. I have a large white board on my office wall. On it, I have one huge timeline with important events listed. It is the way I keep my characters on track.
Do I list every little thing? No. And sometimes I find events that would work better and need to erase. Sometimes I have to move things to keep the action going. Thankfully, I have lots of dry erase markers and sticky notes!
Yes, time is fleeting. But by using the tools I have, maybe I can keep madness at bay.