Finish to start

I mentioned in a recent post here that I know exactly which day of which month the last day of my novel takes place. This is meaningful mostly to me, and I don’t intend to give the exact date in the story since there are no other specific dates in it, but the general time will be implied (the end of a given month), and a careful reader who makes some of the literary and historical connections I hint at throughout the story may appreciate this bit of playful subtext.

You may also recall me saying that since the story takes place over about a year and a half, I intend to add references to the seasons and the weather in my big rewrite. Some of this will help drive the plot, but most of it will simply be taking the chance to provide more sensory detail.

My “discovery” of the last date of the story gives me an anchor from which to calculate the passage of time. I can simply work backward from the month when I know the story ends and identify in which month each preceding chapter takes place. I’ve noted once or twice that the story involves the repetition of a certain act and that each occurrence comes at three month intervals. That should make my calculations straightforward.

I’m not going to work backward though. Rather, I intend to begin the big rewrite (this weekend?) starting at the beginning, and I’ll assign month numbers to each chapter, not indicating which month of the year they cover but merely how many months they comprise in the passage of the story time. Several sequential chapters happen in the same day, but in others, whole months can pass. Once I have identified each chapter’s month assignments, I can then work backward, knowing that the story must end in late January.

Thus after the rewrite, I’ll need to go through again to add the seasonal and weather information, but I’m sure the story will still benefit from another read through.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Sleep of Reason

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