There comes a time in the writing of every novel when I realise I need a timeline. This is when I get tired of flicking from page to page trying to figure out how old a character was in 1992, or how old they are when their mother dies.
Making a time line is not an easy thing to do when you’re crap at maths.
I sat there with my calculator figuring out birthdates back from 2013, where the story ends. I got to the end and realised I’d missed out years or added in years and I had things happening all over the place. I kept at it, though, donating a couple of writing days to the process.
It’s done, though. I’ve added all the details of schooling, deaths and marriages.
Now it’s much easier to write through. Because it really does make a difference if a character is 13, 23 or 33 when their mother dies.