Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Time is not on my side

I wrote the second act of Hero Factor according to what Jane Espenson refers to as the Love Boat method–that is, I wrote all of the scenes for one plot thread, then doubled back to write the scenes for a separate-but-equal plot thread. These two threads eventually merge into one, so at some point their timelines must coincide. I can already tell that this isn’t happening. I forced the first one to cover a certain number of days, because that’s how long I thought the other would cover, but it turns out the characters in the current thread are much more efficient at getting to the point and wrapping things up than I thought they’d be.

I’m not worrying about it now. In the editing stage I’ll worry about how to make them match up properly. But this is something you might want to be aware of if you write out of order like I did. This was a big issue back on that one multi-author fanfic I worked on that one time, trying to figure out exactly when different things were happening in the story. The up side of that was that there were many pairs of eyes who could catch if the moon was full in one scene and waning in the next. Until I get to the beta stage, I only have my own two eyes to catch these things. I guess I’d better become familiar with the notion of a “book bible.”

Oy. It’s exhausting to realize that the real work starts after the first draft is finished.


  1. themournfulduck

    1. Wow. That’s very interesting about the Love Boat method. In one story I’m working on there are two different story threads–each from the POV of two specific characters, and alternating by chapter–but lately I’ve been avoiding any chapter breaks because I don’t feel like switching back to the other POV, which never came quite as naturally to me as the one I’m currently on. I never really thought of writing both of them separately and trying to match them up later, so I may try that.
    2. What is a book bible?

    • Jean

      I didn’t set out to do it that way, but once I got my head into one set of POVs and storyline, it was hard to switch. So I just stuck with the one until it was done.
      A book bible is a record you make of all of the little details about your characters, setting, etc. that need to be consistent throughout the novel. Things like how your characters’ names are spelled, color of their eyes and hair, likes and dislikes, time of year in your story, etc. You can look at it while you’re editing to make sure green-eyed Jim didn’t morph into blue-eyed Jon and that he’s not stargazing while next door his neighbor is simultaneously sunbathing, or he’s allergic to peanuts in chapter 3 but they’re his favorite food in chapter 23. That sort of thing.

  2. sunbrae

    I need to read HF soon. Maybe soonish. But soon.

    • Jean

      No worries, sweetie–all I’ve posted of it are short, random excerpts. Maybe by the time I start posting it for real your life won’t be quite so hectic. *hugs*

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