At some point, you have to think about how to handle your story’s structure. The way I did that was to use an index card software program that allowed me to create index cards for important events and move them around on a timeline. I was already using index cards for my characters, but doing it on a computer screen made it much more efficient. The specific program isn’t important—I think the one I used was called Story Lines—but it is important to have some way of keeping track of how events in your story come together. I had seven story lines in my book, so I had seven timelines on which to put my index cards.
Of course, I also had to find a way to connect them up somehow. So I spent time thinking about what could happen and how I could create a world where a police captain comes into contact with a lawyer who comes into contact with a gangster and so on.
My personal way of figuring these things out is to lie on my bed and look at the ceiling and think until a solution comes to me all of a sudden. Figuring out how to connect different story lines was actually what finally got me to sit down and start writing. I had the idea for the story in my head, but I needed a way to bring together some very different characters—some were Christian, some were Muslim, some were Jewish, and they were from different social classes. I was stuck and hadn’t even put pen to paper. Then I turned right on 125th Street in New York and came to a multicultural neighborhood on the East River where there were low-income projects right next to million-dollar condominiums. I said, “This is my setting,” and I went home and wrote my first word that night.
© Copyright 2018 Author Learning Center. All Rights Reserved