Thursday, February 9, 2012
LINK TO THE SHOW
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Author of Loving the Rain, Skeleton Key, and soon to be released Bulletproof
Jeff is an author from WORLD CASTLE PUBLISHER
Jeff LaFerney has been a language arts teacher and coach for more than twenty years.
Well, here I am after writing three books, and I’m an expert, right? Not even close…but I’ve learned a few things. I’d like to comment about what I’ve learned about time…time in the books. My first book practically was written stream of consciousness. I started and never slowed down until I was done, and then I decided to revise. What I found was that everything I changed and added to the book generated a thread of errors throughout the rest of the novel. I found that I messed the timing and chronology all up when I made some really beneficial revisions, and fixing things was difficult and frustrating. So in book number two, I kept a timeline. I wrote down a summary of each scene of the book, including a record of time. What day did it happen? What time was it? I found that I caught myself quite a few times writing things that weren’t possible or miscalculating reality. It helped me revise and maintain chronology as I went along. So when book three began, I felt I had a handle on the whole time thing. Boy, was I wrong. I kept painting myself into corners for which there was no way out. Numerous times I had to go back and rewrite scenes, add scenes, and reorder scenes so I could maintain appropriate chronology. I literally had to write down each date (even dates mentioned of things that happened in the past) and each mention of time, age, years, days, hours—even minutes. I also continued to keep note of times in the scenes as I summarized them. It was a challenge to be faithful to reality and to keep my details consistent. The end result? There were hours of frustration at times, but I had told a story for which I’m very proud. Time matters. It’s real, and it affects believability of stories and consistency of story-telling. Keeping track helped me to eliminate gaps and to be accountable to a realistic timeline. The next time you write or begin to revise, keep track…that’s my “expert” advice.