The Details Are In The Calendar

| Total Words: 673

Like many authors, writing a novel was always an aspiration. When I finally started the process, in Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace I had a great story that had evolved from real-life events. Still, the majority of my experience was writing nonfiction, a style that generally called for straight facts with less emphasis on descriptive elements. Exceptional fiction requires authentic details that pull the reader into the world in which the story takes place. I discovered that one of the best ways to do this is to construct the narrative around a calendar.

Wanting feedback on the story, I sent an early draft of the manuscript to an editor I’d learned of through one of my writing groups. While she liked the novel, she noted there was no specific timeline of years or events, and felt the story could essentially be taking place at any time. The editor suggested using a calendar with actual dates and specific years during which the story would be set. By taking this approach, it not only helped me plan the story better, but a historical reference of Jesse Ventura’s election as governor of Minnesota in 1998 or making note of the Aquatennial Festival held in...

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