Sunday, 13 June 2010

The importance of a timeline

I am going away tomorrow for two weeks in Italy, partly researching Lucca for Stravaganza: City of Swords, partly checking up on Carrara and Settignano for David. And on my list of "jobs to do before I go" was Answer Fanmail.

This I did but one email took much longer than all the others and I had been rather putting it off, because the sender had queried my timeline in Stravaganza from Flowers through to Ships (three books!)

So there was a lot of digging about to do in cupboards, files and filing cabinets and in the end, dag nammit, she was right!

I had made an error, albeit a small one, that can be corrected in the second printing of City of Ships. In my defence, neither editor, nor copy-editor (two of them) nor proofreader had noticed and they are usually pretty hot about these things. But the responsibility is mine.

And it's not as if I don't make a timeline. I have one for every book after the first one and for all the historicals. But it is easy to make a slip. And how anyone manages without one I can't begin to imagine. Anyway, well spotted, Elizabeth.

And I now feel up there with the creators of Doctor Who in having fans whose obsession is great enough to get things checked. Be back in July.

1 comment:

  1. Time lines are of great importance. And yes, it's very easy to slip up on such things. I once had a character having breakfast three times with three different lots of Finnish translator spotted that one!