Found a handy way of doing this which I’ll share, in case it helps somebody – even though it was a bit of a how-could-I-be-so-thick moment.
I have a story where the POV changes. Mostly it stays with the main protagonist but there are points where it rests with others. I couldn’t get the two timelines of ‘hero’ and ‘everyone else’ right and I’ve been stuck for a while trying to find a way to realise it on paper so I can make it work and – more to the point – make it clear in my own head.
So… what’s my gob-smackingly obvious amazing answer? Well, I plotted it out as a table with two columns. Each event has a row to itself. The hero’s actions are described in the left-hand column. Any action with another protagonist is in the right-hand column.
I spend an hour on this and Bingo! It’s pretty much fallen into place. There are holes still, but now, at last, the sequence of events is beginning to make sense. I know what I need to write and I was also surprised to discover how much more I’ve written than I thought.
So simple, so straightforward, so why didn’t I before now?! The obvious answers are usually the best and, it would seem, they are often the most elusive!
I’ve tagged this under the ‘good advice’ category. Just wondering whether a ‘doh! How did I miss that?’ or a ‘bleedin’ obvious’ category would be more suitable. Yeh, you probably all do that already so, doubtless it would fit better in either of those! 😉 But just in case there are other gumbees who write…