I’ve found myself with some interesting things to keep track of while writing this novel. I keep notes on where I want the plot to go next and things like that, a list of all the characters, and also backstory, like how old Heather was when she moved into town and started to go to Crowther, then what month it was that first Sara’s birthday happened, Sara started dating Jake, and Heather became a vampire. Other past dates to keep straight include when people died, were arrested, or what have you.
I wrote out the outline by date, aka, it starts September 10 in 2009 which is a Thursday and should end sometime around Sunday, November 1. I looked up all the days of the week for September through November in various years before I decided that 2009 had the pattern I needed, and have been adding dates accordingly; two years since Missy died means it was 2007 then, etc. I found a resource online that’s also let me look up the phases of the moon for every day from 1951 to 2015, which is coming in handy a lot. It’s a thriller, I’ve got to know what the light’s going to be like for these people running around in the middle of the night, and when the full moons are in particular.
So I keep track of all these dates in my head, and a backup on paper and the computer. For example, right now I’ve made it up to Saturday, October 17. It’s the first night of the three-night new moon, so there’s no moonlight to see by. I know that it’s been two weeks since Jake’s death, two weeks from the climax of the novel that I still have to think up, five weeks since the start of the story and therefore five weeks since Carrie sprained her ankle (remind me to look up how long an average sprained ankle takes to heal), two days before what would have been Jake and Sara’s first anniversary, seven months since Shirley died, nine months since Heather became a vampire, twenty five years since Emily Thorne died, and so on. So much to keep tabs on all at once!