My novel follows a couple different major characters – let’s call them the suspect and the investigator, since there’s kind of a mystery-story element to it – and I’ve come to the point where they encounter one another and their plots begin to overlap. That means I need to be exact about the timeline, and of course I discovered that what I’ve written already is simply impossible. A character can’t be in two places at the same time, and I can’t have an event take days for one character to experience while that same event takes only hours for another character. At least, I can’t do it without changing this into an episode of Doctor Who.
So, I’ve been doing timeline work for the past few days. Frustrating, because it’s showing me just how much rewriting I’ll have to do, and also because I’ve added essentially zero words to the draft itself. But it’s important work, even if it doesn’t add to the word count.
I’m making some notes, and I’ll just proceed from the present point in the manuscript as if all the problems are fixed. I’ll get about to actually fixing them when I do a second draft. After all, I have tons of other rewrites I know I’ll need to do. Might as well do them all at the same time. Besides, I also need the psychological boost of completing a full draft of this novel.