February 19th, 2009

Gypsy Fiddle

Timesense

To all you writerly types out there, and maybe if you can't answer you can think of who can: (Readerly types feel free to chime in.)

I'm writing a novel that is very time-sensitive. Think '24' without the crack. Think The Da Vinci Code (which I may just have to re-read to see if I can learn a few pointers). The action takes place over one weekend, and is pretty much constant unless all the characters are sleeping. So far I've gotten away with being semi-vague in references to what time it is, just throwing them in when I need it to be a particular time of day or night.

But, here's the part that's throwing me for a loop: how do I know exactly how long a scene will take, if for example I need to make reference to what time it is now, and what time it was when a certain past scene took place? Do I even really need to be that precise? With Dan and Tyn I can get away with being vague, but Link would keep track of such things.

Like, how long it took to talk to somebody, then drive somewhere, and all that.