Friday, April 15, 2011

Keeping a Calendar

Something I keep handy while writing my first draft - something I can't believe I've forgotten to mention - is a blank calendar. This is something I decided to do after my editor pointed out some serious continuity issues with Me, Just Different. And it's so easy to keep a blank calendar that I continue to be embarrassed about how long I wrote without one.

The one I have is completely blank so I can fill it out as desired. I like having it on paper (as opposed to on the computer) because I like pinning it on my bulletin board. This is the template I use. You can also create custom calendars here at, or here. Here's a picture of mine all filled out:

As you can see, I'm pretty basic about the info I include. The calendar is just for you, so there's no need to get fancy with it.

Since I write contemporary fiction, the year I choose doesn't really matter. I never specify what year it is because I don't want to "date" my story. I usually just use whatever year we're really in. The only time that gets tricky is when Valentine's Day or some other holiday falls on a weekend when it would be better for me if it were a weekday.

I'd love to hear how you guys keep track of dates when writing. Especially if you're a historical writer, where you're balancing real-life events as well as story events.

Next week we're going to be talking about scenes - writing scenes, what makes a good scene, etc. We're also going to talk (either next week or the week after) about the different genres and manuscript lengths. As always, if you have a question or topic you'd like to see covered, shoot me an email.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. When I write a story that spans years, and when specific dates aren't known, only years, I don't use calendars, just keep a list of months of importance.

    But for my 1783-4 story, I printed out these blanks and filled them in for the five months I needed. I used one color to put in the historical events of significance, another color for my heroine's movements, and a third for my hero. I like to make major plot points revolve around the history, so some days were filled with all three colors, others with nothing.

  2. I write fantasy-ish stuff so I just keep track of seasons mostly and make sure that Summer doesn't come right after Fall!

  3. I use a calendar to keep dates in order. I google say, December, 1885, then cut and paste that calendar into my synopsis/style sheet document so while I'm plotting, I can keep track of what day of the week it is, especially if there is a holiday.

  4. Thats actually something I've never considered before... I think I might need to get a calendar like that for editing one of my books. lol. Bad timing stuff.

  5. I do something similar. I make a list of all of the major events that I want to happen. Then I put on my calendar approximately when I want to be done with these points. I also made a simple blank grid with the same amount of squares as I assumed I would have typed pages and at the end of every day I would put a stamp in each box for every page I'd completed.

    <3 Gina Blechman

  6. Gina, I like that idea lot. Thanks for sharing!