Down the Path of Shadows · In Pain and Blood · Spellster Series · Through Smoke and Fire · To Target the Heart

Chronological Sorting

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, each book in the Spellster Series will be written as a standalone. But, as they all happen in the same world, my goal is to have them linked in some way. To that end, I’ve had to think about timelines and major events that overlap.

For the sake of my sanity, I refer to the stories in the order I plan to publish them…

  1. Through Smoke and Fire
  2. In Pain and Blood
  3. To Target the Heart
  4. Burning Beneath the Sun
  5. Down the Path of Shadows

They each have a different place as a backdrop, so it’s not as if they’re closely connected…

The most mapwork I’ve done in ages

1 happens in the Udynea Empire’s second largest city
2 goes all around the kingdom of Demarn
3 starts in the capital of Tirglas, but ends in the Udynean capital
4 is set solely in Niholia’s capital city
5 focuses on a village in Obuzan

    To think of them in chronological terms* is a little trickier. As things stand so far, 3 seems to have become the central point to base the others around, but…

    4 has to come first for someone to know a particular thing in 3.
    2 likely occurs near the beginning of 3 or between 4 & 3.
    3 comes next, otherwise the final events of 1 can’t happen.
    1 happens sometime during 3. About halfway onwards.
    5 could, theoretically, happen whenever. So far, anyway.

    * Also, if published in their chronilogical order, I get a whole new sentence: Burning Beneath the Sun, In Pain and Blood, To Target the Heart, Through Smoke and Fire, Down the Path of Shadows. Ha!

    Now I know I’ll be implementing my little timeline software beyond what I already have laid out for In Pain and Blood. Mind you, it’s not as complicated as what I had to do when inserting the novella into The Rogue King Saga, but still 4, 3, & 1 must match up for anyone who reads the whole series, which I guess means that I’ll be starting 3 after I’m done with 2…

    Have you ever had to make sure timelines match up, whether in a series or a standalone? How did you go about it?
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    4 thoughts on “Chronological Sorting

    1. Oh yes! I've got a tri-series with characters who overlap. It definitely takes a special kind of planning to keep all that together. Some people have cheat sheets with all their details. Some use scrivener. I have notes. Massive quantities of notes/outlines.

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    2. With the ninier series, each book comes after the other. There's 25 years between book 2 and 3, then 130 years between 3 and 4. The space makes it easy for timelines. I did get into tricky areas with book two, since a quake happens and all the POVs feel it. But I think I have it planned out in a word doc, in which I wrote all my scenes.

      The Cera Chronicles are super easy. They can be read in any order and have no real reference to anythung except book 3 of the niniers. 🙂

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    3. I tried scrivener, never got the hang of it. Before I got Aeon Timeline, I used excel… which was surprisingly accurate… Yet, there always seems to be notes floating about. Some habits never stop.

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    4. The two trilogies are one after the after, and Crimson Night comes with a 100 year gap from Golden Dawn, yet I still find myself obsessing. It's got to be right, got to think what'll decay, what the human's would've reclaimed…

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