I have now completed my third edit of Babel. This is where I check that the time is right. This is where I guard against ten-month pregnancies, protagonists who don’t have time to eat or sleep or the setting in which there is perpetual spring.
I pre-empt this edit a little by planning the time in anyway. As I writer my chapter outline, I decide the time at which and within which the action takes place and any time gaps there are between chapters.
I still need to check, though. I have to check that nothing happens which couldn’t possibly happen in that time. Also I have to ascertain that any significant passage of time is properly signalled.
It wasn’t too onerous a job and there was in fact little that I had to change, possibly because of earlier planning. However, I did find one or two characters referring to events at other times and I had to check that these worked. I did have to make one or two alterations despite my careful planning.
As always, also, there are other things you notice as you go through.
One thing I was delighted to notice: Babel is beginning to look like a novel.