Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Organization Is a Good Thing

I keep trying to tell myself that organization is a good thing, but I just don't listen. Well, it finally came around to bite me in the rear. I was working on some brief character sketches for five important characters that are going to be introduced in Book 5. Yeah, well, I'm picky when it come to selecting a character name. Well, my problem was that I could no longer remember which names I had used in the prior four books and novella. Ummm.... crap!

Yep, my memory has finally gotten that bad. Or at least I thought it had. I knew it had been building, but I had to finally admit that it was time to create some world notes beyond at few hastily scratched out notes on a legal pad. No, it's time to get organized.

And I decided to start with a Master Character List. Lucky for me, I still had the character lists provided to me by my copyeditor for Nightwalker, Dayhunter, and Dawnbreaker, as well as the novella The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten. Whoo-hoo! You can't even begin to guess how much time those lists saved me. Particularly, when I looked at at least six names on the Nightwalker list and couldn't remember who the heck they were.

In the end, I have 72 named characters for books 1-3 and the novella. I haven't started to throw in the names for Book 4 yet since it still has to survive the revision process. You never know, some poor character might end up on the cutting room floor.

The next step is to actually throw in some characteristics for some of the major players. I know I need help remembering which of Rowe's eyes has a patch. From there, it's a total series outline. Wow! That just sounds so impressive. I wonder if I can actually do it.

1 comment:

Angel Gail Rose said...

lol and this is why I keep wanting to get some kind of creative writing/novel writing software. I've seen some that keeps characters in one place,has questions for the writer to help make sure they know the character and what they look like, and even one that includes pictures of models that you can assign to characters to help create a visual. Also they help compile all of your notes and different manuscripts and creates graphs to help show the progression and plot. It sounds good anyway. I can't imagine keeping so many characters straight without such. It is impressive though when writers include a large cast of characters versus some who seem to have no more than 3 because any others are so 2D.