Monday, January 9, 2012

Keeping Track of Story Details

I read a series of eight books recently, and was mortified when a whole bunch of inconsistencies came up. The dark haired middle son was now blonde…and we’re talking about a kindergarten level child, so I doubt if he’s already into a drastic change in his appearance. Three years after the couple had been together the youngest son had only aged 18 months…
Unfortunately, (in this case anyway) I have a good memory and these things bug me. When I am writing I want to make sure I get my details right. Allow me to share my work method, and please feel free to share any suggestions.

I use the computer, but on occasion I jot down things in a notebook I keep on hand, and in a pinch I have used my e-reader and phone.

In my story file I have a character folder, in which I keep track of each character’s physical description, quirks and habits, as well a brief description of attitude and personality. In some cases I develop a family tree if I have to.

I also have research files for geographic location, and other elements pertaining to the story, like legends, language and so forth.

There are times when I end up with pages of interesting information, even though I only use a line or two in my work. I don’t mind either, because I like to learn and I want to make sure my facts have been verified.

In Amethyst Eyes I kept a folder for the new technology, words, food and items that had to be created for the story. It only took a moment to check back on the information and make sure my writing remained accurate.

If there is to be a second book in the story, then I have taken a chunk out of the preparation and I can fall back on my notes to make sure I remain faithful to what has already been written.

How do you do it?

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