Monday, November 25, 2013

The Journey

This is a 'if I had only known' post. And it has absolutely nothing to do with my health.

Years ago, as I began to write, my DH showed me how to do a time line, the kind he used in his engineering job. I adapted it to my novels, and have used a time line on almost all of my novels. Now here I am, trying to finish a series, and with the time lines already disposed of, I have to rely on the binders I kept of major characters for each novel. Still, I'm finding that's not enough.  Because as the story develops things changed. Original characters are no longer major and minor characters which have little or no information about them take a prominent role. And silly me! I didn't keep a record of those changes. 

So, here is a suggestion. Even if you don't think about a series, doubt you'll ever write one, could care less, it's a good idea to develop a spread sheet, or data base for each novel, detailing each character. You can indicate whether they become important as the story proceeds. When I first wrote Heartsong, I never gave a thought to a series. But, I found I had to tell the stories of the other brothers, hence the song series. Now, I have to go back and read through the books - I wrote - trying to remember the characters that became central to the story. If I only had a spread sheet, or a data base to refer to, it would be so much simpler.

Today is a dark and gloomy day, not a day to think about dying, so I'm immersing myself in finishing the novel, and doing a dozen little things (well maybe half a dozen) that need to be done. An example - Over the years, I've collected rolls of adhesive tape, gauze pads, bandages, and they were scattered around the house, in the bathrooms, of course, but in the closets as well.  Now, they are all together, in one spot. Need a band aid, a piece of tape, or gauze? I can now put my hands on exactly what I need. Just a bit of the organizing that I should have been doing. Procrastinator? Yeh, I guess so!  (grinning)



Runere McLain said...

I'm sitting here laughing. Maybe we are a company of 'two', Allison. We have bits and pieces of bandaging tucked away everywhere in this house, and not just for the humans. For the pets, too, from dogs to cats to birds to horses!

And thank you for the spreadsheet advice. I keep notebooks on my characters as well, but maintaining a record as to how they develop in importance/connection to other stories is something I never thought about.

Stay tucked in nice and warm tonight, lady. (Our peacocks, chickens, and turkeys will because two crippled and crazy old people wrapped up the bird pen with tarps and Tyvek, and set up heat lamps for then. And did so with neither of us shooting the other with the nail gun! LOL) Will check in with you tomorrow! Have a restful sleep and sweet dreams.

Rita Bay said...

Hi Allison, As an RN, I'm paranoid about first aid. I keep everything together and date it. Never use old bandages.
We don't have poultry like Runere but we're doggie sitting and Bruiser doesn't like the snow. Rita