I’m not the most organized person in the world. Truth is, I can put something down and two minutes later not remember where I left it. Important things, like rights reversions on books or airlline tickets, I put on the bulletin board in my office. Really important things stay in Bob’s keeping. (I only get to touch my passport when I’m showing it to the customs people, then I immediately give it back to him.)
So you can imagine how I am when it comes to keeping up with my characters. I’ve tried notebooks, word files, Excel files, index cards, Post-It notes, poster boards, and I still wind up forgetting names, details, descriptions.
Right now I have two manuscripts in progress, both parts of series. The Copper Lake series has over 300 characters and covers five states and two countries. The second is my women’s fiction series, which so far has four major players, six secondaries and about 40 minor characters. Each of the majors and secondaries are from different places, have family deets to remember, plus the calendar on this one is tough because I have to track not only the present but also major events in everyone’s not-too-distant past.
And I’m convinced, there’s GOT to be a better way. My ideal way would be to have someone who has all that info in her head to give it to me when I need it — I’m thinking along the lines of Siri on the iPhone. You know — always there, always knows, but doesn’t distract you from work.
Failing my very own virtual assistant, I figure I’ll keep puttering along the best I can. If you know of a better way to track this stuff, let me know. I’m drowning in characters!