As writers, we want our stories to hold together well, and to make sense. Keeping track of all of the pertinent details about storyline, protagonist, and supporting characters for a stand alone book is one thing, doing the same for a series of books is even more difficult. We don't want something that we have a character say or do in book five be at odds with something they said or did in book one!
There is more to the details than we think. We not ony have to keep track of what our characters are saying and doing, we have to keep track of how we are presenting their environment, and how they are reacting to their environment. If we reference something from another era, we need to make sure that it reflects that era. Historical events need to be reflected as they happened, not as however we feel they fit into our storyline.
If we do something as simple as moving a paragraph, or an entire chapter, to another location in our story, we need to make sure the information fits, and makes sense. We also need to make sure that it is not repititious, and that the information we are moving is not needed in any of the chapters coming before it. (i.e. If we move Chapter Six to Chapter Ten, we need to make sure that Chapters Seven and Eight do not depend on any of the information from Chapter Six.)
The way that I track information in my writing is through the use of a Book Bible. Everything can be noted here - character history, storyline, what happens when - you name it, it can go into your Book Bible.
Writing is a joy, but if we want to sell our writing, and develop a following, we need to pay attention to the details!
September 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.