Nothing embarrasses me more as a writer than when a reader says: Sean? Wasn’t he called Shawn before?
My books have tons of characters with descriptions, occupations, and traits. When it comes to secondary and tertiary characters, I have a lot more. No wonder Shawn became Sean a few chapters further.
Recently, I learned about bullet journals and was simply impressed by the idea of having my agenda, checklists, planners and trackers in one condensed and convenient system. Then I thought, if this works for organizing my life, it sure works to organize the details of my books.
So I made a page for the characters from TIDES. I have seen very detailed spreadsheets online to make a whole profile of a character, but that wasn’t what I needed. I wanted an overview of the people with the details that I tend to forget (was Sean blond or did he have black hair? Wait, he’s called Shawn!).
So I called my system the HEA-ORT in which I record the:
(H)air color / (E)ye color / (A)ge
For my secondary characters I kept it even more condensed, using only HEA-O. Then on the side, I made a list of every tertiary character without details.
It has helped my memory inmensely and will help you too. What do you think of this idea? What would you do differently?
In my next entry, we will talk about other book details worth recording.