|A Screen capture of part of the timeline.|
Meanwhile, I started to write book 3. I got as far as the end of chapter 2, around 7,000 words, before I realised I hadn't prepared the absolutely essential tool to aid in keeping track of my many named characters. I devised a timeline so that I'd know exactly where every named character was at any time and what they were doing. This is a necessary tool, as the story takes the form of three interwoven threads, combining to form the plot. Of course, both the time period and the selection of characters change with each book. Some of the players die, some merely fall off the edge of the stage, perhaps to be allowed back up to perform some other part before the end. The timescale is over three years and a great deal happens.
I could not continue without creating the necessary timeline for book 3. So, that is what I have been doing. It's a lengthy task; complicated though not difficult. Each player has a hyperlink to the character sketch I've produced, so I can easily check that I haven't unwittingly changed hair colour or gender!
As I have changed over from a PC to the iMac during the process of writing, most of my links no longer worked, as the files were in different places. So I had to reform those links as well. It's all been rather time-consuming, but it's worth the effort. And I'm now back on track. So I can continue with the really great part of the process; the actual writing.
I don't know how other writers keep track of their characters when writing long works, but I'd be interested to learn. So, by all means, give us some insight.
I will keep you informed of progress on the trilogy. Watch this space, as they say.