Hello! I’m going to share the beginnings of my story bible. When I decided I wanted to make a career out of writing fiction, I did A LOT of research. I read the blogs, websites, advice columns of other writers who wrote in all genres.
I may be a pantser most of the time with my writing, but everything around it, is incredibly organized. I wanted to make sure I started things off right, so that down the line, I wouldn’t be going crazy, sifting through manuscripts trying to remember what fella was from where, what color eyes he had, and who he’d had a past relationship with.
Now, one thing you may not know, but might have had an inkling about, is that the majority of my Historical MM Romance characters live in the same city, within the same time frame, and the reason for that is that I’ve created my own little gay enclave in New York City. In the 1930s, in New York City especially, the gay male world was very much existent, even if it was hidden. Through certain dress, speech, and communication, gay men could not only identify other gay men, but to do so in safety, and bringing about a thriving gay community. As such, it’s common sense to me, that many of my characters would have crossed paths at some point or another in their lives.
Some characters might make small appearances, some might merely be mentioned, and some might have a good deal to do with the plot. Regardless, they’re all part of one big timeline. Now, how to keep track of all those handsome heroes, especially when some of their stories haven’t been written yet.
You can click on the image for a larger version. Sheet 1, which is this one, covers physical traits so I can easily go back and check. Here I have the characters together by story. Each story is a different color. It has their age for whatever year their story takes place (the 20s) and what age they are in 1934. Then we’ve got eye color, hair color, skin, height, weight, and a brief description just for reminders.
These are just the main protagonist and important secondary characters. It’s always being tweaked and added to. On Sheet 2, I have the fellas’ occupations, who they’ve had a past relationship with, who they’re friends with, and who their love interest is. I haven’t put that one up because it has spoilers *grin*.
But an example, Hawk is friends with Bruce (they met years before Hawk met Remi). Hawk talks about him in The Amethyst Cat Caper. Bruce and Joe (whose pie shop Bruce visits in When Love Walked In) are friends, and also used to be lovers *gasp*. That will show up in Bruce’s book next. Anyway, Hawk–through Bruce, gets help from Joe, who’s friends with Jacky. Jacky is friends with Alexander, who is friends with Chess. Those of you who read The Amethyst Cat Caper, know of Hawk’s gift to Remi. Well, that’s how he managed it. Hawk’s whole attitude toward high society folks, has to do with Maxfield, who’s cousins with Edward. Edward is the love interest for Julius, who was in my LiAW story.
Yeah, so you see, I thought it best I get organized now, while there are still roughly two dozen fellas. I love expanding their world and making connections. It’s so much fun! I figured spreadsheet would be my best bet, because that way I could move, insert, and easily change things, which wouldn’t be as easy if it was all written down. I do keep a printed copy in a notebook, though, for quick access. Any questions, class? :D
x Charlie x