Keeping track of characters
As I work on novels, it’s sometimes hard for me to remember all the character names, and in some cases, the spelling of them. Especially early in the process while I’m developing the characters.
So I just have a composition book, and on the first page it has a list of all the names. Nothing fancy, like trying to alphabetize them or organize them in any way. They’re just on the list as they come into the story, and get scratched out if I realize I don’t need them after all.
For my current project I also drew a line about two thirds down and split the page into two columns. Since this story is science fiction, one side is for the names of spaceships, and the other side is the names of planets.
I like the notebook over a spreadsheet or Word file, because if I need the spelling of the ship name, it’s a quick look. Or a quick addition. A computer file requires me to stop, open the software, open the file—and disrupt the writing substantially.
And I don’t work terribly hard on it. This is for quick reference when I’m writing.