How often have you read a book where the heroine starts out blond and five chapters later, she’s a headhead, and there’s no mention of her getting a dye job or even getting her hair done?
That’s why you have to have bio lists, lists of character names, and descriptions of places. Especially if you are writing a series.
With my last book, Marisa’s World, I had spreadsheets with characters and which trip they we on from one world to the other – and found I missed a character from the previous book altogether. I had genealogy sheets because I had three generations to deal with. And I had biographical sheets for all my main characters.
Now this one I’m working on, I have the bio sheets, and first, brief notes on each chapter. Since I have two separate story lines, I had to keep track of what each was doing each day. So I had to write up page by page, what happened on that page. And found out I have a couple characters running around two chapters before I introduced them. But it’s the only way to keep things straight. I’m going to do a day by day sheet from the time of the kidnapping to when Brad and Max get back with Sam and the others.
My world is in the back of my mind all the time, and Sam talks to me every now and then. Working title is Sam and the City. I feel like I’m living in two different places at the same time.