NaNoWriMo Prep – Day 8 of 9

With only two days of prep time left, I’m relieved that the chapter-by-chapter outline is complete! Yesterday afternoon I had a spurt of inspiration that allowed me to be able to fill in the remaining blank lines. That means today’s focus is creating the character list.

Undoubtedly, there are writers who don’t even create a formal list. I am not one of them. Especially for this novel, which is the second in a series. The list for me is vital in remembering how everyone is connected from the first story to this story.

A character list can be as sparse or as detailed as you like. Starting with the main characters, I list name, year they were born, and basic background/backstory information needed to keep character motivation fresh in my mind. I’ll also throw in any physical details of the character that are important but which might be left out in the fury of attempting to write a novel in only thirty days time.

Having this information close at hand while writing aids greatly in keeping all the relationships of the characters straight, and to serve as a reminder of where the characters are coming from at the beginning of the novel. That’s why I create them, and why I would recommend creating a list to other writers.

What about you? If you write, do you create character lists? How detailed do you get?

– Melinda


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