When you’re about to write the last book in a six book series you have a pretty good idea of the world in which your characters live.
Letty Parker and her associates are part of the rich fabric of an alternative Bristol. Set in the time of Sarah Guppy and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, I’ve done my best to give it an authentic Victorian flavour. Getting the details of Victorian life is easy. If I don’t already know I can google what I need to find out. I also know my main characters pretty well. I have what they look like, their histories and their likes and dislikes fixed in my mind.
It’s the minor characters, the people that only appear once or twice in the series, who are the problem.
To solve this I followed the advice of friend and fellow author, Jan Edwards and made a chart. Labelled “The World of Letty Parker” the idea was that every time I introduced a new character I would put their name, appearance, etc down so that if they made another appearance in a future book I could look up their details. This way I’d save time because I’d never have to trawl through previous stories to find them.
I only wish I’d done this from the start…and that I’d been more meticulous in keeping track of new characters and places, because there is a lot of information in that file, there are also gaps that need to be filled and that mean there are days when instead of writing I’m searching for names or details that should be at my fingertips.
One day when the final book is written, I might finalise my list and search out any character that has been forgotten.
Or maybe not.