Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The absentminded writer

As writers we try to kid ourselves that we remember everything from plot to character eye color. NOT! I can't tell you how many times I've read through the chapter I've written and find I can't even keep the name spelled the same the whole way through. Sad isn't it? You'd think that the constant use of the computer, the hand-eye coordination that's associated with typing and the fact that the story and the characters originated in my head would help keep me from forgetting the details. For me it doesn't work that way. And as for the coordination skills... those don't exist either. Just ask my Jazzercise instructor when I'm doing the miss-step in the back of the class.
Authors are normal people. We can't remember everything. At least I can't.
I have to keep a file on my computer when I'm writing that list every detail from the way the name is spelled to the eye color of a character. I also keep a detailed list of facts for the book so I don't change it by the end of the book. We don't want the character coming from Kansas at the start of the book and then returning home to Iowa by the end of the book. A reader will take note of the mistake and won't hesitate to let you know. It's their job to help keep you straight you know. LOL
I've begun to notice that I can't even keep the home life details straight. Maybe I should keep an open file on that part of my life as well. Do you think it would work? I could label a file for each of the aspects of my home life. One titled (PIA) for the hubby. One titled (PIA2) for the 18 year old daughter who can't seem to find the direction she wants to go in and is driving me off the deep end of the pier. She's getting a tattoo this month and shared the wonderful (not) news with me. Her father is gonna flip but that's a whole other issue. I've gotten where I look forward to going to work to get out of the war zone between them.
Can't wait to go to RT next week. Looking forward to seeing Cait Miller and relaxing.
I think I'll stop rambling now. Maybe next week I'll pop on and add a blog about RT and upload pics as I go.
Thanks for listening.


Lynn LaFleur said...

You aren't the only one who has to have a file of everything in the book. I made up character detail sheets so I could remember eye color too, as well as other important things about my characters. I even print them on pink for gals and blue for guys. Is that OCD or what? :-)

Never thought of making files for outside my writing life, but it sounds like a good idea, Tara.

Carly Carson said...

I told my kids if they got a tattoo or piercing, it was their way of telling me they didn't want us to support them any more. Since they want to go to college, it has worked so far. Better yet, there's nothing to argue about.