So, here's something sorta embarrassing... I was having trouble remembering the names of some of the characters in my novel.
Yeah. I know.
They're totally minor characters, basically just red shirts. But, it's important to keep that sort of thing consistent throughout the entire piece, right?
So I did something that I really ought to have done from the start - create a list of characters and their associations. I know, I know, Writer 101 stuff. But, I've never really been one for taking copious notes or planning things out with more than just a bare outline and my brain.
In some circles, this is called "pantsing." People who do this are "pantsers." I realize how very 7th grade that sounds, but really, we're just trying to reclaim it.
But there it is. Look at me like a cautionary tale. Your novel will be full of strangers if you don't do things right. It doesn't have to be terribly in depth, just a straight up list. Is there a family, or groupings you need to keep track of? Go for it. Because most of my characters are in the military, I organized it by their squads.
Effort: Five minutes.
Not having to keep looking back through old chapters to remember character names: Priceless.
"Black Sails" by Bear McCreary