Right now, at this point in my life, there are few things I enjoy more than writing fiction, creating characters, working out a plot, doing the research for the setting, dealing with motivations for actions and on it goes. It's challenging but so much fun.
There is, however, another side to writing books especially if you use characters in more than one book or set them into the past-- logistics. And there are few things I hate more than working out numbers.
When I first decided to bring my contemporary romances out for eReaders, I had to figure out when each book had happened compared to the others because of a few shared characters. I had written these stories for the fun of it, but I hadn't thought about dates where this or that had to happen if the books were to fit together.
In working that out I even had to change one secondary character's name as there was simply no way that person could have been in that book given the other books and what he had been doing in them where he also was a secondary character let alone the one where he was the hero. If that sounds confusing, it is.
I just thought that had been complicated until I got to the historicals. Once again I'd written loose and for fun. I am one of those writers who keeps my notes on pieces of paper, which gives you a pretty good idea what my writing area looks like when I am in the midst of a project. It's even worse when the book is finished as then-- where did that paper go?
I've heard of software that writers use to avoid those chaotic searches for something somewhere. If I was anal at all, this would be a LOT easier. I have thought about buying some of these systems but would I use them? I had PageFour (which I'd read good things about) for a trial period-- and didn't use it at all during that free trial. Would I have if I had purchased it?
One night, as the time to put out the historicals grew closer, I lay trying to think how many years were between this or that baby's birth-- nothing complicates this more than adding babies to the mix. Historicals are complicated also by real physical dates that cannot be maneuvered around.
The next morning (because I know he's good at numbers), I pulled my publisher (also known as FarmBoss and husband) into the struggle to make the dates hold up. He could hardly believe how casually I had taken the whole thing even though I did know the approximate ages of everybody. I would say he had a bit of an irked look as he got out paper and pen and began trying to make sense of what I was telling him.
I loved doing it--- not. With his help though I did get the dates along with the unmovable historic dates into a Word doc and now have a timeline for the Arizona historicals. On another day I'll tackle the Oregon ones where there are more dates, more people and it stretches over a longer time span.Because it's further off from being ePublished, I am in no hurry.