With most of my stories, I don’t make notes after I’ve finished them. There’s really no need to since most of them are one-shot stories. This is a good thing because I don’t have reams and reams of notes I’ll never use again. It’s a bad thing because I do have a series building up and the only notes I have are on the individual stories.
There’s a simple solution – take a time out from writing those stories and create a story “bible.” Television shows and existing fiction franchises keep story bibles so that important facts, events, and characters are portrayed accurately no matter who the author is who is writing a particular story. It’s something I have to add to my existing process.
So that’s what I’m doing right now. My Double Helix series started out as one book. Then I had an idea for another one, and a collection of short stories about how each of the members joined Helix. Now the series notes are up to six novels and six short story collections. There are too many details to keep straight without a little help.
So characters, locations, organizations, timeline notes, and other details for the entire series are going into one place. I can update it when a new detail comes up. I can refer to it when I’m not certain about something. I can give my beta readers the relevant parts of it so they can make sure I’m consistent with descriptions and motivations.
It does take time away from writing the actual stories, but it will also make things quicker when I need to remember details. Here’s to learning and using new information.