Seasoned authors as well as new ones know that if you are not careful you can loose track of your characters biographies and backstories when writing a novel.
While there are many different ways to keep track of characters, some common ones are the use of index cards or spreedsheets (I know what you are saying…argh) or a combination of the two.
This morning I was working on my manuscript for my new bio-terrorism thriller novel and I realized there has to be a better way to keep track of characters. Although one of my hobbies is designing databases (I know that’s geeky), I was not willing to take the time out of my project to design one. Who knows, maybe someday I will. If I do, I’ll be sure to share it with you.
I looked at character forms available online. Most were multiple pages which I felt were too in-depth.
So I designed a single page Character Bio Backstory Form (MS Word .docx) that can easily be utilized by typing (using a computer or old-fashioned typewriter) or handwriting in the details.
I prefer to type the character details (on my computer) in the same blue color you see in the link above, which is similar to the blue ink I use when handwriting. If I decide to change something about my character or his/her backstory I can easily make the changes on my computer and reprint. I then tape the single pages along each side of the whiteboard I use to keep track of the plot.
You are all welcome to use and abuse it, change it, and copy it to your hearts content as long as you don’t put it on your website and charge others a fee (you never know…someone may think to try this).
It made my life easier and by sharing with you I hope to make your life easier too.1