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Writing Tips for Writers: Book Cheat Sheets

Easy and VERY helpful in keeping things in order. A cheat sheet can be about characters, locations, scenery, and more.

Example: (best done in Excel)

Miles Kablotnik:
Greyhound thin
Salt and pepper hair
Clean shaven
Uses reading glasses
Why? This paints a picture in YOUR mind of what Miles looks like. Halfway through the story you turn Miles into a chubby bald headed guy is going to make a mess of things.

Metaline Falls, Washington:
Small logging and mining town faced with hard times since logging has pretty much ended, exacerbated by the closure of the mine.
Store fronts in modest disrepair, sidewalks cracked and weed-filled.
Battered pickup trucks and rusted sedans are parked in front of the only tavern in the town.
Towering granite mountains are divided by the Pend Oreille River (pronounced Pond dur ray)
Why? Again, a picture in YOUR mind as to what Metaline Falls looks like. Two thirds into the story you have Miles take the subway from Metaline Falls to the International Airport at the edge of town is not going to work.

Multi-Character Books:
Steve, Bob, Mark, and Luther are childhood friends.
Steve and Luther go to college.
Bob and Mark learn trades.
Steve, tall blonde, very smart.
Luther, dark haired, slight beard, soccer player.
Bob, physically the strongest and most mechanically inclined
Mark is a smallish guy gifted in all things electronic.
Why? Well, I have been working on a book for four years now, it indeed has four childhood friends. Connections and locations are vital to story continuity….I had Bob and Mark get in a car and drive across town to find out that Bob and Luther got out of the car at the other end of the ride…


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