Tuesday, May 03, 2011


I've started work on the next book.

So far it consists of a basic idea that will involve a family story over four generations. Seemed like a good idea until I realised that I was going to have to make all the dates fit onto a family tree.

There is a huge sheet of paper with lots of boxes on it that are linked by various lines in different directions. As usual I'm stuck for names and have got as far as working out who will share the same surname along the paternal line.

And I have a notebook with two pages dedicated to each potential character so that I can jot down ideas about their lives and how they are all linked together.

This is the most planning I have ever done for a written project. Wish me luck!


Sandra Davies said...

Been there, done that, only I did the family tree later on, when I realised what a muddle I'd got myself into. I also find it useful to have a 'timeline' either arranged in columns for each year or just a list. I've just, accidentally, enabled one character go from A to B in July, completely forgetting he has already been written into a scene where he is still in A a month later.
Sounds wonderful though - keep us posted, please.

snafu said...

One idea for finding appropriate names is to hunt around with Google to find the various family trees published on the web. There are lots and you find around 1830s 1850s, they all have the same names. like John. Rebecca, Thomas, Elanor, Francis and so on. That could be helpful for getting the right names for each period.

MorningAJ said...

I've been photographing tombstones and war memorials! And I'm going to cheat by making one family have the same name (like a lot did) so there will be several generations of Williams. (But follow the story down the younger brother's line so the readers don't get confused.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Morning AJ .. it's all quite complicated isn't it .. or can get that way - organisation I can see is the key .. I spotted your photos of tombstones .. interesting to pick up some interesting names from yesteryear ..

Good luck and enjoy the navigation!! Cheers Hilary