Guiding Lights

Posted Wed, 01/14/09

As I wrote last Friday on my Facebook page:

Deborah is working on fiction spreadsheets, been at it since 5:30 this morning. Desperate for a break!

The definition of a "fiction" spreadsheet? They are compiled and tabled information listings of all the central and non-incidental characters and locations in a fiction story. I started creating them several years ago as they centralize fictional individuals, their quirks, physical descriptions and all else so I don't have to keep paging back to remember eye color and other bits about a character as I write. They are painstaking to assemble, but save time in the long run.

I haven't updated my most recent spreadsheet in months, so I was cursing myself last Friday morning as I tried to edit part four (Enthrallment) of Collective Obsessions. The spreadsheets are harder to maintain the longer the story becomes. In this case, the story spans more than 100 years so I have quite a collection brewing.

"Collective Obsessions Saga" spreadsheet. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

(Above): Screenshot of the "Collective Obsessions Saga" spreadsheet. Click on image to view larger size in a new window. Author's Note: The spreadsheet was finalized in 2012; screenshot reflects fictional characterizations and outcomes.

As for the working order of Collective Obsessions, there are eight parts to the story so I can be editing/adding or writing any one of them at any given time. Parts one (Passion Forsaken), two (Quixotic Crossings), three (The Twain Shall Meet), five (The Keeper's Journal) and seven (The Twilight) are basically complete, so I'm left with four (Enthrallment), six (Hearts Desires) and eight (Megan's Legacy) to finish. Not bad for a lengthy bit of fiction that has taken me quite a long time to pull together.

Currently I'm trying to rip through part four (Enthrallment), which I hope to finish by the end of the month.

Tags: Collective Obsessions Saga; Photos & Other Images