Edith transformed into Hilda!

The rain is pouring here in Cheltenham so I thought its time to iron out a few glitches on the manuscript that have been preying on my mind in the middle of the night. Having taken out a large reminiscing scene at the beginning of the story I’m worried that the characters mentioned in it (my protagonists siblings) have been forgotten about then they will suddenly spring up a few chapters later…the reader at this point having no idea as to who these people are!


I came up with a plan to see at a glance when names of characters 1st appear chapter by chapter. I drew out a grid with 50 (yes I have 50 chapters!) squares on it, well oblongs actually and plotted each character. Then I thought what the hell I might aswell put dates on each chapter and locations, just to make sure everything flowed as it should.


It’s a great way to unearth any mistakes. I discovered I had no chapter numbered 33 and someone called Edith had transformed into a Hilda….good job I checked!


At the end of my plan I’ve come up with a list of unanswered questions ie: When did I start referring to Mr Clements as David….may sound trivial but its hugely important to the book.



The best thing is, I now have a visual map of my chapters and will sleep sound tonight zzzzzzz



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7 responses to “Edith transformed into Hilda!

  1. Yup. Did mine on a long roll of brown paper with colored stickies representing each character, so when it came time to describe character arcs (character changes throughout their part of the story) I could see which character I’d left stranded mid-air. Aaah Cheltenham rain, I remember, I remember, and bless the California sun, except it’s dark here at the moment. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for your comment Helen….always great to share.

  3. Love the idea and the pictures. I used a spreadsheet to track mine. Is your novel character driven?

    • Hi…Yes very much so. My protagonist moves around …India to various locations in England. She has siblings in India and meets new people in England….they are quite hard to keep track of, especially when she’s reminiscing back to India!

  4. Jools

    I’m more linear than you, I think. Mine was a straight forward MSWord table. Three POVs, 3 different colours!

  5. Jools

    I did a fair amount of chopping around during editing. The challenge then was to make sure everything is still consistent. My problem was forgetting who knew what, and at what point they knew it. Eventually it all works out!

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