(Fair warning…it’s iOS. If you know of a similar app for Android, let me know in the comments!)
So some of us tend to be fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants authors. I fall squarely into that category, and I refuse to apologize for it. I’ll normally have a general overview of how I want the story to go, and I do always write out a brief character sketch (age, appearance, significant characteristics, etc) in advance. For the most part, however, even as I write toward the goal I have in mind (aka “The End”), I live the story with the characters.
Does this sometimes cause problems? Of course! Do I sometimes have to go back and delete or rewrite entire scenes or arcs? Unfortunately, yes. I wouldn’t have it any other way, however.
Britt and I have been writing together for over four years, but Pistils was the first story where we really wrote down everything…not in advance, but when we’d written enough to know where the story was going and wanted to make sure it was nailed down, Krazy-Glued, and steel-reinforced on all four sides. We wrote up a list of questions for each other’s characters, with everything from “Tell me about Vivian’s parents,” to “What is Parker’s greatest fear?” Then we wrote out timelines. A timeline for the entire book, and timelines for action-oriented sequences. (More on writing a timeline and why it’s important in a future blog post.)
So why all this sudden frenzy of writing down and cross-referencing every single detail? Easy…Pistils was going to be the first book we #1 salted an obscene amount of time and quite a bit of our hard-earned money into and #2 making sloppy (or even accidental) mistakes will irritate readers, which will result in reviews saying “OMG, I wanted to like this book but the continuity errors were too much!” This leads to people deciding against buying your book. I know when I’m contemplating buying a book online, I head straight for the lowest-starred reviews. If there is more than one review mentioning spelling, grammar, punctuation, continuity etc. errors, I’m outta there. Because yes, I’m one of those people who is completely thrown out of the story (and then goes back to double-check) when a character’s poodle mysteriously turns into a schnauzer three chapters later.
ENOUGH! I hear you screaming! You promised us an app! Well, so I did, and here it is.