So I was working on organizing my bible for the Middleman Urban fantasy series I’m writing. The character profiles were in an Excel spreadsheet. The first story wasn’t that big of a deal, there were maybe 5 or 6 big characters and a half dozen others, easy to keep track of.
Story two was longer, had more characters than the first, though there was some overlap. Same with stories three, four, and five. Looking at it I’d have a spreadsheet with dozens of tabs, one for each character, each with the template I’m using for my character profiles. That sounded like an okay idea, except for having to scroll through everything looking for a particular character.
What forced the issue is the character of Detective Wayne Decker in SS1 was original described as a tall, lithe, athletic blonde man with a perpetual scowl on his face. Five stories later, while I drafted Red Magic I didn’t check the original description and he turned into a shorter guy built like a college wrestler, bull neck, thinning hair. I’m pretty sure if I noticed that difference then my readers (when I get them) would notice as well.
A fellow friend of mine had mentioned that a Wiki is a good way to keep track of not just characters but a timeline, events, locations, etc. I had jotted some ideas down but put that on the back burner until it became time. Well it’s time.
I spent a lot of last night looking up various Wiki options, trying to find one that was A) Free and B) easy to use. There are a lot out there running from simple to complex, most are free, some are paid to host. I came across Google Sites – and they have a Wiki Template.
I became intrigued. I have a Gmail account and with that you gain access to all of Googles platforms.
Going through the Google Sites it took me a little while to figure it out. Basically from your Gmail account you click on the block of Squares up in the top right of your screen, giving you all of Googles offerings. Find Sites. You might have to search for it. From there you’ll have a bright red Create button on the left. Click on it and you can go with “In Classic Sites” or “In New Sites”. I went with Classic. There were a lot of options there, I had to search for Wiki but found it. After selecting Wiki you fill out the basics, what is it for, notes about it etc. You can even select a theme for it if you want to avoid the classic Wiki feel.
Once I created the Wiki I created categories – Characters, Locations, Timeline, things like that. From there I’ll create sub categories to organize it better. You can put in pictures, create links, divide the pages up, hell I even figured out how to create a page and save it as a template. For each character profile I make I can just create using that Template and all the stuff I will be filling out is right there.
The nice thing is that this can grow as well. I’ll have a section for books, links to other things, who knows, I might even make a public facing one! It’s a start and I’m hoping it’ll be a great way to keep things organized.
I’ll also be making one for my High Fantasy Series as well as the shared Space Opera universe that my wife and I are playing in.
There are a lot of other options within Google Sites as well, this was just the first I found. You can make it open to the public, completely private, even share access for collaboration. I can see using this for some of the games I run and play in for notes, sharing of ideas. Gods above and below – some days I love technology!
Hope y’all find this helpful. Please comment and provide suggestions.