E is for Excel #AtoZchallenge

EjpgWe are up to letter E on the A to Z Challenge. As an author, I thought I would write about how I use Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet software to help me organize and write my novels. Now I am talking about Excel since that is the software I have, but I assume any spreadsheet software would be able to work in a similar fashion.

When I was writing the second and third books in my fantasy trilogy, I had quite a few main characters that were in different locations. As they traveled or events happened, I used the spreadsheet to tell where everyone was at any given moment. This also helped me ensure that travel times were the same throughout the trilogy.

excel travel

In addition to the main characters, I had a whole bunch of minor players with magical powers. I needed to keep track of their names, power and location.

excel elementals

Both these pages are “sheets” in one Excel file. It helps me to be able to open one file and see everything I need without scrolling through pages in a Word file.

I am currently using an Excel spreadsheet on my work in progress. The first sheet is location (though all characters are traveling together this time) and the second sheet is a list of characters (major and minor) with names, where they are from and if they have any magical ability. (This also lets me keep track of who has died in the story.)

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4 thoughts on “E is for Excel #AtoZchallenge

  1. I just use Evernote and keep track of who’s in what scene and anything that I might need to know for later (i.e., a character’s backstory that I mentioned or what clothes they’re wearing).

  2. Sarah says:

    Excel has so many wonderful uses, I doubt many people realise how versatile it is!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  3. That is brilliant. I’ve just switched to a spreadsheet for mine from using paper and post it notes. Much more convenient.

    Lyle S Tanner

  4. I love Excel. I couldn’t write my novel without it — with 7 POV characters and 3 subplots, and a setting that spans light years … nope, not doable without spreadsheets. 😀

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