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Character list (policy?)

LughIldanach

I'd have sworn that I've seen character lists/descriptions as chapters, but what about including them as stand-alone articles for series or universes? At one point, I was told that this isn't permissible -- articles had to be stories.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@LughIldanach

Correct. Character lists aren't permitted on their own.

Readers look for stories. Readers want to read stories. Stories count against each reader's daily allowance. If they click on a character list, they lose a daily allowance for something that should be included in a story.

Crumbly Writer

@LughIldanach

I'd have sworn that I've seen character lists/descriptions as chapters, but what about including them as stand-alone articles for series or universes?

If you're writing a series, then it's best to purge your character list so you ONLY include the characters included in each book. That way they're less confusing.

What's more, as I'm posting, I'll keep updating the character list, so there's less story giveaways (it also keeps the character list more manageable). I maintain a character list (which details each character, their relationships and when they first appear) and a "character list by chapter" (which details which characters appear in each chapter). I generally create these documents during the revision phase.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@LughIldanach

They're easy to include with the story in segment like a chapter of their own at the start.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

They're easy to include with the story in segment like a chapter of their own at the start.

You just post the character (Cast) list before the first chapter. It'll throw the chapter statistics off, but it makes it easy for readers to manage.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

Not sure about that CW. Take a mega group like Florida Friends which runs to about 12 "stories" containing the same central cast but add-ins surely it would be better to do a cast list at each story stage (or perhaps you intended that). That said, it is Lazeez who writes the rules.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

Sorry, Sejinteney, that's what I was suggesting. I was trying to explain how it's applied (posting it before the first chapter in each story). But, as I said previously, I trim the overall cast list so it only includes those figures in the current book.

Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

What's more, as I'm posting, I'll keep updating the character list, so there's less story giveaways (it also keeps the character list more manageable). I maintain a character list (which details each character, their relationships and when they first appear) and a "character list by chapter" (which details which characters appear in each chapter).


What sort of file format do you use for keeping these records? Do you use a spreadsheet or just a regular document? If you use a spreadsheet, would it be possible to get a template from you I could use?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

Sorry for taking so long to respond, Capt. (I don't always visit this particular forum thread).

I actually keep different versions. I use WORD documents for my cast list {using the Table function) which details the characters relationships to each other, as well as when they first appear. I also maintain a "Character List by Chapter" which tells me when to add characters to the SOL character list. Finally, I use a WORD file timeline document, which details what happens in each chapter/each day of the story. This allows my editors and I to catch inconsistencies, and it summarizes in each chapter.

I've included each in this link.

Let me know (via email) if you have trouble getting the link and I'll email it directly to you.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

Got it with no problems. Looks a lot cleaner and neater than what I tried to do and has more detail. I'll have to go back through mine and clean it up.

Thanks for the samples!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

Got it with no problems. Looks a lot cleaner and neater than what I tried to do and has more detail. I'll have to go back through mine and clean it up.

Thanks for the samples!

You're welcome. What good is knowledge if we don't share it? I've learned a lot from the other author's here, so I like paying that debt forwards.

It took several years to fine tune those documents. It makes researching the details of what's happening in the story as easy as possible. It's especially handy for editors unsure when/where specific events occur in the story.

richardshagrin

A very minor nit, A recent story had the chapter listing include a TOC. I looked at it and TOC appears to be a Table Of Contents. Perhaps that is a well known abbreviation. Now I know. TIC TOC, time is passing.

Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Perhaps that is a well known abbreviation.


Yes it is, and it's decades old at that.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Dominions Son

My Google search came up with lots of TOCs.

TOC - TheFreeDictionary has 92 of them.

acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/Truck-Operated+Contact

Acronym Definition; TOC: Table of Contents: TOC: Total Organic Carbon: TOC: Theory of Constraints: TOC: Tournament Of Champions: TOC: Tools of Change …

There are lots of TOCs.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

A lot of TLAs/TLIs get overloaded. Context is everything. In the context of a list of story parts/ chapters, I would not take TOC as anything other than Table of Contents.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

A recent story had the chapter listing include a TOC. I looked at it and TOC appears to be a Table Of Contents. Perhaps that is a well known abbreviation.

"TOC" is a universally accepted abbreviation for "Table of Contents", but you'd never see it published in a book. If you see it in a story, the author got lazy and got caught with his pants down. Using "TOC" is akin to a chapter title of "".

If anything, you label the TOC as "Table of Contents", so there's no doubt what the reader is reading, it's a chapter header identifying a book's front matter.

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