how to create a character binder or THE BINDER OF DOOM
So I’m a neurotic planner when it comes to my books. And possibly about life, but let’s disregard that for the moment.
I like to use a 3-ring binder so I can either hole-punch the pages or use plastic sheet protectors. I have recently become a huge fan of the sheet protector way, since it . . . well, protects my sheets. Ingenious, I know. It also allows me to rearrange things as I need to.
I have a page for each character (sometimes 2 pages) and I have pictures I’ve found that look like my protagonist, or pictures I’ve drawn. The page also has two sections. One describing their physical attributes, and the other describing their personality. It’s nice to have both of those things concrete on the page, because I am such a visual learner that once I see it on the page, it’s concreted in my mind. And that way I can look up of my protagonist has blue or purple eyes.
I print off any research that is super important and put it in the binder. That way I can refer to it over and over again. I do a lot of research for my stories so I can build a credible society. Research on building designs, furniture, food, personality types, ect.
I also have my original notes for my story in this binder, though that’s more for my own viewing pleasures.
I keep my chapter by chapter story outline in here. I have a short and long version, though the short version has a list of things that need to change in each chapter (I update it as I go along). That’s really helpful, because I can open my binder up and know exactly what chapter I need to work on and where my focus should go. I also keep notes of my discarded ideas — like if I wanted to make a change and it didn’t work out — and I save that in case I can use it in a later draft.
I write up important things for my world and keep the notes here. I have Rules for the Bad Guys in here, as well as their goals listed. And tons of other fun things, including building designs and pictures.
Add anything else you think I’m missing here. Basically, whatever will help you as you are writing your book.
And now you, too, can have your own shiny new BINDER OF DOOM. [dun dun dun] Just don’t let the BINDER OF DOOM take up all your time, or else you won’t get any writing done!
You do think it’s thick, right? And does anyone else do this thing of madness, or is it just me? And should I add a shiny unicorn to the front?