I went to the Hobby Lobby out in Henderson to buy a cork board to keep track of my characters and their relationships.
Simple enough; until I got sidetracked by a cheap 18×24″ dry erase board. It was $8 and the store was giving an additional 20% discount. While the 20×28 unframed cork board was about $9 but wasn’t stiff enough to suit me.
I was forced to spring for a set of erasable markers to go with the board. But at $6 for a multicolored set, it’s probably cheaper than buying all those of post-its and thumb tacks I’d need if I went with the corkboard option. And, the markers take up a lot less space.
I haven’t fastened it to the wall because I like to sit back and scribble down my thoughts. Being erasable, I can also stare at it for a few minutes and make whatever I don’t like disappear.
The front is slick white, but the back is plain brown with no slick finish, so I can also use it as a support for my drawing pads. Of course, that will smear my notes, but by the time I resort to sketching, I’m pissed at the characters anyway.
This system works for me, but I grew up in a time long before computers and smartphones became ubiquitous. As a result, I prefer a handshake to IM, and writing physical notes rather than relying on my computer. –Besides, if the power fails, I can keep working.
But if you’re a lot younger than I am, and almost everybody is, you may want to stick with a tablet or computer.
Yes, I know I can do anything in Scrivener I can do with a whiteboard, but it doesn’t feel the same.
Yup, I’m old. So, pencil and paper suit me just fine.
As a side note: taking the advice of a published author. I’ve gotten in the habit of giving my characters generic names from the git-go, like Ralph, George, or Nancy, so they feel more like people. Which makes it easier to give them personalities. That way I have a chance of figuring out what the heck they’re going to do next.