The Novel Spreadsheet

After completing three novels using my handy-dandy spreadsheet and being 10,000 words into my fourth,  I discovered I was lacking a column.

This far into the game, I thought I would have had my spreadsheet nailed. The joke’s on me.

My first three novels take place in a fictitious ski resort (Stone Mountain) in British Columbia. I needed one location column when I had one town and a bunch of locations within the town. All I needed to note in the location column was where the scene took place within Stone Mountain. That meant on the ski lift, in an office, on a trail, in the forest, in a car, etc.

My fourth novel starts out in Kingston, ON, moves to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and then makes its way through the Bahamian island chain.

Now, I need to keep track of locations within the new locations. The new column lists the town or island where the scene takes place. The existing column still works and lists where in the town or island the scene happens. This means on a beach, at anchor, in the dinghy, etc.

I guess my spreadsheet will continue to evolve as I write more novels.


9 thoughts on “The Novel Spreadsheet

  1. Let us know when you have your perfect spreadsheet :). I always like to see how writers set up their novels. I tried a spreadsheet and a timeline and the darn things keep changing!


    1. I don’t know if it will ever be finished. You’re right – they just keep changing. I guess that keeps things interesting. BTW – I like the name of your blog. Very motivating.


  2. It’s funny how the process evolves along with the needs of the story! I’m glad you found a way to adapt your spreadsheet to the new story, since it sounds like quite a useful way to work.
    The novel sounds intriguing as well. 🙂


    1. Thanks for the comments on my novel. I’m trying something new. I’m using only two POV characters. My first 3 novels have at least 7 POV characters. That puts a new slant on my spreadsheet as well.


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