Cheat sheets are the best.

I don’t know about you, but I need cheat sheets. Not for cheating on tests. But to remember every day stats of my characters. Eye color, hair color, birthdays, etc. Without these sheets, I embarrassingly forget their minute details.

With TMC, I clung to my cheat sheet — having to remember every keeper’s key color and detail was impossible. (Well, maybe possible to the few gods among men out there. But impossible for a mere mortal like me.)

Example:

Luke Cedrus

Birthday:  January 7, 1992

Age:  13

Eyes:  Crystal Blue

Hair:  Auburn with a perfect tossled look

Features:  Freckles scattered across his face; small nose, chin; dimples

Height:  Average to small

Weight:  Average

Fears:  Rats, the dark, dying young, not knowing family truths

Strengths:  Intelligent, nimble, quick thinking, analyzer

Weaknesses:  at times stubborn—thinks he can do it alone; soft spot for family; curiosity

can lead him astray at times, and can be cynical and negative

Oddity:  Collects articles from the newspaper and saves them in boxes; is a royal

Key:  Silver / Royal

Biggest Goal in 1st Book:  Find his father and prove him innocent; stop Quicksilver

And it’s similar with MARKED. My cheat sheet identifies each Marked’s mark, its shape and its power. Without it, I’m completely useless. Other than that, my sheets are simple. Quick stats with just enough information to keep me from having to sort through the dozens of folders I’ve created for said story.

For example:

Oliver Christian Pastorius

Sex: Male

Age: Nine

Birthday: July 13, 2002

Height: Four feet, three inches

Weight: seventy pounds

Hair: Black

Eyes: Bright blue

Skin: Tan

Mark: Destructor Mark*

Aaron Rupert Mingus 

Sex: Male

Age: 30

Birthday: November 27, 1981

Height: Five feet, ten inches

Weight: 140 pounds

Hair: Super short and black

Eyes: Dark brown, almost black

Skin: Lightly tanned

Mark: Healer’s Mark

*MARKS (a small sample)

Formal title One word description Skills – Good Skills – Bad Jobs
God Destructor Mark Build, create, heal, grow, (has a bit of all marks’ skills–able to do the things they can do but Kill all living beings, destroying things instantly Only job has been a dictator, but could also be many of the below
Gift Gift Mark Giving, often good with money and is wealthy, Stealing, thievery, Non-profit businesses, charities, volunteering, philanthropic jobs
Birth Tree Healer’s Mark Heal medicinally; heal wounds, burns; internally and externally; can create liquids that can heal; can create pills that can heal; Can give infections, cause pain, reopen wounds; give diseases; even make someone go blind, deaf, etc. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, pharmacists, healers,

What about you? Cheat sheets? Index cards? Post its? How do you keep track of all those pesky details running throughout your novels? Shoot me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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