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Tracking

One of the issues that has arisen with writing a series, a Space Opera no less, is the scale of the thing. I’ve had spreadsheets on my computer for quite some time, but it was getting to be a pain to jump from writing to a spreadsheet, find what I was looking for and then jump back. Today I finally decided that it would be easier to print them out and tap them to the wall closest to my writing station in my flat.

To date the Earth Saga series has covered over 300 scenes, introduced over 80 characters, and mentioned over 34 planets. Keeping track of everything is a job unto itself. Hopefully these print-outs will make things easier.


In the image above (top spreadsheet) we have a boot-leg map of a stretch of 5000 light years that makes up the area where my story takes place. Earth is located on the far left side of the map. There is a shaded image that runs across the image, this denotes the border between the Etelainen (Alliance) below the line and the Pohjois (Coalition) above the line. Just left of centre is a cluster of worlds that make up what was The Core of the old Empire, and furthest planet away from Earth is Nadolo Prime, a planet that first appears in Book IV.

The spreadsheet on the bottom has the details pertaining to the map above it. Worlds names, affiliation, distance from Earth and finally notes.


The image of the left shows scenes predating the series (yellow), completed scenes (red), unfinished/unwritten scenes (white) and scenes for future books (green). A thick black line is the break between novels.

The image on the right lists all the relevant characters introduced in The Earth Saga. Name/Title on the left, then 9 boxes for each of the novels that will compose the series. If the box is green, the character is in that book. If it is black, they aren’t. The final section contains any character details that may be relevant.

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Copyright 2020 Donald B McFarlane