Monday, November 26, 2012

Excel in Writing

Get the pun in this entry’s title?  For the first time, I’m using an Excel workbook as part of my writing.  In my reimagining of The War of the Worlds, I have the cylinders from Mars landing near different cities around the world, not just London, so their invasion has to advance consistently on each day. 

This sheet goes on for several days 

I also have three groups of characters in three locations.  Their actions have to be coordinated, so I need to track who is doing what on each day. 

What each viewpoint character experiences 

I’ll also have to track the positions of Mars and Venus, as well as phases of the moon.  J.R.R. Tolkien once remarked something to the effect that he could not have Aragorn look up one night and see a full moon, then have Gimli look up a couple nights later and also see a full moon.  He kept charts on phases of the moon, and also the speed of Gandalf’s horse Shadowfax. 

Learn from the greatest.  


Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Excel is a powerful tool. I took a class on how to use it and was surprised how little I knew.

Carrie Butler said...

So organized! :) I love it!

VikLit said...

Interesting tip, I am going to open an excel spreadsheet right now!

Mina Burrows said...

Excel, huh? That's interesting. I like it.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I use Excel too! I track my chapters and character arc with it. ;)


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