When I decided to write Pandemic Dawn as a series, I knew there would be many important things to remember. Dates, times, events, and what happened to characters.
If you write a character who lost the use of their right arm, you better make sure that two books later, it is the same arm that doesn't work correctly. Readers will notice. I know I would.
I kept a timeline with dates and significant events. Some of the events I write about overlap and occur simultaneously with other events; this is important to remember. Keeping track is not that difficult.
When I write for Pandemic Dawn, because there are four novels, around 100 characters, covering a few years, there are many things to remember.
I began the timeline long before Book I began, so there is a solid foundation of events. One of the reasons I work so hard at this is because one of my favorite things in movies and books is the continuity references.
I love, for instance, when I am watching a T.V. series, and in one episode, a character breaks a picture for example, and a few episodes later, you can see the broken picture in the background. This continuity brings realism and depth and draws people into the story. For example, I watched a T.V. series with my wife when someone got beat up; over the next few weeks, the marks on their face slowly disappeared until they were gone. I loved it.
When it comes to personal things
I write this information on the character note card and make sure to reference the note cards before writing about any character, so I don't forget details.
Now that I am in the process of writing Losing Dani Strumm, one thing I have noticed is it is much easier to track events with a single book, a short timeline, and fewer characters.
Not a spoiler, but I have some hidden references within the book about some things, little easter eggs, that only those familiar with my books will get and find interesting.
Like Losing Dani Strumm
I have many things hidden within Pandemic Dawn, some of which I have talked about over the years in interviews and exclusives for those who subscribe. If you haven't subscribed to my website, you really should, it is free, and you get early access to novels, specials, and exclusives that no one else can see.
My timeline for Pandemic Dawn begins in April 2079. Pandemic Dawn Book I begins in October 2079. Because of the pandemic and division of power in the government, new states formed. The separatists formed the New Republic with South California, the Republic of Texas, Alaska, and Michigan, which later became the New States Union (NSU) in 2081. In 2084 the Texas and New Mexico war lasted until 2086. After that, the world slowly returned to a stable environment, and public officials and powers came back into play. Eventually, the streets cleared of the infected, and humankind could return to living. By 2113 the NSU created a new government division to replace NASA, the New Earth Corps (NEC). Over the next 130 years, the world was ready for a contingency if a virus outbreak occurred again. They needed another earth; this set forth a series of events that would push humankind to search the universe for another home. With the advance in technology and the help of the self-aware A.I. that emerged from the pandemic, it would be possible.
It is now 2246, and Dani Strumm has dreamed of this her entire life. Since she was young, she dreamed of being the first person to breathe oxygen on an alien planet.
Through a series of unfortunate events, she may be able to live her dream, or perhaps it will be a nightmare.
Time to get back to writing. Dani is waiting!