Your Novel’s Details

by Carole Brown

elephant forget free

Have you ever read a book that has the details wrong? And I’m not just talking about historical details, but mundane details that you didn’t catch when writing–even editing–your manuscript. Examples:

  • You wrote that an event happened on Wednesday, but a couple chapters later, on that same Wednesday, you wrote a totally, and unusable, event happening at the same time?
  • Or what about forgetting to finish a subplot detail by not following through with a satisfactory solution?
  • Did you ever change a name and find out you missed a time or two where he/she’s referred to as the previous name? Ouch!
  • Or start out with the main character’s eyes blue and finish up with a green-eyed protagonist?


If you’ve ever read about this happening and don’t want it to happen to you, or you know you’ve missed a few things in your manuscript, then may I suggest a couple ideas:

 1. Choose a paid-for program that works for you. There are different ones that are available that can give you guidance and steer you in the direction needed to keep all your manuscripts details clear and in order.  Depending on the money you want to invest, it can go from inexpensive to very expensive.

To those who like having it all set up for you in advance and have the money to spend, this is the way to go. There are all kinds of apps out there with varying prices. Google or ask other writers to find out what would work best for you.

programs free


I’ve heard good things about Evernote (basic is free; premium costs a decent price). Use it to keep track of your characters by using tags and keywords: eye and hair colors, photos of possible character look-alikes, clothes, styles, etc., and articles of research that you want to keep and refer to later in your work.

Scrivener: a writing software where you write without worrying about formatting. You also have the ability to use tags and keywords, clip websites, store photos and other research material. It can outline with text or a simulated cork board with index cards. You also have the added benefit of it tracking your daily quota of writing.


2.  Create your own “program” where you keep a detailed list of what’s happening, when, where and who.  This is the one I want to focus on today.

checklist free




First:  you’ll need to decide what you’ll use for your Details List: post it notes, whiteboard, index cards, spreadsheet, physical notebook, etc. Use these to help you:

  • Keep track of all characters, including minor characters who may appear only as a mention or very little in your book. List their names, ages, looks, habits, character traits, quirks, relationships (past and present) and anything else you might want to attribute to them and that helps you understand them better. You may not use everything, but it’s valuable for you to determine why and how your character acts the way he/she does.

Example: It’s easier than some realize to forget a minor character’s name, what color of eyes you first used, etc. I changed a minor character’s name in one book and couldn’t remember what it was. Another time, I changed a pretty important character from one position to another, from one name to another, then back again. Details like this are so much easier to remember when you have your handy, detailed lists.


character2 free


  • Keep track of what happens in each chapter. Some events or thoughts or actions may need follow up in later chapters. This helps you to not miss anything that needs to be visited again.

Example: this saves tons of time when you need to double check something to make sure what you previously wrote vibes with what you’re ready to write (rather than having to scroll through pages trying to find that particular scene).

book chapter free



  • Keep track of all major scenes in your book. This is a more specific listing that keeps you right in line to where you’re headed. You can follow the scenes and know whether you’ve left out any vital action, thought or words that would help clarify it or make it even more realistic.

Example: Recently, I wrote a scene of which I had that vague sense it wasn’t quite what I wanted. But in the push to finish the book, I went on writing. When the first draft was finished, I realized details weren’t as they should be in that one scene. I went back through and rewrote it twice before I came close to being satisfied with it.

Praise on the Bible


  • Keep track of timeline. Obviously, this is a biggie. Writers have to keep track of the time events happen, whether it’s minor or major. Readers are sharp. They can pick up a major error like this easily if they’re detail-oriented. It’s an author’s obligation to make sure their story’s timeline is “time-right.”

Example: Is it on Sunday morning before church or after an evening meal when the bad guy is taken to jail? Sometimes, especially when you switch viewpoints, you can overlap actions and times from various characters, but when it comes to certain actions or the same character, you have to consider that he just might not be able to scale Mount Everest the same time he’s eating luncheon with his girlfriend. Keep it straight with your list!

timeline free


  • Keep track of your plot.  Make sure you’re headed in the right direction. There will be changes and sidelines that create an even better story, but you want to remember that by keeping track of your plot, it will help keep you in line for a satisfactory ending. Every line, every scene, every chapter should lead to the ending of your plot.

Example:  In a couple of my books, I realized, the closer I got to the end, that the bad guy wasn’t the one I’d planned for when I first commenced writing the book. Because I kept track of my plot–which didn’t change–changing the character worked fine.



There are many other things that can be added to your lists, but the main thing is, keep track, however you decide to do it. I like simple and easy, so going my own way (preparing my own lists–usually with physical notebooks or cards) works for me.

However you decide to go, I think you’ll find this a great idea. Many times writers want to write and not be bothered or “distracted” with lists and such. But I encourage you to give it a try. I had the same mentality once I seriously began writing novels. It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed help…and lists was the way to go.

Questions? Ask. If I know the answer, I’ll be glad to respond. If I don’t I’ll try to find the answer. Best to you as you work on your manuscript!

Five Reasons YOU Should Read

alphabet free

Did your teacher–or mother or father or someone else–ever tell you that you must read to be success? That reading is the most important subject to learn? That you couldn’t make it without learning to read?

Of course, we’ve had those and many other similar ideas about reading shoved at us, pounded into our brains until they are second nature to us.

Let me share a few thoughts I have about reading today on Tamera and Carole’s Promotion Tuesday:

Quotes I Love that encourage reading:

  • A good book makes you want to live in the story. A great book gives you no choice. –Unknown
  • My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read. –Abraham Lincoln
  • A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. –George R. R Martin

And my Five Reasons you should read:

read on vacation

5.  Entertainment and relaxation: Are you looking for something to take your mind from the daily grind? Reading is a great stress-buster and according to one test from the Sussex University researchers, can reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. Sounds like a good idea to me!

older man reading free

4.  Can Fight Alzheimer’s:  activities such as chess, puzzles, learning a new language, reading, etc., engages your brain activity and could mean you’d be 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Makes sense, and also keeps you busy and in a happier frame of mind.

light bulb free

3.  Makes you more empathetic: When you lose yourself in a book’s pages, you are learning what others are thinking, what their emotions are and why, and increases your social skills and knowledge of humanity.


2.  Increases intelligence and boosts brain power: Diving into a good book opens up a whole new world of learning. Children’s books expose kids to 50 percent more words than prime time TV. For college kids, exposure to new words/vocabulary leads to higher reading scores and general tests of knowledge.

Not only that, but reading gives your brain a good workout. Not only vital for younger ones, but for the elderly too, prolonging the slowing down of a brain’s activity

Holy Bible old free

1.   The Bible: My favorite–reading enables you to read, study and delve deeply into the Word of God, thus encouraging you to a healthier, richer relationship with God. It helps youngsters develop a taste for more knowledge of God. It gives the established ones in the faith strength to fight the enemy and hold fast to what they have learned.

Having said all that, and hopefully encouraged you to read, and read more, let me invite you to check out Tamera’s books and two of mine:

Available now on Amazon

Soldiers Heart Paperback

Available now on Amazon








Available June 2016

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman (3)

Front Cover1 w apple blossom








Special offer $.99 Kindle Amazon


  • cartoons reading to kidsREAD to your kids.
  • Take a book and READ on a boat ride, while waiting on the fish to bite, sitting on a coverlet with a picnic basket and waiting for your hubby or man-of-your-dreams to join you.
  • READ when you’re blue or discouraged, when you’re happy and jumping for joy, when you’re scared and lonely.
  • READ to your elderly parents, to your husband/wife, a shut-in or to all the neighborhood kids.
  • Read while on vacation–at the beach, in the woods, touring a museum (guidebook), while traveling in a car, an airplane, a train.
  • READ to your pets, and most of all, READ.

Many wonderful days of reading wished for you!



Featured Novel: Faces In The Fire

Faces in the Fire

Faces In The Fire

By T.L. Hines


Book Description

Four lost souls on a collision course with either disaster or redemption. A random community of Faces in the Fire.

Meet Kurt, a truck-driver-turned-sculptor with no memory of his past. Corinne, an e-mail spammer whose lymphoma isn’t responding to treatment. Grace, a tattoo artist with an invented existence and a taste for heroin. And Stan, a reluctant hit man haunted by his terrifying gift for killing.

They don’t know each other, at least not yet. But something–or someone–is at work in the fabric of their lives, weaving them all together. A catfish, a series of numbers scribbled on a napkin, a devastating fire, and something mysterious. Something that could send them hurtling down the highway to disaster–or down the road to redemption. But they won’t know which is which until they’ve managed to say yes to the whispers in their souls.


T.L. Hines’ Website


My Review:   ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

This is the first T.L. Hines book I’ve read, and I’m glad I did. From the first page, “Faces In the Fire” draws you into the four main characters lives. This supernatural suspense thriller will lead you into how each character finds redemption through a strange set of numbers and symbols. I was on the edge of my seat. The only caution I would give is this novel is not doctrinally correct but I believe is meant to be taken figuratively rather than literally. I highly recommend this novel.

Reader’s Choice Top Book List

This is a must read list of books compiled from comments on this site, facebook, twitter, and other social networks. I have not included my own favorites although some of these would be on my favorites list. The list is in no particular order.

  1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  2. The Shack by William P. Young
  3. Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
  4. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  5. Sea Wolf by Jack London
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  7. Change & Cherish Series by Jane Kirkpatrick
  8. Behold the Dawn by K.M.Weiland
  9. My Name is Russell Fink by Mike Snyder
  10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  11. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  12. Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock
  13. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  14. On the Beach by Nevil Shute
  15. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
  16. Davy by Edgar Pangborn
  17. Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens
  18. Chonicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
  19. The Firebird Trilogy (Firebird, Fusion Fire, Crown of Fire) by Kathy Tyers
  20. Legends of the Guardian King (The Light of Eidon, The Shadow Within, Shadow Over Kiriath, Return of the Guardian King) by Karen Hancock
  21. The Seven Kingdom Chronicles (The Crown of Eden, The Devil’s Mouth, The Bride of Stone) by Thomas Williams
  22. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  23. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  24. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  25. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  26. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  27. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  28. Paradise Lost by John Milton
  29. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  30. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe
  31. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  32. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  33. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  34. The Complete Works of Shakespeare
  35. Russka by Edward Rutherford
  36. Centenial by James Michener
  37. Hawaii by James Michener
  38. Shogun by James Clavell
  39. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  40. Texas by James Michener
  41. South Pacific by James Michener
  42. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  43. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  44. The Outsiders by SE Hinton
  45. The Husband by Dean Koontz
  46. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  47. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  48. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  49. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  50. Little House on the Prarie Series by Laura Ingalls Wildler
  51. Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  52. Traveller by Richard Adams
  53. Little Women/Men/Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott
  54. Emma by Jane Austen
  55. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  56. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  57. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  58. Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
  59. Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  60. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  61. Dombey & Son by Charles Dickens
  62. Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  63. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  64. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  65. The Long Roll by Mary Johnston
  66. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  67. Dragon Seed by Pearl Buck
  68. Empire of the Sun by J.M. Ballard
  69. Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian
  70. The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
  71. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  72. This Present Darkness by Frank E. Perretti
  73. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
  74.  The Thin Red Line by James Jones
  75. Flight of the Phoenix by Trevor Elleson
  76. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
  77. Until the Last Dog Dies by John Robinson
  78. When Skylarks Fall by John Robinson
  79. To Skin a Cat by John Robinson
  80. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  81. Hinds Feet In High Places by Hannah Hunnard
  82. Skin by Ted Decker
  83. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
  84. Peircing the Darkness by Frank Peretti
  85. A Ship Possessed by Aton Gansky
  86. White Fang by Jack London
  87. The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Dahn
  88. 1984 by George Orwell
  89. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  90. The Left Behind Series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye
  91. Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins
  92. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  93. Love Comes Softly by Janette Oake
  94. The Stand by Stephen King
  95. The Prophet by Frank Peretti
  96. In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
  97. Christy by Catherine Marshall
  98. A Man Called Outlaw by KM Weiland
  99. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  100. The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Friday is Book Day on Word Sharpeners starting today. Each Friday, I will review a new book or have a list of some of my favorites. Instead of listing my top 100 favorites as some do, I’ll post a few lists based on genre that are well worth reading. So this is your list. Leave comments, and tell me what you think.