If you know me, you know I’ve been working on my book series for a long time now. I started writing The Assassin back in eighth grade. While the stories have changed drastically since then, this past year has been a completely different experience. In the past year, I’ve learned that the little details can make or break you and your book.

How the Little Details can Make or Break You

For eight years, I had the ability to change the plot on a whim if I thought it would be better. Now that I’ve released two books, it’s a bit harder to write in the series. Continuity, y’all, it’s a big thing.

Nothing drives me crazier than an author who can’t remember key details. The biggest example that comes to mind is Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum books. I love the series, hands down my favorite. In the first book, One for the Money, it’s established that the love interest, Joe Morelli, and Stephanie had a thing when she was 16.

Six books later, in Hot Six, the age suddenly changes to 18. I know it’s a little detail, but it’s an important detail to many of the books. Later on (I don’t remember what book) Evanovich switches back to the age of 16.

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It’s little details like these that can make or break a story, at least in my opinion. In my own writing, I’m very careful to write down details that I may forget, just so the autoimmune disease brain (autoimmune diseases are notorious for causing people to forget things – a lot) doesn’t have to sweat over forgetting it.

Details are important, y’all.

Details like birthdays, height, hair and eye color, what time of year a book takes place (The Assassin takes place in December 2015 and Double Played takes place Summer 2016. Justice & Lies will take place in February 2017).

Details are so important, even if they seem little. Use a notebook that you have with you all the time, or use a note-taking app like Evernote and make sure you write these things down. Big plot events you’ll remember, little details? Not so much.

As I’m working on Justice & Lies, I’m realizing how hard the last book is going to be! If the third book is this hard, having to remember details from books one and two, I can only image what it’ll be like with seven or eight books to remember.

If you’re in the middle of a manuscript, start making notes about important details. You can go back and take notes on the beginning when you start editing. Trust me, making notes about things like this means you’ll cut down on the time it takes to write the next book.

How do you remember details for books?