Spreadsheet Madness

A dog sitting on a bar stool is kind of crazy.

Me using spreadsheets to organize my characters in RoE, now that is insane.

I like to blame Amy for this little jaunt to the insane asylum.  I can barely use Excel and yet here I am, filling out cells, well, like crazy! When one thinks of the creative process, the strange elixir of life that is writing, spreadsheets are not one of your typical ingredients.


Imagination, muses, sparks, zaniness, wit, love, hate, fear,adrenaline are but a few of the typical ingredients in of the writing stew.

But spreadsheets?


But just like outlines, spreadsheets do have their uses, in as much as keeping track and making sense of a spiraling cast of characters. More and more pop up every day and I have to find a way to keep them in check before I lose them in the crowd. It may be a sign of a bad writer that I  keep adding new characters in every other scene (and poor discipline) but I shan’t worry about that in the first draft. It is all about putting down on paper. I’m just using these tools, not for planning purposes but for crowd control, an extension of the “Inner Outline” or note-taking. Keeping the herd together until we reach the final pasture.

That is all.

I swear!



And now some music from the massively cool game and space opera experience that is Mass Effect 2:

7 comments on “Spreadsheet Madness

  1. Randy Ingermanson uses spreadsheets as part of his Snowflake Method for novel writing, so you’re in good company. I think he uses them for scenes rather than characters. Personally, I don’t really know my way around excel, but I tinker with a variety of writer’s software-apps that help with structure.


    • Playing around with Storybook right now> I hope it helps.


    • Ralfast said . . .

      “Playing around with Storybook right now> I hope it helps.”

      I’ve messed around with Power Structure, Liquid Storybinder, and the freeware ywriter5. Trying out the Scrivener windows beta at the mo. I’ll download Storybook and take a look at that too, so cheers for the heads up.


  2. Yay! Be one with the spreadsheet! 🙂

    I’m glad I could help spread the madness.


  3. Nooo! First outlines, then no NaNo, now spreadsheets?? Come back to the dark side where you belong!


  4. I should use spreadsheets…I make lists of my characters in Word, particularly in cases like my RAF stories…otherwise I’d end up with three “Richard Greene”s running around.


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