I am sure you have seen scale models of subdivisions in offices of new housing developments. These usually depict lots available for building, green belts, water features, even planned schools and businesses.
While writing a chapter in my “upcoming” book last week, I needed to describe, in detail, the street on which a character lived. Since this is a book in a series, I recalled doing a similar description in an earlier book a couple of years ago.
It would have made my job so much easier if I had actually sketched the street layout, much like a map, and kept it in a file to refer to at a later time.
And, now that time had come.
But, since I didn’t do that, I had to reread that portion of my previous book and draw the neighborhood, including streets, which characters lived where, and the location in which certain scenes took place.
No, I will not be building a full-scale model of the neighborhood. (I will leave that task to you overachievers.) But I guarantee that I will save it so that I can refer to it when writing future books in the series.
Models and/or maps are good reminders—as are notes of characters’ descriptions, facts about their lives–even as detailed as ages, eye color, and so on.
The more information you retain in your files NOW, the more time it will save you in the long run.