In a recent blog post, I discussed the importance of Style Sheets. Another form sheet equally important is the character sheet. Even if a story has only a handful of characters, a detailed list will help keep them in line and their hair colour from changing from chapter to chapter.
A character sheet is a life saver if a novel contains many characters or is one in a series. During the first edit of Shadows in the Stone, I created one to save my sanity. The story contains 74 named characters. Some of these individuals were mentioned only two or three times, but it was important to keep their individual stories straight, along with their age and the weapons of their choice.
What to put on a character sheet is up to the writer. Personally, I use the following headings.
The full name of the character is written in the first column along with nicknames, ranks, titles and keys to pronunciation (if it is an unusual name). With regard to nicknames, I add a note about who uses them.
For example, we may know a character as Chris, but his mother might still call him Christopher while his best friend calls him Shortie.