The project I'm working on now has many, many characters, plus magic, plus 141 individual dragons, long-standing families, several groups vying against each other, etc., etc., etc. I've got myself a black, three-ring binder with page dividers. And I'm slowly building it out -- profiles of all the characters, spell lists and components, dragon profiles, settings and maps, family histories. It's a lot of information, but my goal is to basically write a reference book about my story, and then start the actual writing. Or maybe write in bits and pieces as I'm going along.
I know how this sounds. Ick, right? The opposite of fun and creative. More like chemistry homework. But I really can't think of any other effective and efficient way to go about a project like this. So I'm really curious ... how would other people do it? How would you approach a story like this?
And another thing -- what's the deal with series always having odd numbers of books? Why does it have to be a trilogy, or five books, or seven books or even thirteen books? Why not four? The reason I ask, of course, is that I've got four books planned in this series, but I wracked my brain last night and I couldn't think of a single series with four books. Not one. Um, hello? Don't people like even numbers?
Somebody, please help me out on this one.