Consistency in small details is key to maintaining the story magic withing a novel, whether short or long. Recording meticulous details in notebooks, notes, online files/descriptions etc, are vital. One thing I constantly forget is the colour of my character’s eyes & hair, so I need it written down.
One useful technique I have started using recently is a spreadsheet which briefly lists each scene. I then track where all the main characters are while the scene is being enacted. This prevents characters suddenly appearing in impossible places or while they are meant to be some place else.
I also use the spreadsheet to track other elements of the longer story from scene to scene:
- Character change from scene-to-scene/chapter-to-chapter
- Plot development
- Developments of theme(s)
- Character relationships (romantic and otherwise)
- Character mood/emotions
- The progression of sub-plots (which are often not played out over consecutive scenes)
- Character changes during sub plots
One of the main aims for me, is to ensure every type of progression happens logically and incrementally.
Hope you find that of use.