After I had decided on my location I set about drawing in some residents.  In a nod towards my last blog I decided my main characters should be old enough for me to remember what it was like to be their age!  I am now a little old to get into the head of a teenager.

As it happens I have seen some research recently that indicates most readers are middle-aged women so I hopefully have a head start.

I first thought I would call my main character Sophia but after and working with it for a few days I decided the name was too posh.  It set me thinking about the importance of choosing an appropriate name.  

As my characters are to be ordinary folk, I wanted fairly common names.  I had given each person a date of birth so I Googled the most popular names for that year and chose from the list.    After all I could make a terrible mistake by giving someone a name that didn’t come into vogue until 20 years after he was born.

So I built up a network of people by drawing a sort of mind map.  My main protagonist in the centre: her friends radiating out from that : their husbands/wives/children etc radiating out further.   I have included names, dates of birth (and their age at the time of my story), their relationship to the central character and each other. 

I find myself referring to this a lot to remind me who is married to whom and which kids belong to which couple – my memory is shocking.

Does any body else use a similar idea?

Who is the man in the park?