My wife is a novelist, now working on her fourth book. The books aren't a series in the sense of featuring the same main character, but they all take place in the same town, and some main characters from one book appear as bit parts in other books, and there are references to town history and landmarks. So she's getting to the point where she has to keep track of all of these people and things, so she doesn't contradict something she wrote in an earlier book.
To help with this, I'd like to make an infographic tracking each character through time, but I'm not sure how to begin.
I'm envisioning something like a graph with time on the X axis, with a colored line for each character stacked up the Y axis. The length of the bar runs from the person's birth to death (or the present), and maybe gets thicker where there's more activity.
Is there a better way to do this? Are there tools designed just for this kind of thing?