Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nathan Bransford is my hero

He's one of the coolest agent-bloggers out there. Just saying.

Today, he wrote a great post on series bibles. I've read a little about the idea before, and made one for my first novel (which made writing it exponentially easier). Read his post here.

Here's a bit of his post:

The Series Bible is a lifesaver when your brain has reached capacity.

What to include:

Characters: What they look like (just copy and paste straight from the book), how many brothers and sisters they have, important events in their past, personality traits, etc. Also, any unique schedules they have, hobbies, etc. I'd include all characters, major and minor. You never know who's going to reappear.
Worlds/Planets/Lands/Classrooms/etc.: What they look like, their backstory, any important details, etc.
Rules of Law: Any important/unique laws or conventions, styles, etc.
Any backstory that happens off the page: Make sure you know and keep track of all the key details.
Inventions/Special Powers: This is important, especially for science fiction and fantasy. When you invent something, even when it's just barely mentioned, it can create huge repercussions for the rest of the story. For instance, if you introduce a personal hyperwarp drive, whenever a character is in trouble your reader will be like, "Duh, use the personal hyperwarp drive, USE THE PERSONAL HYPERWARP DRIVE!!" Keep track of our inventions and powers, and make sure their rules of use are clearly delineated.
Anything else you need to remember for later

Your Series Bible will save you when you paper over a plot hole only to open up a big ole gaping chasm somewhere else in the book.

I would like to respectfully add:

1) Whatever outline you use

2) Pictures (if you're like me and slave over google until you've found THE PERFECT ACTOR to represent your characters, as well as THE PERFECT PICTURE of your setting, be it a dark alleyway, a regal old building, or a bunch of trees)

3) Important timelines (because it's really, REALLY easy to mess up timing in a book)

4) Planning for next books in the series/ Important notes about previous books in series

I think that's about it. Now go. Take a binder and make it a bible. You won't regret it!

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