On top of creating stories, authors of fiction build worlds, settings for our characters to act out their stories. And if we’re writing series fiction, those worlds tend to grow, and get more complex over time. As the proud owner of 4 different insane asylums…that is series, I’ve recently found myself scrounging for information I once knew about my worlds and thought I would remember.
For my first series I didn’t take notes, and while I do plan on going back to write in that world some day, it will be a real pain to do so. Where did I put the library with the secret basement? And how close was it to Anna’s cabin in the woods? And how did they create that magical portal to another dimension? Ugh. Easier to write something new.
On my second series (Heavenly Wars) I did take some notes. Anytime I wrote something I thought I’d need again, I’d copy and paste it into another document, that became my series bible. It’s disjointed. Characters, places, and notes are all jumbled together, and over the course of 4 stories, it’s grown into a long, complicated mess. I have at least one more book I want to write in that series. but…Ugh. Easier to write something new.
3rd series (Hearts in orbit): Not content with creating a world, I created a whole galaxy, new technologies (Is gandasol blue or green?), multiple planets (Blarmlings live on Blarm, but who lives on Xio?), and a host of fun characters. Then when one galaxy wasn’t big enough, I expanded into a second, with new aliens (The Kratzen), planets, and technologies. I have at least three more books I want to write in that series, but I’ve been away from it for a while, and the series bible, while much more organized, is huge. Ugh. Easier…well, you know.
My new Xi force series is a bit smaller in scope. Its series bible is better organized. I can actually find stuff in it. I’m writing book 4 right now, and it’s a lot easier. So I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re writing a series, make a series bible, and make it easy to navigate.
…or just write something new.
* * *
Along with writing book 4 of the Xi Force series, S. C. Mitchell is also writing something new. Yes a new series. Because his muse is a nasty, mean, crazy elf that lives in that empty space between his ears.
His new Series Bible is even more organized and looks like this:
And he even has maps to remind him where he put things:
(Map was created with Fractal Mapper 8.0: http://www.nbos.com/products/fractal-mapper)
Do you use a series bible, or have some other magical way to keep things organized in your books?
Let me know in the comments down below.
And Write On!