Of Course I Have a Bible

Though is isn’t a bible from any recognized world religion…

Last week I gave you guys a peek into how I wrote Enslaved using an outline system I created to work with my writing style and work ethic. I couldn’t have written anything beyond the first three chapters without one key part of my process: The Book Bible.

My Book Bibles are compilations of information I’ll need throughout the writing process. It is separate from the outline because most of the information isn’t part of the ongoing plot. The bible is for keeping track of character traits, background stories, random facts dug up while researching, and key information about the location and time period the book takes place in.

For the most part, once I have done the initial research, the bible is untouched. I go back to it when I forget what a character’s favorite food is, but unless I hit a huge “Oh my gods, that’s what missing from their life!” there are no changes.

The point of the Book Bible is to spare yourself embarrassing mistakes like making your main character blonde with short hair and green eyes and somehow through the writing process, they become a brunette with hazel eyes.

Here’s an example:

[Book Title] Bible

Location: California

Time of year: Fall (details about any weather quirks go here. Rainfall, snow, wind, fog, etc…)

Year: Current (If not the current year, I add another section titled History Lesson with pertinent world happenings that will affect the characters.)

Main Characters

Suzie Weathers:

Human

Age: 31

Job: Barista

Hair: Medium brown, shoulder blade length, wavy

Eyes: Blue-grey

Height/Weight: 5’6″ 155 pounds [tries to work out once a week, but has no time]

(I also go on to note: Clothing Style, Favorite Foods, Friends, Family, Car, Home, and a brief Background coving how they got where they are in life.)

 

The Book Bible is also where I keep track of any magical laws governing the world of the book. For Enslaved and Be Ours Forever, I had extensive magical laws for the non-human characters. Keeping track of it all would have driven me insane.

One happy bonus of the Book Bible is if you plan to write a sequel, all of the information you need for the universe in general is written out for you. It saves time going back to the previous book to read through and make notes on how things work.

The Book Bible forces you to look at the characters and the world and figure out who/what they are before you get into the meat of the book. It solidifies their voices and makes editing easier down the road so you don’t have to go and fix the character’s “voice” so they’re unique and stand out.

That’s all I got for now. Hopefully this round of writing tips helps. I’m diving in to start really working on the prequel to Be Ours Forever soon and I’ve already begun to work on the bible for it.

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