Keeping Things Together

I plan on finishing revisions of the XIII series (urban fantasy) by the end of October in order to have time for NaNoWriMo and the other revision projects I will have going on for the rest of the year. But, as it always has in the past, XIII has managed to become more complicated than I ever thought possible.

Now I need a story bible (AKA writing bible or series bible) to organize everything about the series, make sure there are no inconsistencies, and keep myself from becoming more insane than I already am.

I currently have two binders full of things about the series, an 19-page document in Microsoft Word, and a private Tumblr to jot down random things I find online that have relevance to the series. Needless to say, all that has gotten a bit overwhelming, so I need to work on creating a better system of organization.

What I’d like to keep track of in the story bible:

-important objects/symbols
-mythology elements
-calendars/time frames
-old material from previous drafts
-random ideas
-plans for revision

Have you ever created a story bible? Has it been helpful – or annoying to keep up with?

10 thoughts on “Keeping Things Together

  1. You need a story bible, I have a 3 inch binder called my book of win. It has hard copies of almost all my projects. The rest is stored on a flash drive with multiple folders and many many word documents.

    I find handwriting the basics and filling in when typing works best.

    BTW I have no idea how to get the blogroll thing to work… Any chance you can help?


    1. To get the blogroll to work… go to your dashboard and there should be a tab called “Links.” Go to “Add New” and add all the links you want – you just have to make sure they’re in the Blogroll category and that you’ve added the Blogroll widget to your blog’s theme.

      I have about a zillion different things stored on my flash drive, but it would be really helpful if it was all in one place instead of scattered among many different ones.


  2. You might check with Rik (Uphill Writing) about this ~ he’s done two series on World Building and I’m sure he has some stellar organizational tips to share.


  3. Just what I was thinking I needed this morning! I’ve been writing a story series, and found it really easy to mix up little details about characters, or whether it had been two days or three since such and such happened, or this character met that character when they were a senior, junior or what???? in high school and so on. I think having a story bible – especially if you are writing anything of any length, world-creating, or a series – is a must. Thanks for reminding me!


    1. I’m usually so scatterbrained when I write that I really need something to help me keep track. Just the disorganized story bibles I have right now seem to help, so I highly recommend it!


  4. For better or worse, I can’t imagine being that organized. If I did have a story bible, I’m sure I’d start it out in a fever of activity, and then quickly drop it to spend the time writing instead. Which is not to say it’s a bad idea, but it’s not anything I could carry through on (even though everything I’ve written in the last 20+ years has taken place in the same universe — which is the type of writing where story bibles are supposed to be useful).

    As I think of it, I did create a spreadsheet once to track everybody’s ages, so if shift the story fifteen years earlier, I could be sure how old everybody would have been. But that’s about it. I have thought of drawing a map, but have never got around to it.


    1. As time goes on and the story gets more complicated, I find that I need that type of organization. I’ve never really needed it before, but now it’s becoming something of a necessity.


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