I love reading series, so it makes sense that I have only written series books. Unfortunately, that means building series bibles.
For the past 8 days, I’ve been building the series bible for my newest series. It’s my third series and my most ambitious in terms of world building.
My two other series, Six Train and Reckonings, are paranormal but set in our world.
DM, however, is my first foray into a more fantasy book. It’s set in our world, but there are beings from another realm. A realm with it’s own language, civilization and rules.
It’s the biggest world building I’ve ever undertaken.
So it’s critical that I get the series bible built to capture all the rules and exceptions of the other realm.
I finished my revisions of DM and sent it off to an agent two Saturdays ago. Knowing it can be a while, I decided to build the series bible while it’s still fresh in my head.
I use Scrivener to build the bible.
I create a worksheet for every single character (primary to tertiary) that appear or are mentioned in the book, a worksheet for each place mentioned or where a scene takes place, and a worksheet for each concept that needs to be understood.
There are 80+ worksheets for DM.
I populate them by going through the manuscript line by line and deciding where that information belongs in the worksheet universe.
Often, I’m showing so I have to read into the dialogue and exposition and identify the intent of it. Was I showing that my protagonist is volatile? Was I hinting at her internal conflict? What did I reveal about the world building?
This is an excruciating process.
I do my best to note the chapters where it appears or is mentioned as well.
For some reason, reviewing the manuscript in this format helped me find two minor world building glitches that I missed on the past two dozen read throughs. I corrected them.
When I get through the entire manuscript, I go back and format each worksheet to make the font clearer, add bullets, and organize it more cohesively.
I also check all the chapter annotations to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Right now, I’m in the formatting and checking mode. I’ll be here for the next 3-5 days.
Let’s just say I have a whole new level of respect for fantasy writers. They do something that is tremendously difficult and make it appear easy.
Do you plan to write series? Are you constructing a series bible?