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March 10th, 2005, 11:39 PM
I've been reading about various writer's tools and was wondering if anyone uses a writer's bible and what you put in it?

One book suggested:
a master character list
maps of locales
diagrams of important places (rooms, floorplans, etc)
summaries of important information
story grid/outline

This all goes into an indexed binder to keep it sorted and organized. The writer also said he used an easel pad to do his outline.

What works for you?

March 11th, 2005, 01:44 AM
I need to draw things out... rough sketches of clothing, town maps, floor plans of buildings, etc. It helps me better picture the action and understand where my characters are placed. Not that my sketches are anything special. On contrary most of them get tossed.

I keep them in a plain folder. I always mean to get better organized, but I actually find that while looking for something in particular, I will find something else which sparks my imagination.

Summaries and notes seem like they could be done on a computer, but everytime I try I come up short. Something about notes that has to be hand written for me. Which is odd, because I am known in the office as the one who is closest to being paperless.

March 11th, 2005, 07:04 AM
I have (somewhere) a creased old folder full of practically everything I've ever done for my 'novel' - character profiles, plot notes, maps, chapter drafts, musings, ideas, lists of potential character/town names, etc...

I'm keeping it all mainly for nostalgic purposes (there's some 5/6 years of work in that folder) but also because I hope one day I may find something in it that I can make use of.

At the moment I use this nice notebook with brown paper in for writing my notes and stuff. :)

Hereford Eye
March 11th, 2005, 07:17 AM
The more my stories of the Wrong War showed up on the screen, the more I needed a way to keep track of characters, places, names, languages, abilities. Wound up with a three ring notebook divided by race.

March 11th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Sort of, and I'm willing to entertain suggestions on how to organize it more effectively. Right now, I have multiple computer files and a few manilla folders. The files are the real bible stuff -- I have a glossary file with all the lovely words I'm making up and basic culture info as I invent it, though some of that is going to be dealt with later. I have a timeline file that breaks down distance travelled, time passed, time events occurred, outlines events by day and chapter, etc. This file also contains a character list and a places list. Then I have a list when I realized I needed to keep track of background details of main characters and what each character carried with him and that sort of thing. But that's one sort of a mess, and I'm not keeping up with it for now, or I'll get too slowed down in the draft. Then I have a very loose outline and possible ideas to use file. And then there's the research notes, which is a mix of things written down on paper and in the computer that desperately needs to be organized. I'm a visual person, so I have to order it somehow so I can find the things that are most useful, but some of it won't really be needed until revisions. Arrgh!

March 12th, 2005, 12:49 PM
I don't think I'd heard it called that, but I do something like that. (When I worked with Alzheimers we called it a notebook memory, it's one of the first signs--really interesting how common it is, and what you find in those pages.)

I keep character names, character sketches-this is what made this person like he/she is, general outlines, scenes I've pre-written, sometimes drawings, maps, references to articles where I found information, all the stuff for the back story, settings, places, cultures, etc. etc. --all in a folder. It helps me to be able to pull out pages and look at several pages at the same time.

I also keep what I call the "Lost Endings". The gratuitous scene which takes place after the story ends which is mostly info dump, and part cleaning up the loose ends which I left to the reader's imagination. (You know, the characters get together and talk about what just happened, then decided to get group therapy. :rolleyes: )

Also, I have to remind myself that most of that stuff is only valuable because it helped me write the story. I may save it, but it is not for publication. (Unless you happen to be Michener and need the first four chapters of your next book. ;) )