Author Insider: Creating A Series Bible

For today’s author insider post, I’ll discuss the importance of creating a series bible!

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First, the obvious question: What do I mean by bible?

If you’re a writer (published or not), how do you keep up with characters, plots, settings, etc.? When writing a standalone novel, it’s possible to keep track of all these details in a file contained on your computer. What happens when you’re writing a series? Depending upon the length of the series, you may have copious notes that you have to keep referring back to during your writing. This is what a bible does for you.

What goes into the bible?

For my series, Another Falls Creek Romance, I have all of my notes in a three-inch binder. Inside, I have a list of the businesses/shops I’ve mentioned in each book. There are also lists and details of the different characters. I include setting details—ever start writing a scene and realize you’ve written it before. There are even pieces of dialogue for characters who have accents or favorite words in their speech.

I’ll also add a map for the world I’ve created. I created one for Falls Creek, New York. I used Google and looked up the town that inspired my fictitious locale. I downloaded it and then used Photoshop to place icons and change city names. This comes in real handy when I want to mention where a character travels to in Falls Creek.

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The Falls Creek bible also includes a town history. This will come in handy for one of the historical books in a spin-off series.

Can you see the relevance of having a bible for each series?

It’s a lot easier than pulling out all of the books you’ve written so far in the series and combing through them for information. A bible puts all those details in one spot and enables you to stay consistent from book to book.

You might even find that you’ll get new ideas for more books (spin-offs) from the bible.