Last week I mentioned that I was planning to write about “background notes and research and my ‘Project Bible'”. This is the post to which I was referring.
I’ve been writing a lot lately (although, this week is looking a little slim on the wordcount front) – but when it comes to my current novel project, “The Book of M” I haven’t been writing quite so much of the actual book itself. Actually, I haven’t yet written a word of readable draft. So far, everything has been background notes, all of which ends up in my “Project Bible”. I thought, then, that there might be a little interest in what goes into my Project Bible, and what it looks like.
I wanted to start this discussion by pointing out – as is likely already known by most writers – that there’s no right or wrong way to go about writing a book. The classical and accepted wisdom is that writers fall somewhere on a spectrum between “Planners” and “Pantsers”, or between “Architects” and “Gardeners”. (It is my goal, one day, to add a second dimension to that schema, allowing future writers to peg themselves somewhere into one of four quadrants; first I’ll have to figure out what that second dimension might be. But that’s neither here nor there, is it?)
It’s taken me a long time to figure out what kind of writer I am, exactly. When I was younger, I didn’t even know there was more than one way to write. I just figured you start at the beginning and you write until you reach the end. And, you had to have some idea of what the ending would be or you wouldn’t know when you were done. As I grew older – and especially when I started college – my writing process began to change. That’s when I first started keeping an “Idea Journal”, which even then was filled almost exclusively with notes and ideas I’d come up with for my ever-unfinished writing project. After a few years, I started looking for ways to turn my handwritten notes into a searchable electronic format. Continue reading