Writing Process: The Project Bible – Building the Frame of the Story

Earlier this week I started talking about my writing process, and about the “Project Bible” in particular.  I thought there might be some interest in learning a little more about what, exactly, my Project Bible is.  One thing’s for sure: it’s a mixed metaphor.  It’s Holy Writ; it’s an Encyclopedia; it’s the Blueprint; it’s the Framework of the story.  It’s something I can check myself against, but it’s also a living document that I can change and modify over time.  It’s electronic, which makes it easily searchable.  It’s a personal Wikipedia for my book, which makes it easy to interlink.

Here’s what my Project Home Page looks like in the “Book of M” Project Bible:

I’ve got a short preamble about what is contained in the Project Bible, followed by a bulleted list.  Each bullet is a link to a main topic-area page, followed by a short description of what may be found on that page.  Each page in the Project Bible includes a link back to the project’s Home Page.  The bulleted list for “Book of M” includes:

  • Idea Journal, where I’ve transcribed handwritten notes from my writing journal that relate specifically to “The Book of M”.
  • Story, which is where I put notes about the plot of the book. 
  • Dramatis Personae, which has a list of characters that appear in “The Book of M”.
  • History, which has notes about the history and background of the world.
  • Mythology, which has notes about the myths and legends of the world.
  • Magic, which is where all the notes about how the magic system work will go.
  • Religions, where I write about the belief-systems of the different people.
  • Nations, Organizations, and Peoples, which tells about the different groups of people that inhabit this world, and how they’ve divided their society.
  • Languages, where I have notes about the languages these people speak.
  • Geography, which tells about the physical world and where things are located in relation to each other.
  • Glossary, where will go a list of terms unique to this world and their meanings.
  • Calendars & Time, where I’ll have notes about how time is reckoned on this world.
  • Philosophy & Theme, where I’ll write about “what it all means”, and the themes I’m trying to touch upon in this book.
  • Research, which is where any notes on sources of inspiration and research details go. Continue reading