In season five of Writing Excuses, my favorite episode focused on Story Bibles (though they had a lot of great episodes on POV as well).
Story Bibles are a document, a wiki, or some other webpage or something you have that help you keep up with your universe. I use scrivener to some degree for this, but I’m toying with the idea of creating a wiki for the Persephone Universe where I go through the real life connections of the myth, the powers and how they work in my universe, the characters, and the rules. In fact, right now I’m writing a blog post that will link to all the existing content I have on all of that in my blog.
That’ll be the public equivalent of my story bible. Eventually, I may post the private one. The scrivener character profiles that go into all the development of each character in each story. The plot summary for that story. The layout of different places in that story, and the rules of the universe in that story.
The biggest reason I haven’t made the jump and created an actual wiki for the Persephone universe is because right now, I have everything I need in scrivener, so anything I do in wiki will just basically be me procrastinating on writing the next book. I don’t want to get world-builders disease (where you use world building to procrastinate actual writing). But I also don’t need to do that much because Persephone is basically set in our world. It’s an alternate reality of our world, but it’s not very far alternate. If I need to remember something about the setting, I can visit it. If I need to know how long it takes to get port to port in Aphrodite’s cruise ship, I can google it. I know my rules well enough to avoid getting tangled in them (gods can’t lie, charm isn’t forever, glamours work like x). But my magic system is fairly simplistic because my characters are actual gods. I don’t have to worry much about god complexes, because if any creature deserved to have one, it would be the ones who created the world.
But if I were to write a new story, set somewhere else with different rules, a story bible would be a must. So this podcast gave me a lot of great tips on creating one.
You can listen to it here or read the transcript here.