Updates on my Novels, Writing Tips

My Series Binder and a Couple of Announcements

First I wanted to give a big thank you to all of you who have visited, commented, or followed my website in the past few days. It has meant a lot to me, and I really appreciate that you’ve been willing to read my blog. A week ago, I would never have guessed that I would have ten followers today. Thank you!

Also I wanted to give a quick update about my publishing journey. This Sunday I have the opportunity to meet with a literary agent and offer her my query letter and a few pages of my book. We will see where God takes this meeting, but I would appreciate all the prayers I can get.

Finally, I want to hear what types of content you would like to see on my blog. Do you want to read writing tips that I learned, how I made my fantasy world, book reviews, or things which I have written recently (like excerpts, essays, or poems)? If you have time, I would really appreciate if you commented or answered the poll below. Thank you!

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Now, I thought I would do a post about something called a “series bible” (though I am calling mine my “series binder.”) It is book of a bunch of facts about your novels in your series. Personally, I need it to be a physical printed binder, so I can easily flip through it while writing on my computer.

The purpose of a series binder is simple: to keep all your facts straight in your novels.

And you can keep anything you want in them—anything.

But here is what I like to keep in my binder.

First I have detailed character profiles for all my major and minor characters. These have the character’s age (birth date), description, weapons, pre-book history, and anything else I could need. I use these the most often as it is easy to forget whose parents are who or the color of a character’s eyes.

After that I have some detailed outline for all of my novels. This is more just for when I am writing a chapter and is nice so I remember the big picture and overall plot. However, if I had preferred to “pants” (think “ride by the seat of your pants”) my novels, I probably would not have this section.

The history section comes next, and this is where I put all the history of my world which occurred way before my characters were alive. However, I use it rarely (only when I need to tell a story from the far past of my world’s history.) Honestly, I only have a timeline with a few events, and one story here. I really need to work on that–especially for a fantasy world.

Then I have maps of my world. This is one of my favorite sections where I get to look at all the pretty maps which friends have drawn for me. I keep several here. One political map showing the outlines of each country. Another one with mountains, rivers, desert, and forests has a scale with it so I can measure how long my character’s journeys are. Yet I also keep a few other maps of particular areas or places where the story mostly takes place (for instance, I have a map of the Golden Fort.)

I also have a folder in my binder for the nations of my world. It has their political organization, population, the general mentality of the people, race of the inhabitants, that nation’s dealings with other countries, and several other notes. I have five major nations in my novel, and while my first book really only dealt with two, the rest of my novels are going to deal with all five. So I think this section will become very useful very soon.

The only other important section is my calendar. Here I made a calendar for my world (which differs slightly from our calendar), and I plotted out my novel onto it, so I know exactly when something happens. It also has my characters’ birthdays on it, so I know exactly what age they are at any point in my story.

I also have a few other sections in my binder. One folder has all the short stories I write for characters that will never end up in my novel, and another folder contains drawings of scenes or characters. I also have a folder filled with blank paper. I even have an empty folder labeled “Lineages” (which I should probably put something in…)

But that is just what is in my series binder; you can put anything in them. I would highly suggest that anyone who is writing a series has one; I’m not sure how I would do without mine.

If you have a series binder, I would love to hear what you put in yours, or if you have any questions feel free to post below.

God bless,

Gabrielle

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2 thoughts on “My Series Binder and a Couple of Announcements”

  1. I have a story bible for my NaNoWriMo novel and am planning to have a blog post on it soon! For my current novel I’m keeping most of it on Scrivener. By the way, I love the name of your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Raychel! I read your post on your story bible, and it was really informative. I have never used Scrivener before, but I have heard it recommended many times.

    Like

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