I'm in the process of working on two different contemporary romance series and thanks to some brilliant blogger about a year ago, I've created 2 bibles for each series to help me save my sanity. I wish I could remember which blogger posted about this - if it's you, give yourself a shoutout in the comments!
If you're writing a series, you know how hard it is to keep track of the little things. Here are a few of the things I've had to ask myself:
- what's the name of the sheriff's wife?
- does the gossip maven wear glasses?
- what's the name of the hardware store?
- who's the crazy guy who believes in aliens?
- what's the meaning of the horse's name?
- what's the name of the bay off the northwest of the lake?
- what's his favourite fudge flavour?
One of the advantages of a spreadsheet is the ability to have different sheets within the same file. Currently I have 4 sheets for each series. Within each sheet I use the columns to create categories to help me quickly find the info. Here are my current choices:
- novels (title, main characters, season, major settings)
- main characters (name, nickname, love interest, height, hair/eye colour, body type, personality basics, job, quirks, food (faves, hates, allergies...), vehicle, important stuff)
- minor characters (books they show up in, job, connection to main characters, significant other, physical description, personality basics, important stuff)
- locations (building name, type of business, owners, moose (you'll have to read the series to find out about that one!), location in town, exterior description, interior description)
It does take a bit of time to set it up - and it's SO much easier if you remember to add information to it as you're drafting! - but I think it's well worth the time you invest. Searching through your ms or multiple mss for the info you need is a big time waster - even with the Find feature. Much easier to open your spreadsheet!
If you write series, do you use a bible? Do you have any tips to add?
Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs and tweets while searching for those HEAs.