Friday, October 2, 2009

World Building & Bibles

This past Sunday, the UGWP group got talking about the issue of world building. There was debate about the best way to do it: if you over-plan, there's the danger of getting stuck in the planning phase without moving on to the writing phase; if you don't plan enough, there's the danger of having to wing it as you write, which leads to the danger of inconsistencies & confusion.
Me, I'm finding that it helps to do a Bible. The Bible starts off with me plugging in everything I already know about the story/characters/world, things like main characters, places, etc. This part came together with Cass after I had written a couple of Cass stories but before I started the novel. So, I had a good idea of certain things, but fuzzy idea on others.

Then, as I wrote and figured out details, I added them to the Bible. This worked pretty well.

Today I finally got a chance to put together my Oracle Bible. This came together a little differently than the Cass Bible, because I've worked on Oracle before, and because different things are important to remember in the world. Overall, though, both have a character section, a section for places, and a section, or two, devoted to relevant mythology. For Oracle, specifically, here's what's in the binder: a map; character sheets; location sheets; info sheets on the four major gods; notes on the world itself, like what their technology looks like; and I also added a sheet for all the names of all the characters to make sure I'm not naming everybody the same things - for instance I seem to really like male characters with names that end in "in" or "an."

As a side note, during my first go at Oracle I put together a sort-of Bible which was a small stack of index cards that I kept in an envelope I glued on the inside cover of the notebook I was writing Oracle in. It worked decent, but is kind of inefficient once I got a certain amount of notes to remember. The binder's more streamlined and keeps things from getting shuffled.

So, now we come to the audience participation part of the show. When you're working on a project/world building, what's your system?


Jenny said...

I don't know. But I think I'm gonna steal yours.

Debbie said...

I've created a sort of bible for each book, with character sketches, timelines, etc. TNN is also going to get maps and a floorplan.

Ali said...

We should all bring our binders to the next Pirates night and compare notes.