A Writer’s Life: Building a Story Bible

il_fullxfull.719808529_rperWhat is a Story Bible?

A Story Bible is a compilation of the key details about your novel.

A Story Bible documents character sketches, cultural references, developing scenes, character histories, names, dialogue portions, phrases, setting specifics, impending plot struggles, romantic engagements, paranormal components, relevant facts in one location, which is extremely advantageous when editing and when writing a series or sequel.

A Story Bible is a reference guide while you are editing, researching, and writing. It does not have to include every detail of your novel.

In a nutshell, the purpose of a Story Bible is to uphold consistency, the utmost significant elements to incorporate are fundamentals that are in the book.

il_fullxfull.791792666_kr1sHow to create a Story Bible?

It is your decision how you design your Story Bible and what you put into it. The essentials comprise character information, fictional businesses, creatures / monsters, language, setting particulars, technology, world building specifics, vocabulary, and everything that is imperative to your stories realm.

You can design your Story Bible either before you begin writing or as you write your novel, while some of you may prefer to wait until the end of the day to record any and all pertinent details that emerged during your writing session.

a3_2How to Set-up a Story Bible?

A story bible can take a sundry of forms.

Some scribes prefer the safety and texture of a substantial Story Bible. A three-ring binder with pocket page dividers for each section works for this form. Writers can brainstorm, add visual collages, mind maps, and utilize index cards and sticky notes.

Others implement the information for the Story Bible on bulletin boards and white boards.

While some favor an electronic file on their computer.

However, if none of these options seem to fit your writing life, incorporate a lil’ of this, a lil’ of that and whatever you want to fuse a mix that works for you.

© 2018 Diane Morasco

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Writing: Craft & Reference Books for Writers – The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Places

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Writers on Writing: Tamara Woods

author-pic-headshotTamara Woods is a poet, writer, and now a podcaster.

Tamara grew up in the poorest state of the Union as a laid-off coal miner’s daughter. She learned from this that money isn’t the root of all happiness, but it sure makes it easier. One fateful summer at a youth workshop she learned both the art of stolen kisses and being open in her poetry: lessons she’s never forgotten.

She didn’t wear the coolest clothes. She listened to alternative rock when everyone else was into hip hop. She was a staunch reader and an avid dreamer. She’d be the first to greet “the new kid” at school so they wouldn’t feel lonely. That little weird girl has grown to be an adult, who still cultivates friendships along a broad spectrum of personalities and interests. She still doesn’t want people to feel alone.

All of these aspects of her life have culminated into her writing that’s accessible to people. Her poetry is spoken word with a heavy emphasis on things that we all know and do. Her fiction hits on darker, uncomfortable subjects, because she’s a firm believer that stories can be beautiful without being pretty.

She’s living on an island now, still a misfit, but now there’s palm trees. Life feels differently in a world filled with palm trees. She geeks out on books, Doctor Who, Star Trek TNG (aka the best generation), and social media.the-shaping-cover

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

When I was much younger, I thought the writing had to come out perfectly. That editing would somehow change the integrity of the work. Oh how naïve I was! Editing is the backbone of the writing process. In order to have one, you have to have the other.

How has this helped you as a writer?

It’s improved my writing immensely. When my work goes in front of people, I want it to be as close to perfect as possible.

Mac or PC?

I’m a PC.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Both, but I’m leaning more for Scrivener for novels and Word for short stories, poetry etc…

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

No, I take notes with a notepad and a pen. I can’t shake the habit and I just don’t see a need to update it. Writing by hand is much more natural to me.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Right now, I’m developing a habit that I’ll share with you. I’m following “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It’s a book that’s supposed to help you unleash your creativity. One thing she advises is for you to write three pages every morning for about 30 mins. I’ve been doing these morning pages on my couch at between 7am and 8am. Then I go over to my desk for the rest of my writing day. I burn incense and play music in the background, usually something without any words. Beverages are key. Either frozen or hot coffee and a mason jar with ice water. (When I write it out, it seems a lot more complicated than it actually is.)

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I start by writing first. I like to get the idea down and then work backward to see what blanks I need to fill. Basically in order to find out what I don’t know, I need to start writing.

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

I’m in Hawai’i, so it’s all the same. Somewhere cool preferable in AC or in front of a fan. If I’m visiting my family in West Virginia, then I prefer to have hot cocoa.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

When it’s too hot in my apartment, then I like to go hangout in a library. It’s cool and usually quiet. I’m not a big write on the beach person, but it does happen occasionally.

Visit Tamara’s website for the latest news. You can find her YouTube videos where she posts a weekly writing vlog and geeks out about books. She also has co-edits a poetry journal: The Reverie Journal. She’s been published and you can find her work on Amazon.

Follow her on Twitter: @penpaperpad

Like her Facebook page

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.