Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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The series bible

Here’s a good post about how (and why) to create a series bible, if you happen to be writing a long series, especially with considerable time between one book and the next. Time for you, I mean, not time in the series. I can definitely confirm that it’s entirely possible to forget a character’s eye color, so a place to look that sort of thing up is handy.

Here’s a partial list of suggested items to include:

  • Description of main characters
  • Description of secondary characters
  • Description of villains
  • Themes
  • Setting
  • Backstory
  • Timelines
  • Future scene ideas

Etc, etc. I left a lot out. I’ll add one more, though: evocative details and obvious plot hooks you absolutely intended to bring into a later book and might forget about if you didn’t have notes about them. I mean, what’s under the cement floor in that house where Miguel and Natividad found that creepy skull? And, by the way, who was the poor child to whom that skull belonged?

I have more notes about that sort of detail than anything else. BUT, I do have a quick note of everyone’s eye color in black dog form, because that is hard to remember for everyone except Ezekiel.

Notes about villains aren’t so important for me, since I tend to kill them before the end of the book and they don’t tend to come back afterward. (I do have at least one hanging thread of that kind. Anybody happen to remember who that is?)

Villainy, now, I do need details about that. What exactly is the paraphernalia used for witchcraft? That, I would forget if I didn’t have notes.

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6 Comments The series bible

  1. Mary Catelli

    I need lists for even novels.

    Particularly to remember the three gossips who had one scene seven chapters ago and one needs to reappear.

  2. Craig N.

    “I do have at least one hanging thread of that kind. Anybody happen to remember who that is?”

    Well, there’s Gajdosik’s evil brother (the more successful one) in _The Mountain of Kept Memory_ who’s just begging for a sequel to get his comeuppance. But since he never appears on stage, I’m not sure he counts.

    I suppose the Wyvern King from _The Keeper of the Mist_ might also qualify, but he seems rather beyond the other characters.

  3. Rachel

    Craig: Well, yes, but I was thinking specifically of the Black Dog series.

    Granted, it might be fun to someday pick up the Mountain world and find out what the heck Gajdosik’s evil brother IS doing, and then crush him.

  4. Craig N.

    Hm. I am embarrassed to admit I can’t think of a surviving villain at this point in the Black Dog universe.

    Help me out here, people.

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