THE THIRD POST
Welcome back! So far we’ve discussed setting up your Book Bible in a notebook, the Character section, the Notes section, the Plot section, and any other sections you might like to add yourself. Let’s jump right back in to discuss the Setting section in the Book Bible notebook.
Now this area, at least for me, requires a lot of attention. While I’m a character driven writer, the setting section of my Book Bible has tons of information in it. There are two different worksheets I use in this section. One for general information about each country/kingdom you create or mention in your books and one for more detailed information about each city and location. The first worksheet I fill out before I begin writing while the second I fill out before and during the writing phase.
Again, the original idea for using setting sketches like this at all came from Karen S. Wieser and her book, First Draft in Thirty Days. And like before, I have edited and tweaked them to work the way I wanted them to.
The Country Sketch
- Technology: (What type of technology exists in the country? Be as detailed or as general as you like here. “Modern times”, “Medieval Times”, or “Electricity and indoor plumbing but still use horse and cart”)
- Located: (Mention where it is in relation to other countries and landmarks – borders, oceans, rivers, etc.)
- Cities: (List all cities and towns. This list will be used for the second type of setting sketch.)
- Other Locations: (This is for a random location say in the woods that doesn’t necessarily belong to a town. You can also mention important lakes and rivers here that show up in your story.)
- Currency: (What type of currency do they use and how much is it worth? Coins, paper money?)
- Class: (Classes of people. Commoners and nobles? Middle and upper classes?)
- Type: (Army, Navy, etc or one you made up!)
(Repeat this section for each type of military you have in that kingdom/country.)
(Repeat this section for each type of class your country has.)
- Military Promotion:
(What people where. Repeat for each class or special government/military rank the country has Be specific for women, men, and children..)
The Location Sketch
Now this sketch, holds the more detail about the country’s cities and locations your characters will visit. Like a tavern or some other building.
City or Town:
Description: (Describe the town itself in general terms. Large city or small? What other land marks is it near? What happens during the day (open market in the square?) and a night (clubs, bars, etc)?)
(Name and describe each location in full detail – look, smell, sounds, etc. Even if you don’t use all the details in your book, having them all listed here will greatly help you when you go to write and/or edit the book. Locations include Taverns, inns, shops, government buildings, houses, etc. Any place your character go to, should be listed here.)
I know the example for this sketch is small, but you just repeat the areas for each city or town you need to. With my books, my characters travel around a lot and so I have five or six towns listed with 2 to 3 locations each. Your book might only have one town but 9 or 10 locations. It all depends on your book!
Yes, maps. I love to make them and they’re relatively easy to make. I use a program called AutoREALM (http://autorealm.sourceforge.net/) to make them along with Paint.NET for tweaking. Both are free programs to download.
Here is an example for you, the map I made for The Kinir Elite Chronicles Series.
And there it is! Your Book/Series Bible. Remember that you can edit any of the sections and the sketches to fit your needs. Each writer, genre, and book has their own needs. Even though all my books are fantasy, none of the sketches look a like.
Again, if you have questions about something I didn’t explain well enough, please don’t hesitate to ask in a comment here. I was trying to keep these posts from getting too long.