Happy Sunday to you!
Let’s talk about organizing our world information. I use binders, but you can use whatever method speaks to your creative side.
I have a binder with dividers where I keep all the information about my world. I call it my Chosen Bible (my series is called The Chosen). I have tabbed dividers inside. One tab is for maps and geography information. I have a glossery for non-English termas and their meaning. I have a tab for character sketches and basic information about them. Another tab contains story outlines. This Bible binder is one I go to again and again to write in new information or reference something for a story or book. If I’m going to be writing away from my home office, I can grab my Bible and head out.
I have another binder for book outlines and story arcs. Another binder is for characters. Each book, as it’s finished, gets printed and put into its own binder for editing and beta reading. I have other binders for other topics as well. The point is, I have a system to organize my information. You should have some sort of system to organize your series and/or book information as well as information about your world(s).
You may think this is starting to sound like a lot of work. Guess what? It IS a lot of work! But anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you’re serious about creating a world and writing books and stories and making a career out of this world, then it will pay off in the long run to do it correctly from the very beginning so there are not ugly surprises later when you call someone a wrong name in your work or reference a city that is nowhere near where the action is happening. Keeping things organized will keep you out of trouble with your writing.
I recommend three ring binders for your world and series organization efforts. If you buy them at a bulk store, they are very affordable. You can put dividers int hem to break up the contents into sections. You can also remove and add pages wherever you want. Binders are wonderful, magical organizational tools.
When creating your world, you will always want to leave room for expansion. A misty edge where no one has gone before but legends say there are horrible monsters beyond your wildest imagination past the mists. Leave a body of water where what’s beyond the water is unknown. Binders allow you to put in new pages, and keep things neat and easy to find later when you need to reference them.
If you already have some stories or books written, when building your world you will want to put in all the places that have action planned in your works. The other part is to put in some towns and places that don’t have any action yet. So you can build more action in later if you want or need to. Sketch out maps to help you stay oriented and know the correlation between one location and another. Sketch street scenes if you like to draw, or find pictures online that represent what you think the city or town might look like. Print those out and put them with your location information. It’s nice to have a visual when you are writing about a place.
Plan ahead. When I started my Chosen series, I knew I would have eight realms with five books in each realm. I also knew which minor characters would get their own short stories. I planned it out to create interest in the Chosen books and to have an endless supply of writing ideas.
Think about how you want to organize your world and series information. Get your binders, notebooks, file folders, or stacks ready and join me next week when we will talk about how to get an idea for a world.
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