Below you’ll find steps to creating a book bible — a binder for keeping track of important threads that weave your work into a marvelous book. This post provided by Angelique Armae.
1) GATHER SUPPLIES for your book bible.
2” or larger three-ring binder (if you want to include blurb, tagline, synopsis and printed copy of your work at the end then you’ll need a larger binder)
1 or 2 Packs of dividers (depending on how detailed you want your bible to be)
1 pack of Pocket folders for three-ring binder (great for storing images or page long lists for handy reference stuff that doesn’t fit the general sections, you can include one in each section if needed)
Photos/images representing your characters and or special items in your book
2) INCLUDED CONTENTS for your book bible.
I make an index-styled sheet with the following sections labeled:
- Special Powers
Then, I fill out basic information for each section, usually a line or two or a list of names, items, etc. This makes for easy finding later, especially if an item or character is cross-referenced between sections.
I start with a list of characters typed on a single page divided into main characters and secondary characters.
I give each character his/her own page detailing physical traits, internal/eternal conflicts, secrets, goals, family background – basically anything and everything important to that particular character.
Whether you’re writing a contemporary, historical or paranormal novel, you need to create a world. All this info goes in its own section labeled ‘WORLD’.
Here you should include a page for SETTING – time of year, place, type of house or office, etc.
A page or section for RULES/CUSTOMS – rules, customs, laws of your world (this is especially important for historical and paranormals). You can also include special stipulations here, like terms of a will, inheritance, etc.
Each of these categories get their own section in my book bible within the WORLD section. This usually applies to my paranormal works, but if you’re writing historical novels, you can also include a section on Weapons, Carriages/Horses/Transportation, etc. and include any images and research info you might need to check facts later on. You should also list any characters that these specifics pertain to.
CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES – I include fabrics and styles of times I set my books, fashions of my paranormal worlds, including any special jewelry/items that have magical powers. For contemporary novels a list of trends can be included here or items that are specific to your characters – example: I have one character who can’t go anywhere without a large purse.
You can also use this section (ACCESSORIES) if you have an item that cross-references with a special power or an historical object necessary to your book such as a stolen necklace, a magical container, etc. If you do it this way, make a note where the item cross references with another section such as SPECIAL POWERS/WEAPONS, etc. and vice versa.
Quick reference research links and images are added here as well.
Extra tip for WORLD section:
You might also want to include a hierarchy of characters/leaders if your SETTING is in a made up world or deals with non-human or special powers characters. This list can be included in specific sections such as Religion, Special Powers, or its own section if you have an organization/brotherhood/special club, etc. in your book.
A list of RESEARCH links, books, websites, and special information needed for your book.
This section is great for paranormals, fantasy or historical novels where you use made up languages/words, need reference to time period specific words/meanings or if a word or slang is specific to a contemporary culture/region, etc. Also great for: a list of legal words if you’re writing a legal thriller, political terms for political thriller, foreign words with meanings, etc. Basically, any words that aren’t everyday words can go here. The goal to creating a book bible is to make reference easy.
Your book bible can be as detailed as you need it to be. Don’t worry if you have more sections for one book than another—each project requires different information. If you start out with the above you will soon learn what sections are important to each book and what info ends up referenced between books (if you’re writing a series or connected titles).
include all info on a cd and store it in your binder. There’s no such thing as too many back up copies, plus if you’re someone who works better on the computer for accessing info than looking it up in print, you’ll have a handy reference. Just make sure to save each section in its own folder for easy indexing.
I will be doing an online class on building a Book Bible, so if you’re interested, please email me at:
Angelique Armae writes paranormal fiction for ImaJinn Books. She is represented by Holly Root of the Waxman Literary Agency. For more information on Angelique’s books, please visit her website at: http://www.angeliquearmae.com
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Could you please recommend any software for creating and publishing a new study bible? I’ve been trying to create on Microsoft word using columns but it would be much easier if I could find some type of software that was designed for such a project…
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for the tips to get me started!
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