Series bible creation is one of my most requested services. When you are writing a series it is imperative to be consistent; readers notice the little details. However, if you are only starting out, it may be a luxury that you can’t yet afford. With that in mind, I created a DIY series bible. It obviously isn’t as comprehensive as the ones I make for clients, but it is the next best thing when you are on a tight budget.
When should I start?
The simplest answer to this is – as soon as possible! If you start creating your series bible alongside writing the first book, you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run. Once you’ve all the little details in there, you can refer back to it and keep adding more as you write. If you are on your third book and haven’t done that, I’d recommend taking a break before writing the next book and getting stuck in.
What details do I need in my series bible?
This is different for every book, but the common factor across genres and categories is character details. In the DIY bible, I have detailed character charts where you can record everything from the character’s eye colour to their coffee order and their political views. There is also a section for each main character to record what they will get up to in the other books in the series, for example, if your MC in book one, is a secondary character in the next books, they might get married in the second book and have triplets in the third.
There is also a section for your key locations. This can be towns/cities or buildings. Does your character have a favourite coffee shop? All the details about the name of the street, the shop’s name, the interior and their specialities can be listed here. Is your character a billionaire with several properties around the world? Keep track of them all so you can easily look up what you’ve written when you’re writing the next book.
Keeping track of your timeline is crucial. Detailed notes about what happened when will save you a headache further down the line. I have also included a diagram for your main character’s personal timeline so you can keep a record of the key events in their life; even if you don’t write about all of these in your books it can help you to know your character better.
I have added blank tables for you to customise depending on your story. If it is set in a pub, you might want a list of all the beers and brewers. A billionaire romance might need a list of all assets, investments or gifts that you mention. A rock star romance author could fill a table with songs or concert details. Is your character obsessed with designer clothes? Keep a record of who they wear and all the details of the outfit – to some this may seem OTT, but trust me, you’ll be surprised how often you need to refer to these little details again.
Tell me more about your series bible
I have designed it with my clients in mind – romance and women’s fiction authors. It is pretty, but very functional. The three book version is around fifty pages long so you are getting plenty for your money. It is quite similar to the ones I produce for clients, but you’ll have to collect and collate all the data yourself, and it won’t be linked with hyperlinks as mine are. I really hope you find it useful and I’ve tried to make it as user-friendly as possible. Feel free to let me know if you have suggestions for amendments. And if you’d rather have someone do the hard work for you get in touch for a quote!