A worldbuilding bible can help you to stay organized and to make sure your novel is consistent. In this video I go over the pros and cons of filling out the worldbuilding bible in advance vs. filling it out as you go, and I also go over a couple of tips for how you can use a worldbuilding bible effectively and avoid potential pitfalls.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. I've been working on a novel for almost a decade.
    I have a story/world and could vocally tell it, but putting it down on paper has been very difficult for me. Recently discovered your vids and it's helping me tremendously! Thanks.

    PS: You have very pretty eyes!

  2. Is it a good idea for my bible to include timelines of the events in my story? Because it currently does, and I've realized that my plotlines should be turned into "day 1, day 2, day 3", with color-coded text for each plotline (they're currently "day x: event of plotline A, event of plotline B, etc".

  3. There is a way I always thought of blending the two ways to use the bible. It basically looks like this:
    1. Come up with a basic outline of the story
    2. Develop some basic points to enter into the bible. Enter only those items which directly address issues brought up by the outline generated in step 1.
    2A Start writing your story.
    3. When an issue comes up reference the bible with the assumption that the resolution to the issue is already documented (ie. prewritten bible). If the answer is in your bible, then this process ends. Continue writing. If the answer is not, then go to step 4.
    4. If the issue is not resolved in the bible as written, then come up with new entries that resolve that issue.

    An interesting way to tell if this is done properly is as the story progresses, stopping at step 3 should become more and more comment with less need for step 4.

  4. I disagree with the notion that you're just spinning your wheels by adding details that may not be used in the actual story. It ignores the crucial element of great world-building which is the perception that there is more beneath the surface than what is introduced in the story. With a fully fleshed-out world-building bible that perception is true and leaves room for those details to be included in future stories. Good world-building requires time, patience, hard work, and lots of details.

  5. <h1><em>When we're working on world building, we can create a world in any way that we want. The reader must believe it! </em></h1><h2> So what are the biggest barriers to a believable world? In this video I go over: 1. Rule Fudging 2. Not Using Your Own Rules 3. The World Being Too Static 4. Not Considering Interconnections Success might mean different things. But who doesn’t want to taste success? In order to obtain success, however, we do need to cross some barriers. So, what’s the greatest barrier to success? The biggest barrier to your success is fear. Period! It’s the fear of failing. It’s the fear of losing money. I've noticed that when the uses of fudging are discussed, by far the most commonly invoked reason for fudging is avoiding premature PC death. Is it? Might wanna post your sources. Because imo most fudging occurs when rule of cool and combat difficulty issues (too hard or too easy) occur. Fate points. Oh boy, this again. A time with robust, option. 5 Steps to Making Your Own Rules. 1. Get connected. Sit and meditate. Pause, get comfortable, and listen to yourself regularly to cultivate intuition. Your highest purpose is resting right inside of you. Tap in, have a listen, and allow your intuition to expand. 2. Shed what's not serving you. Make a list. Imagine if everywhere you looked — even in the dark — you saw static, as if the entire world were an untuned analogue TV. For people with a mysterious condition called “visual snow,” that’s the frustrating, often agonizing daily reality: endless static, often accompanied by floating spots, bright flashes, trails of light, and other visual phenomena that make it hard to see or … In other words, "you" is the subject of the main verb, speak, in the sentence so that "you" should be the subject of "considering". However, it should be noted that the word "considering" can be a preposition. In this case, you do not need to think of the subject. You might want to check dictionaries.</h2></body></html>

  6. This is so helpful! Thank you so much for the template! I didn't think about any of this beforehand so all of my worldbuilding info is scattered through the episodes (I made an audiodrama). Since I'm going to try and novelize it, now I have to go back and jot everything down so it stays consistent. T_T

    I was wondering, though, do you have a favorite program to use? Do you use Evernote or Scrivener? Do you print out your stuff and keep it up on a bulletin board or in a binder?

  7. This was beneficial to consider even though I’m not writing sci-fi/fantasy. Using/drawing maps is also helpful for me to really bring the geographical aspects of my story to life and place myself in the setting. Thanks! This is a wonderful channel. I wish my school day teachers would have been as educational.

  8. I'm worldbuilding not specially for a story, but for create an alternative world where I can explore all kind of ideas and thoughts and also trying to come up with original stuff (that's reeaaalllyy hard, specially basic stuff like trying to find a believable way of transport avoiding wheels or easy alternatives like levitation magic or that kind of things without create something totally alien to the viewer) and all of that have to make sense for any kind of media, so I have to think on game mechanics for the "magic" and technology. It's hard work and it will take time, but I'm very satisfied with the progress I'm making, and it's giving me a lot of material that helps me to guide a story that I've been stuck with.

  9. I have a bible in Google Drive Word docs which I can review on my phone or laptop whenever I need it. I have separate folders for concepts, characters, timeline, geography. I need to setup everything so I avoid any kind of redundancy. At the beginning I just filled the most elemental stuff: the main characters, the geography and political distribution.
    I write each chapter by hand, my ideas flow better by hand than by computer. When I transcribe from hand to computer, that's where I'm updating the bible.

  10. I have been binge watching all of your videos and it has opened my eyes to the mistakes I have been making as a newbie writer, and to the ways I can fix those mistakes. Thank you so much for these treasure troves!

  11. So first: outline the book (or series), so that it's easier to see what is important to be researched to add in the Worldbuilding Bible to prevent working out parts of the world that will never make it into the book.
    Funny, I had no idea the term for this was Bible, but it makes sense. I typed in 'Writing organizing story world' into YouTube and the result screamed 'Worldbuilding Bible' to me, with this video on top.

  12. I've been binge-watching your videos today and while all of them have been very helpful this one, at least for me, has been the most helpful. Thanks for the worldbuilding bible, I like the organization it allows me to have and it actually has made me aware of an area or two that I hadn't thought of! I look forward to watching more!

  13. hi Ellen, thank you for the tips! I wanted to ask you if it's necessary to fill out each and every detail in the bible template or just the things that strike you as important? What if eg. medicine doesn't play a significant role in my novel?

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