revising: keeping stuff straight
Boy, that was a long week.
Good job holding on, guys.
Next step before I get going on the Ol’ Revision in earnest is…
(Don’t you like how I offer no reason or excuse for my long absence?)
THE STORY BIBLE.
A story bible is a file where a writer keeps track of the facts of her novel for continuity’s sake. One doesn’t have to be writing a three-book series to have one. If you’re like me, (what a dangerous phrase to type), you’ve gone through six or seven names for everyone and everything and everyplace during the first draft.
Some things that might go in a Story Bible:
- Character names, first and last
- Character ages, physical descriptions
- Street, town, restaurant, store names.
- Pet names
- Books the character’s read, TV shows, food they ate.
- Rules of society
- Spells, language quirks, texts
- Car makes and models
Another helpful thing to stick in the Story Bible is a CALENDAR.
I use a VERY RUDIMENTARY mini-outline (because we know I am not an outliner) and count out my timeline through the weeks and months. See where in the year my book starts, how long it lasts, make sure my pacing is realistic.
In general, stick the niggling details of your novel in your Story Bible.
I sure don’t want to have to flip through 100 pages of manuscript to see what street a certain character lives on, or if it was a Camaro or a TransAm the villain was driving. Who has the time?
I gotta write.