Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me here at Love Bytes for another monthly author column. So this is one of those “Do as I say, not as I do” pieces of writerly advice. On July 8th, the 7th book in my paranormal romance series the THIRDS is released. As I write book 8, I have several head-desk moments and wish I’d been smarter about my organization for this series (oh the shame). My friends are probably cackling at this moment as I’m usually the queen of organization. I like to call it organized chaos.
It may not come as a surprise, but a hell of a lot of work has gone into this series, and as much as I’d love to say I know exactly what I’m doing, and have known every step of the way (insert hysterical laugh here), I don’t and haven’t. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot (oh so much) documented. It would be crazy not to. The problem is the information is spread across many notebooks, spreadsheets, Evernote, and pieces of paper filed away, and tiny details that I didn’t think would reappear later on reappear with a vengeance.
What I should have done was create a story bible from book 1. Of course for book 1, keeping a spreadsheet of character stats worked swell. I have my main characters and their physical descriptions, eye color, hair, height, weight, birthdays. I have documents with important details jotted down, like addresses, locations, important world building details. So much stuff. I think it’s enough.
Then comes book 7, and wait a second. There are 22 characters in this book, several walking on and off screen at any point in time, not including extras like perps, teammates, new government operatives, and holy donuts, Batman, just how many characters are in this book, and oh my God what floor was the lab on??!! As it turns out I forgot to write down what floor the Chief Medical Examiner’s office was on. I need that for book 8. They take the elevator there. The elevator must stop on a floor that is not Random-THIRDS-HQ-Floor-Filled-with-Shiny-Labs.
The other day I blanked out on when two secondary characters had met. I would have to search through four or five books to find it. Thankfully the THIRDS Nerds are amazing and know more about my books than I do. No really. Someone had an answer within seconds of my asking. So although I would very much love to say I have every little detail written down, I don’t. I should. I’m starting to. It will be a lengthy process, but as the series isn’t ending any time soon, I still need it.
What exactly goes into a story bible?
A Table of Contents will be a huge help. And you can create your story bible using whatever medium you prefer, whether hand written and organized in a binder, typed up then printed and organized, or using software like Scrivener, Evernote, OneNote. Include your major characters and all their info from physical descriptions to family history, backstories, when they appear in the series, wardrobe, etc. Secondary characters, minor characters, recurring groups and organizations. Include important symbols, songs, pop references, settings both major and minor, world rules, history, timelines, references, transportation, weapons, blurbs, plots, glossaries, languages, quotes. Put it all in there. Print out images of references.
Check out this great video on creating a series bible from Kami Garcia, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series.
Your series bible will continue to expand and grow as you add new information to it. It’ll also be a great keepsake once your series is complete. If you’re an author, how do you keep your series information organized? As a reader, if you were to look through an author’s series bible, what would you like to see in it? Any extras you think would be fun?
ABOUT THE BOOK
Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance
Length: Novel, 91,512
Published: July 8th, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634773871
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781634773874
Life for Dexter J. Daley has never been easy, but he’s always found a way to pick himself back up with a smile on his face. Taken from his home, and the arms of his boyfriend and THIRDS partner, Sloane Brodie, Dex finds himself in a situation as mysterious and lethal as the Therian interrogating him. Dex learns what he’s secretly believed all along: his parents’ death wasn’t an accident.
Discovering the whole truth about John and Gina Daley’s homicide sets off a series of events that will change Dex and Sloane’s lives forever. As buried secrets rise to the surface and new truths are revealed, Dex and Sloane’s love for each other is put to the test, with more than their relationship on the line. If traversing the waters of murder and secret government agencies wasn’t enough, something inexplicable has been happening to Dex—and nothing will ever be the same.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.