In this case I’m talking about the bible I use when I’m writing my novel. I got the idea/suggestion from another blog or article I read a while back. Shamefully I didn’t bookmark it so I have no idea where it is or who said it.
I’m sure the idea of having a notebook filled with character information, locations, and other important facts for a book is not uncommon. I’ve done versions of it on 3×5 note cards in the past and it turned out disastrous.
For example: I would come up with a character that I thought was wonderful. Absolutely perfect for the story I wanted to tell. Then as I began actually writing I’d find out that this person was as one dimensional as you could get. There was not person in the character I had created.
So I would throw the note card away.
I would rewrite the character completely and start over trying to fit this new character into the old character’s spot. Trouble was that most of the time the situations that came about after the setup were because of how the original character acted.
And of course by this time the trash had been taken to the dump along with the character I had fallen in love with in the beginning.
So the notecard idea wasn’t going to work for me.
My next attempt was putting those notes into a notebook. That worked out well. Until I had to add more characters and locations. Or a new interesting fact came up. Or I would get distracted by a back story and have a whole notebook filled with events that had happened so long ago that no one in the current book gave a damn about them.
And then of course there was the constantly changing face of my characters.
So what’s a writer to do?
Get a blank 9×11 sketchbook (hardbound with an elastic closure)
Get a pair of scissors
Get a stapler
Get a yellow pad of paper (or notebook)
And rewrite the bible to your hearts content.
Your characters are going to evolve from your concept into people with their own voice and opinions about who their are. It’s nice to document the journey all the while staying true to the Idea you had in the beginning . 🙂