How to Create & Use a Worldbuilding Bible [Novel Boot Camp 5]

A worldbuilding bible can help you organize and track your ideas to avoid inconsistencies and mistakes. In this video I go over two different ways of approaching a worldbuilding bible (for pantsers and plotters) and below the video is a link to a template you can use to get started on your own worldbuilding bible.

Click here to check out my worldbuilding bible template.

Comment Question: Do you like to fill out a worldbuilding bible in advance or as you go?

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4 thoughts on “How to Create & Use a Worldbuilding Bible [Novel Boot Camp 5]

  1. Rick Sherman says:

    You’re absolutely right, writing a world building bible can take forever, but it can save tons of time. My story is a time traveling love story back into the Medieval period. I’ve had to do hours, days, and months of research, which I’ve compiled in documents in Scrivener. I find as I write, when it comes to some specifics, I still need to take time out to research it. To maintain my writing rhythm, I’ll often mark it (as you suggested) so I know to address it later. I can’t wait to hear your other videos on this. Thanks, Ellen.

  2. Jen (Full of Love) (@gluedwithgold) says:

    I’m only just venturing into the fantasy/sci-fi world with my writing, so this is the first I’ve heard of a worldbuilding bible. I’ve only written one short story set in a fantastical world. It wasn’t too complex, so writing down these details wasn’t necessary. Although, being a pantster, I did need to go back and add a detail or two when something new happened in the plot so it wasn’t totally out of the blue, and to avoid needing a technical description of something at a crucial moment where it would throw off the flow to add it in.
    In my longer, non-fantasy writing I do tend to keep a page of notes that’s similar to a worldbuilding bible – details like a character’s birthday, names and descriptions of minor side characters that only pop up occasionally, or dates when important things happen – it helps me stay consistent without having to search through pages and pages of text to find that one detail that I need to repeat.

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    I have several hundred pages of world building notes (magic and religion alone, whew!). But then, I’ve been developing this world for over a decade, and I write all of my stories and novels-to-be in it. I find that once I have the skeleton and basic rules of the magic system, levels of technology, major events and other changes across the various cultures and time periods, it’s super fun to add in details here and there. I participate in flash fiction challenges, writing super-short stories based on photo prompts to put on my blog. Almost every time, I end up creating something new — a custom, a creature, a holiday — that goes back into my “bible”. But since I have such a solid grounding with the main parts of the world, I haven’t yet run into any problems with inconsistencies (cross my fingers). All of that said, boy, I wish I had a good couple weeks to sit down and reorganize all these notes!

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