World/Series Bible Template?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Mindfire, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istari

    Does anyone know of a good template or app to use for making a "bible" for worldbuilding purposes? I'm starting to have trouble keeping all my stuff organized in its current format, and updating my documents whenever ideas change is an absolute pain.
    Thomas Laszlo likes this.
  2. FifthView

    FifthView Istari

    I use Scrivener and simply make different folders for different aspects of the world, like a folder for Places (naming geographical features, countries, cities), Economy (money systems, trade items/routes, etc.), Terminology, Magic System, and so forth. Beneath each main area, I have subfolders; and, subfolders below those.

    I've contemplated using a Wiki type of program. Basically, you could download personal Wiki software, some of which is free to download, and create your own personal type of Wikipedia on your computer. I don't have quick links to any, but you could do a search for Wiki software.

    That's for organizing and keeping things up to date. If you are looking for a template to use when deciding what you should build for your world, I don't use anything like that so can't offer any advice. I basically just hit the areas that come to mind and anything that pops up as I'm writing. There was an old thread once in which someone asked for a resource on how to build/shape governing systems, and I suggested this site: United Nations Statistics Division - Classifications Registry –some cool areas to think about when designing such a system for your world. You could also check out the CIA's World Factbook as a guide for designing things: The World Factbook ? Central Intelligence Agency.
    Thomas Laszlo and Mindfire like this.
  3. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Grandmaster

    I'll second both of FifthView's notions of using Scrivener and some sort of Wiki program, if you have the wherewithal to set up your own private wiki.

    If your data is all hierarchical, then Scrivener's system of files and folders puts all your reference material right there next to your WIP material, but you'd still need to do a search and replace if, say, the name of something changed.

    With a Wiki, if you're new to editing wiki pages, there can be a bit of a learning curve, but it could be worth it if you have lots of documents that need to say the same thing in lots of different places. With a Wiki (perhaps depending on which one you use), the level of detail that you can use templates for could be pages, paragraphs, sentences, sentence fragments, phrases, or even a word, so you could have a template for, say, the name of a specific creature, if you wanted. Wherever you want the name of that creature to come up, you'd include a code referencing the template instead of typing the actual name. When you read the document in read mode, you see the name. If you decide later to change the name of your creature, you edit the template and enter the correct name in it. The change will be propagated to everywhere in the wiki where that template is used.

    Most wikis also provide ways to do searches across all documents in the wiki. If you search for the creature name, and it's in a template, the wiki should show you not only the template in the search results, but also those pages that use the template, where you'd expect that name to show up in read mode.
    Thomas Laszlo and Mindfire like this.
  4. AngelaRCox

    AngelaRCox Apprentice

    For the wiki suggestion, I recommend WikidPad. It's open source and free. I had to read a few tutorials online and do a little playing before I figured it out (and make a cheat sheet of formatting commands for myself) but it's pretty easy to use once you learn the interface, and generates pages automatically for you if you use the right formatting commands.

    When I'm writing regularly on a project, I generally keep a list of characters and note when they're first introduced. That's just a list, either a word document or a notepad I keep near my writing space. Depends on your writing needs.
    spectre, Thomas Laszlo and Mindfire like this.
  5. oenanthe

    oenanthe Master

    I Thought about using Scrivener but 1. damn it's ugly and 2. I'm writing more than one book, and I use one scrivener project per book, so that wouldn't be all that useful.

    So I used One Note, since i have it on all my writing devices and it's at least minimally aesthetically pleasing.
    Thomas Laszlo likes this.
  6. Russ

    Russ Istari

    I got this add recently that may be of interest to you:

    Be a Master of Words...and Worlds!

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    Of course, to get it that way requires a mountain of work. Authors must plan every aspect so the world's logic can stand up to scrutiny. The stakes are high because when we build a story world, we need to do so much more than "paint a picture," and if we break the rules on how our world operates and where things are located, the reader will be pulled out of the story and question our storytelling skills. Yikes!

    Enter One Stop's new Worldbuilding tool, which can help you plan whatever you need, starting with a Solar System, right down to the Organizations, People, and Creatures that populate a Planet, Realm, City, or Town.

    Getting the details right matters even if your story is set in the real world. Knowing the topography, climate, societal rules & influences, and the infrastructure of any location will give your story the bedrock it needs to lay out a convincing story. Our surveys are filled with questions that will allow you to build from scratch, or collect necessary data from real-world places to ensure your readers can imagine each location (and time period) you're writing about. Contemporary, Historical, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian...these surveys are flexible, no matter what genre you write.

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    Unlike the giant worldbuilding lists you find online which force you to skip questions you don't need, our surveys are all about choice. Choose only the questions you wish to include and leave the rest. You can also change the order of questions by dragging them up or down into a new placement.

    One Stop saves only the questions you choose and you can add or change your surveys as needed. Like our other tools, your work can be accessed from the site as you write, or you can export your surveys as a PDF.

    We are always seeking ways to streamline the writing process, so we hope this new tool makes your story planning much easier. Also, if you wish to level up your skills, check out the Worldbuilding Lesson we've added.
    Alyssa and Michael K. Eidson like this.
  7. Seph

    Seph Acolyte

    There is a Scrivener template for Worldbuilding out there. Just google Worldbuilding Scrivener Template. I just downloaded it and imported it myself. 1st result. Looks interesting.
    Mindfire likes this.
  8. Alyssa

    Alyssa Lore Master

    Where is the link for this? I cannot find it on my browser

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Russ

    Russ Istari

    Mindfire likes this.
  10. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Valar Lord

    Dinosaur that I am, I merely employed the same format as in the old AD&D handbooks.

    1 - Create a folder for the world itself. In that folder is a sort of 'overview' file - how large the world is, moon(s), length of year, plus short subsections for each continent or equivalent, and a paragraph or two for the dominant or relevant country .

    2 - Regional/National folders, one per principle area. One file is mostly geographic, descriptions of cities and features on whatever I have for a map. Another file goes into cultural/religious/military matters, each with its own section. A third covers characters, not just those in the story, but ones intended to get a feel for that country or regions populace. Other files go into greater depth on the religion, military, or a given city.
    Mindfire likes this.
  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    I use Scrivener for this. I have a separate Project entitled WorldReference. Everything that is Altearth, regardless of the specific story, goes here. It has been invaluable.

    OneNote could work. I've heard of people using it. Whatever you use, you really need it to have some sort of hierarchical tools--folders within folders--and to have a search function. The rest is optional icing.
    Mindfire and Seph like this.
  12. spectre

    spectre Mystagogue

    There is also an alternative to Scrivener called yWriter. It's free, that's why I like it.

    Sent from my SM-G550T1 using Tapatalk
  13. Christopher Michael

    Christopher Michael Lore Master

    Thank God. I thought I was the only one.

    I don't use it as much anymore, and it doesn't appear to do even half of what Scrivener does. But it's an excellent free resource.

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