Recently on my YouTube channel I did a video entirely on book bibling, which you can find here, but I decided to put a quick summary of the video on here for anyone not following my channel or if you just wanted the basics.
First, you just need a classic notebook — I prefer a composition book with bound pages so the pages don’t fall out. And I recommend using a pencil so you can erase!
On the first pages you will want to have a basic summary of your novel. So just a quick play by play of how you want your book(s) to play out. If it’s a whole series, I would start at the beginning of the first book and end with the ending of the last book.
Then you should dive into characters. You will want to have everyone who plays any kind of role in your book flushed out. Give them each a page at least, front and back, to write down descriptions, their roles, things that individualize them, and all that. You will want to do the most depth for your main characters especially, but it’s helpful if you do it for every character.
From there you can go into creatures and family histories — if you have a kind of royal family, think through their lineage and all that.
Then you want to build up the world. I suggest making a map of your world to keep locations in mind while writing. Then go through each region and flush out each group of people with their ways of life, their religion, food, housing, behavior, and things that impact their lives. You will then want to go into weather and landscape of each region like how every country has different land types and climates in different areas. Pretty much whatever your country has, your world should have.
Also think about how these regions interact with each other and any stereotypes they might have. This can create tensions and stakes in the world and create enemies that lead to subplots, and subplots mean depth.
That is really it. Obviously you can add or delete things as it applies to your novel and make your book bible all your own, but those are the basics!
I hope this was helpful for someone! Have you tried a book bible? I would love to know!
Thanks for reading,