Does Your WIP Need A Bible?

One of my favourite bloggers, Hunter over at Hunters Writings recently included a link in one of her posts to a very interesting article:

Making A Writing Bible is an article that appeared on The Write Thing’s web site.
Edited to add: This link appears to be down 😦

Hunter has also been talking about The Novel Journal

So that’s what I’ve been working on, in preparation for Nano, my WIP Bible 🙂


I’ve decided to use a notebook rather than my Netbook as I can add things as and when I think of them. Even carry it around in my bag if inspiration strikes.

So, I’ve got the hero (although he’s changed a bit since you last heard about him….thank you for all your comments and suggestions!!!!). His name is now Daminano Moretti 😉 harry is still knocking about, and I’m sure i’ll find a use for him later 😉 Kate Walker suggested that we find a photo of what we envisage our hero to look like. So after some extensive Googling I have a couple of pics!

Then this section is for notes on my heroine, who is still Kate 🙂 I’ve also found a couple of pics of what I imagine her to look like.

I have a section for the minor characters. There won’t be many, as, in a Mills & Boon, its all about the hero and heroine.

The setting…..ahhhhh…. *day dreams wistfully* It’s Sorrento in Italy. So I’m collecting pics and info.

Chapter breakdown is a suggestion made by Sharon Kendrick at Swanwick. Because Mills & Boon books generally have a pattern, it’s a good idea to have an outline of where things need to happen, such as “the black moment” and that way you know where you are 😉

Notes and ideas is basically the section for everything else….title ideas, ideas for scenes, back story etc…..

I’ve never worked like this before (I was a pantster lol) but I can really see the benefits. And now, I have 2 whole months to collect all the info I need before I actually start writing on the 1st November! And I have to say….I’m loving it! 😉

Have you ever created a WIP Bible? And if not, would you consider it?

43 thoughts on “Does Your WIP Need A Bible?

  1. Vikki, I’m confused. The link about “Making a Writing Bible” doesn’t go anywhere. Are you talking about the literal “Bible” or a bible in the broader sense? I’m intrigued. xxoo


  2. Well, this is something I have never thought about and wish I had. What a wonderful way to arrange all the story details and collect inspiring pictures of how the characters and setting would look, etc.
    Excited to try this out. Thanks for positng another great writing tip. 😀


    • You’re welcome Sara 🙂

      It is great fun! But, I’m a little worried as to whether there’s an element of procrastination creeping in. It’s ok at the moment, as I won’t be starting to write the actual novel until November the 1st, but I’m not sure I’ll be using this technique with everything I write 😉

      Good luck!



  3. I think I’m too much of a pantser for this. If I could do a third of that, I’d consider it. My current method seems okay with scene by scene. The hope is my characters are developing as they should, but who knows.

    I haven’t even thought about what I’m writing for nano yet. Need to though. That’s my task for later in September, early October. Procrastination. 🙂


    • Ha ha ha, I thought so too CC, but I’m really enjoying getting to know my characters and my setting 🙂

      I think it also helps with consistency, so you make sure that a haracters who had blue eyes at the beginning of the novel, still has blue eyes at the end 😉

      Ooooo, exciting, can’t wait to hear what your Nano idea is 🙂



  4. I think my novel notebook qualifies as a WIP bible. It contains all the same things and is beyond beat up from traveling with me everywhere I go. 🙂

    p.s. Yours is beautiful! I hope you fill it up with a wonderful story!


  5. I sometime collect some setting pictures but I’m a definite pantser so I usually don’t do too much with one exception. There is a story I began telling my sister a long, long time ago and I have continued it in journal form. I have a book filled with birthdays and family lines that now includes probably a hundred characters!


  6. wow, what a brilliant idea, love the thinking behind that. I would love to be that organised, but as I’m not writing a book, I wonder how it would work for me…… I’ll keep thinking on that one. 🙂 x


  7. As I put the pro into procastination! I will definitely be trying it, I need to plan more but if one of my characters goes off on a tangent, I won’t stop them – I will just have to re-write the plan! lol – Yes looking forward to Nano


  8. I do something similar, although more haphazard, when I collect jpgs and online factoids in my beloved Scrivener. Character profiles, setting and plot ideas are in there too. I do like how organized your bible is. I might have to incorporate something similar in Scrivener!


  9. What a brilliant idea! I have a lot of stuff tucked away in my computer but it might make it more real if I actually put together a tangible book so I could pick up and look at it and get inspired all over again!


  10. Scrivener has excellent folders for this kind of stuff but since I picked it up in the middle of my wip, I haven’t used it. I have a notebook though. Next series I’ll give scrivener’s Bible folders a try. 😉


  11. Hmmm…..I love notebooks and setting stuff out all organised but with my writing, I have to say its pantsing for me the whole way! I did try organising ideas, notes etc but it just didnt work for me. For me to write my WIP I do have to mentally prepare myself as my main character is completely full on and draining to write but thats about as far as I’ll go with organisation. 🙂


  12. I’m not sure I would use the term bible (not being religious) but I know what you mean. I think you can guess while I like to plan a lot. Once you have details you can add to it, mull it over, leave it for a while, let other details appear and so on. Then you have a road to begin on and an idea of whether certains things will work or fit together. Good on you for the “bible”.


  13. I always have a notebook to scribble in with ideas, although if I need to research for a novel (because it’s historical, etc) I devote a whole notebook to pictures and scribbles 🙂


    • Hi Jennee 🙂

      Ooooo, collages, that sounds like fun! I use to do collages before I took up writing, but they always included words. I love art that combines words with images 🙂

      Nothing wrong with being messy hon, messy is fun! 🙂



  14. Pingback: NaNoCreature Interview Week 1 « Finding my creature, it's a beautiful, vicious thing…

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