Nadia Lee Guest Blogs

World Bible: How to Create One in the Middle of a Revision

When I got serious about writing, I thought I’d focus on contemporary romance until a friend of mine got me hooked on urban fantasy. Since I liked it so much I decided to try writing one, which then became The Last Slayer.

I was terrible about organizing my notes on the world.  I didn’t really feel the need to make a world bible or anything of that sort since I always work on one project at a time, so I had everything in my head.  Creating a separate document or notebook with all the details seemed like a colossal waste of time.  If I ever needed to revisit the world, why, I had my brain!  I could just recall whatever I needed about the world from my memory, easy peasy!

Over a year passed between completing The Last Slayer and actually selling it.  Once I signed the contract, my editor sent me a revision letter, and one of the things she asked for was the world bible.  She wanted one so we could keep things straight, and also for her to get a better sense of what was going on beyond the story on the page.  (Since The Last Slayer is the first in a trilogy, it made sense that she wanted to know more about the world and what was to come in the sequels.)

Anyway, I was totally confident I could knock one out in an hour or so.  How hard could it be to write down what was already in my head?

Unfortunately, while I remembered a lot, I’d also forgotten a lot of the details.  I couldn’t recall the exact names of certain factions and agencies and so on.  (And I’m certain that going through the last trimester in my first pregnancy did not help matters at all.  I’ve read studies that showed that women’s brains shrink during pregnancy. The brain expands back once the baby’s delivered, thank god…if you can survive the sleep deprivation!)

Anyway, the Find feature in Word helped tremendously.  If I couldn’t remember an exact title or name, I’d type something that was close and look for it that way.  That took a while (okay, about four days), but I was able to put together a world bible that my editor was happy with.

So the next time I create a new world, I’ll make sure to keep good notes! At least all the proper names and brief descriptions of each item.

Do you have any questions or comments about world building, world bibles, the editorial process or revisions?  Feel free to post them, and I’ll be happy to answer.

The Last Slayer

Ashera del Cid is a talented demon hunter, but when she kills a demigod’s pet dragon, the hunter becomes the hunted.  Her only potential ally is Ramiel, a sexy-as-hell demon. Now the two must work together to battle dragons and demigods…and the chemistry crackling between them.

Ramiel has his own reasons for offering Ashera his protection.  He knows her true identity and the real reason the demigods want her dead. What he can’t predict is how she’ll react when she discovers he knew who she was all along…

Ashera is shocked to discover that she is the only daughter of the last slayer. To claim her destiny, she and Ramiel must join forces to face down danger and outwit their enemies.  Only then will she be able to truly accept her legacy…

Where to buy The Last Slayer

Carina Press 

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  • Amanda Bonilla January 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Great post, Nadia! I’ve actually started a book bible twice and have yet to finish it! LOL. I’m beginning to think that maybe just a nice organized excel spreadsheet would work just as good. I have used the style sheets sent by my copy editor as a guideline, though, and it totally helps! 🙂 Now all I need is a couple of weeks to get everything on my to-do list done so that I can FINALLY read The Last Slayer! Can’t wait!

  • Nadia Lee January 28, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Hey Amanda,

    I’m terrible w/ organization, hence my bible is still too messy. At least I can use it to find information I need easily. 🙂

    I didn’t get style sheets from my copyeditor, alas. So I can’t even use them as reference.

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