Building a Story Bible

If you’re writing, you need a story bible.  It’s basically a one place catch-all for every little nit-pick that your writing about.  If you are planning a series, you have to have one.

Here’s my tabs for Characters in the story for Demise’s Desire,  and Death’s Lover, the Queen of the Underworld books 1 and 2 in Scrivner

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That’s a lot of characters to keep track of!

Here is one character, the female MC, and her breakdown.

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I love Scrivner because it allows me photos.  Here is Demise’s breakdown.  It will change as the story does.  The basic summary should include everything you can think of; age, weight, height, sex,  where they are from, where are they now, education and their current occupation, any odd mannerisms, how they dress,  pets, etc.

For characters, you might color coat the tabs for MC’s, protagonist, etc.  Also, for Fantasy writers include special powers of the characters, (use a wand? mind-read? Their cultural differences? Are they human? etc)  Do they use different words?  Keep track of those!

The setting.  If your characters are in a house/apartment, jot down a quick floorplan.  Why?  Because if you can see where your characters are going, so can your readers. Have a real idea of the setting, include photos, check the high and low temps, any odd item that might stick out… ie thunderstorms every afternoon, ocean breezes, flowers that bloom, etc.  If you have a real-world setting, use google maps and take a walk through.

Fantasy worlds should have a map and include everything above, including moons, suns, sky color, flowers, other inhabitants, etc. No, you don’t have to publish your drawings, but it might help the fantasy reader orientate themselves.    I use http://rickriordan.com/extra/map-of-the-underworld/  It’s an interactive Map and really useful.  I did change a couple of things for my own purposes, but you can see the map.3 parts of the underworld by Rick Riordan

Setting sketch should include the following for each place.

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There’s a whole lot more to a character bible but the basics are the same.  Keep track of what you have along with what you’ve written and you’ll know where you’re going and so will your readers.

But the most important aspect of a character bible is to save the writer TIME… yep.  Instead of going back and re-reading sections for minor characters, in their character sketch place the page numbers that they appear with a sentence or two *I copy and paste stuff right out of my doc* so if later you need to refresh your memory, you don’t need to hunt for it.

Timeline is next. There is a lot of software for timelines.  Pick one or jot down your own.  Why?  Because if your MC spent July doing something, then six months later you revisit them, don’t have them in the summer… It’s January…

Last day…

Today is the last day to get Painted Girl for FREE and RedHorse for .99c.  Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my work.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been locked out of my blog so I have a lot of catching up to do.  I’d love to post more photos of Puerto Rico when there’s time.  The country is open for business and I’m sure you’d love the beaches.

Today I’m finishing up reading Roseanne Beck – Talk to Me.  It’s a romance AND has ghosts, so you know I’ll be devouring it.  Catch the Naked Reviewers review on Wednesday!

Poor Sherry Terry, head of The Naked Reviewers is laid up with a broken ankle!  Give her some love, she could use a lot of it right now.  Oh, and she posted her injury, go check it out on her facebook page.  The lady has beautiful legs with a big cast on her foot.

Also, head over to the Naked Reviewers and check out Sherry’s daily questions about your WIP.  We’d love to hear what’s going on in your world.

New Release

I released my Spirit Key Book 1, Painted Girl on March 15th.  I’ve been making videos and ads, and today I’m going to tackle the embedded link so you can get a preview.  Free.

Painted Girl is the beginning of a whole new world, one filled with ancient spirits and love.  My writing captain, Bailie, has compared it to a paranormal YaYa Sisterhood.

My problem?  Figuring out exactly who to market it to.  (One of the first things I should have thought about—writing to market.)  I took my own road, and wrote to what speaks to me.  I should have made it romance, they are so easy to market, but Painted Girl doesn’t contain a happily ever after, it’s the beginning, the long road to love.  A love that sticks with the good and the bad.  One worth fighting for after RedHorse loses his arm, and can’t have children. Real life dilemmas with supernatural elements.

First, I have to tell you that I spent three hours yesterday making a video, one that turned out perfect… and guess whose internet decided to crap-out the second it was finished online?  Yep, mine.

Ugh.

Now, to the sample.  If you’ve read it, leave a review for me.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Spirit Key Book 1, Painted Girl.

 

The dreaded BLURB

So, yeah, the title says it all.  Authors who write fantastic books shiver with fear at the mention of this foul five-letter word.

Why?  Because so much rides on it.  The story may be the best thing since whipped cream, but if the blurb sucks, well…

And of course, it doesn’t help when asking someone about your blurb and the spellchecker keeps changing it to bulb.

Me_ Hey, can you check out my bulb_ (1)

So, if autocorrect can’t get it right, how can we?

I’ve been studying them.  Youtube videos, downloads, ebooks, you name it.  Then I read other blurbs and a lightbulb went off.

Each week I read a book for a review. Some blurbs had me biting at the bit to read them. Why?

Because the MC’s wrote the blurb, not the narrator.  I want emotion.  When the MC tells you about the book, it’s personal.  I don’t like to read 1st person POV, well, very few but in a blurb, it is fantastic. (Sue Seabury is excellent at 1st POV, read her Shear Luck and you’ll see why.)

I’m tweaking my blurb for a new release.  What do you think?  Yes, there is a long version and a short.  I also cut this one up depending on who I’m targeting and try to use each section/voice in different ways. It does need another pass for smoothness, and I’m not sure I like the ‘filly to sugar line’, it sounds too young for a robust cowboy. But, each voice comes through.  Will it work?  I don’t know, but it’s better than saying this is a story about…

 

 

A Native American Woman’s journey as she discovers the will of her ancestors with supernatural influences. A world of spirits, a growing love, and nefarious forces collide in this must-read paranormal fiction.  
Sara.  Haunted by her mother’s ghost.
RedHorse was there when the mud grabbed me and wound its way through my body. My dead mother’s voice sang in the shadows scaring me. RedHorse comforted me, and my heart shattered in my chest, pounding away at his closeness.
Hopefully, he won’t think I’m crazy and tell Grandfather that the woods scared me. I won’t have Grandfather worrying that I’m going crazy. And no, there is no such thing as ghosts. It’s only the wind, whispering over the trees.

RedHorse. Tortured by his father’s voice.
Sara tempts me and pulls me toward her like a filly to a lump of sugar. If only my father’s ghost didn’t stalk me every time Sara comes close. I have to leave, I can’t tolerate the farm anymore and the muffled voices in my head. Hopefully, I can convince Sara to leave Kansas, her grandfather, and our community. To make a life somewhere else without the ghostly spirits that yell at me. She could sell the land her grandfather leaves her and we could start anew.
If she’ll have me.
The Old One.  The Bad is coming.
And someone will have to pay the price at some point, even if it is with a life. The sacred land must be kept safe from trespassers, or we’ll take the land ourselves and more.  Some spirits are angry and argue that this was once ours and it could be again if the Spirit Key leaves, we can unlock the door to the death realm that is kept shut by each Spirit Key.

We have to stop them, but only if Sara finds her calling on her own, without interference.

Grandfather.  The Old One called me.
Took me off my Kansas horse farm and into the future. My beautiful land had been taken away, bulldozed and turned into a suburb. The land must stay in the family or our heritage will be lost and coated over with asphalt.

Only the Spirit Key can save our heritage.
Young Sara looks like the best candidate, but she’s yet to see any ghost since she was a babe and her father’s spirit cuddled her as she screamed in fright. She must embrace her Native American roots to keep the land safe from intruders and that means letting in the ghosts and with it the fears of that night so long ago. Her life is at a crossroads. She’s floundering unable to find a job or her calling. Struggling along without a purpose is the worst thing a person can do.

Death is always near.
My time wanes. The spirits need a leader, someone to help them cross-over, or they will take matters into their own hands and make war on the living so that the land will be free to hunt without human interference.
But a niggling tells me the Old One has something else in mind. Something I won’t like.
The Spirit Key needs a helper. 
Someone who respects our heritage and can speak to the dead. I pushed Sara and young RedHorse together, and the relationship could work, but the spirits don’t want him. They’ve seen his future and soon, he will step on the ledge towards death.

I made a bad choice.
 
A new world full of old spirits, love, suspense, and culture.

 

 

Prologue or Not to Prologue, That is the Question

Check out Karen’s first chapter, she has it up here. This gal is one fantastic writer. Join her in her new world. You won’t be sorry.

KC Freeman - Contemporary Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Author

I may have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating the question into the ether…

Are prologues out or are they in?

As I’m wrapping up the draft for Book 3 of my Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, I once again find myself asking the same question I asked when I started the series. Do I introduce the character from the very beginning (450 years ago when she awoke in her own grave) as part of a prologue before diving deep into the story which is set in modern times USA (at least in Book 1, Rekindled Prophecy)? Or do I include this aspect of the story as a chapter or eliminate it altogether?

Trouble is, no one agrees. Some people love prologues and epilogues. Others don’t. Some declare that prologues and epilogues are out of fashion in the publishing world. Some say…do your own thing, to hell with current…

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