Transmedia Production Journal – Entry 10: Building A Bibleon August 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm
Is your Bible really holy? If not it should be.
Now I’m NOT talking about the BIBLE…Yeah, that one–the book of morals, prophecy, wisdom and suffering written by several authors, interpreted in many ways and used as tool for good and evil throughout human history. Not that book.
I’m talking about a story bible!
When I create a world, I create a Bible…first and formost.
My story bible is the book of knowledge I create that tells me everything I need to know and then-some, about the story I’m working on. Whether it is a comic book, short story, novel, screenplay etc…I always make a bible in one form or another.
I have almost finished building my Bible for I Never Sausage A Place, the sequel to the comic book, Gates–that you can view for free on this website.
A PITCH BOOK vs A BIBLE: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Below is a video of the pitch book I made for the Gates comic book. This is basically a nicely designed representation of my bible with major edits and the inclusion of new chapters used to sell whoever reads this on the world of Gates.
Pitch books are used to pitch your idea and are an abridged and more advanced form of a bible. They typically have more imagery and are much more geared at selling the awesomeness of your universe to others.
A story bible is a collection of information that allows me as writer to have every secret and detail of my universe, plotted out so that I may write my story.
So here’s a little info about it for all of you folks that are curious as to how I prepare and create a story bible.
HOW I BUILD A STORY BIBLE:
I love to build the bible for my universe. It is the most fun thing that I do because I get to combine all of my favorite create juices into one collection. And by creative juices I mean my art, design and writing skills being used to bring forth my vision.
Now for someone who doesn’t draw or design, just writes, your bible may look different. That is cool. Your bible is a reflection of what you need to get your project completed. Every bible is different…not one are the same. It is the culmination of all of your exciting ideas you are going to be using for your project. Now mine just happens to be a transmedia eBOOK, with art, imagery, video and of course, pros, so it’s got some interesting additions…and it is pretty large.
You have to take into account that the length and complexity of your story idea will usually dictate the size of your bible.
So in building my bible, one must first have the ingredients to cook up their creative masterpiece.
THE MAIN CONTENTS OF MY BIBLE:
At this stage in the game, to me, nothing is sacred in terms of ideas so I will always be editing BUT the bible helps you commit to some ideas more than others as you know they are the backbone of your story. The bible for me is a psychological conquer for my story as it gives me the first semblance of a solid foundation. In my opinion, my bible keeps me from unnecessarily changing things. Sometimes, it is an easy trap for writers to fall into in terms of changing things just for the sake of changing things.
So here are the contents of my bible for my transmedia project, I Never Sausage A Place.
1) Brief Synopsis:
My bible begins with a brief synopsis. For my current needs right now, I have a nice four paragraph (one page) synopsis that summarizes the story of I Never Sausage A Place as well as I need it to be. As This is what I lead off my bible with.
2) Detailed Synopsis/Outline:
Next section is where I take the synopsis and expand it…I write something of hybrid synopsis and outline. These are the major plot points of my story, flushed out in clear fashion. It is here that I have the bones and the guts of my idea, laid out clearly so that I may use them as my guide when I write the story.
This is the ultra detailed version of my character descriptions. Along with my character descriptions, I always include an image. I would prefer to use my art for the images but if I don’t have the artwork completed, I will use some kind of representation of who I think would be a great actor or person in my life, that could play the part of that character.
4) Source Material:
This is usually the biggest chapter of my bible because it contains all of the background history about the setting of my story. For this section, I have a ton of collected articles, wikipedia entries and other resources I have found online that comprise all of the information I need to make my setting consistent. This is the research I need to keep my story entrenched in my world. These are details I need to write fearlessly and educated on my topic.
WORSHIPPING MY BIBLE:
So now I have my bible…what do I do next?
I get old school…and I print it out!
I just print all the four sections I just outlined above and punch holes in them, and place them in a three ringed binder.
Now I have a physical specimen of my ideas in my hand, advancing the psychological foundation of my ideas, even one step further.
Cherish your bible and be grateful that you have completed it because now you are on to the next magical journey…WRITING YOUR STORY!
And remember, you are the GOD of YOUR BIBLE and the creator of your world and all of its’ inhabitants.
1) You can never have to much information when creating a bible for your universe.
2) Specifically in my source material section, when editing out info that I may not need, taking a conservative approach to deleting was a smart move. I feel like the more I have, the better because even if I never use it is there to support me.
3) A synopsis is there to be edited. But get it to a good point and move on. There will be lots of time to edit your synopsis.
4) The psychological power of having completed a bible I can hold in my hand is incredibly strong.
5) Be organic with the contents of your bible. This is all about what I need to create my story. Period. Everything I need is here at my fingertips so I can write unchained.
FOLLOW HAL HEFNER’s JOURNEY INTO THE HOLY BIBLE OF 1987–I NEVER SAUSAGE A PLACE!!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org and please make sure to sign up for the Gates mailing list, otherwise you will not be permitted to pass “Go” and collect your $200.