The magic’s in the details. The bread pudding tastes like heaven to one character but is only soggy bread to another. A character’s left leg is broken, making shifting on an old, standard vehicle impossible. The swamp smells of mold and decaying wood.
Now when someone says the jelly’s making the bread mush, a reader probably knows exactly which character’s speaking…if I remember the details right.
That’s the trick. In a book over 125K words, small details start to blur into the aether of the story world. Then, if that book has a sequel that’s another 125K words or more, that aether becomes thick and heavy.
Enter a World Book, or whatever you’d like to call it. It’s a reference book where all the story details can be found. The characters, the places, the dialogue ticks, the character mannerisms, the fantasy creatures, the cultures.
No two authors seem to create a World Book alike. It’s a matter of figuring out exactly what works for each person.
For me, all I know for certain right now is that I’m seriously behind the curve on a World Book for Hidden Mythics. You see, I wasn’t sure it’d be more than one book, so with Quaking Soul, I kept a small journal. It worked fine for the one book. As I’ve written the second Hidden Mythics and my story world has expanded exponentially, that tiny journal just doesn’t cut it. I can’t easily add new characters because my character section is full. Neither is there an easy way to search the journal. I have tabs, as you can see in the picture above, but I added the tabs as I added characters, which means the only organization is the chronology of the book itself.
So I need something I can hit Control F on and search. Or something I can add to in the middle.
My next task…to see if I can build a working, useful World Book in excel. Wish me luck.
P.S. If you haven’t stopped by recently, HMII is out with Beta readers until the second week in October. Once feedback comes back, I’ll dig into editing again. 🙂