Posts Tagged ‘series’

Pondering a Series Bible

I’ve heard about series bibles before, but I’ve never really considered making one. A series bible, for those unfamiliar with the terminology, is a document where you keep all your information relating to a series, such as character information, worldbuilding, plot summaries, etc.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know I don’t tend to write series. In fact, aside from my trilogy and the Fractured World universe, I’ve never written multiple stories in the same universe (aside from little scenes here and there for my own edification). So while series bibles have sounded interesting, they’ve never seemed like they would be much use to me.

However, today I was working on one of those little scenes I mentioned above. These are little vignettes related to the main story that aren’t meant for any specific except to help me flesh out character and worldbuilding. Most of them are backstory, though some of them are scenes from alternate points of view. But, anyway, I was working on one related to the trilogy, since I’m still running it through the critique marathon and will be working on it again shortly.

And I ran into some issues where I couldn’t remember some of my worldbuilding. Or if I’d done that particular worldbuilding.

And then I had to do said worldbuilding, which slowed down the process, and made more work of random little scenes than I wanted.

So maybe it wouldn’t hurt to consolidate all my notes in one place, where I can find everything when I need it. I mean, I do this for individual books, so it makes sense to move all the stuff from the whole trilogy into one place, right? Or copy it over, maybe, so the information is still in place for the individual book and I don’t have to dig through everything to find it.

Have you guys used a series bible? How many stories are necessary in a world before you start up a bible? What do you use?

(In the interest of full transparency, I do have a bible for the Fractured World stories. Because the Fractured World is designed to have multiple authors telling stories in it, I made a governing document so that everyone’s worldbuilding is consistent.)

Following a Series Real-Time

Yesterday, I finished the last book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Morning Star. I picked the first book up right after it came out in early 2014, thanks to a note about it in the newspaper, and have read each subsequent book within a month of them being released.

It’s the first time in a long time that I have followed a series so closely. In fact, Harry Potter was probably the last example, and it wasn’t until Order of the Phoenix that I actually started paying attention to the releases for those. Normally I come in after the series is all the way out, or when it’s most of the way finished, like Harry Potter. So it’s been an interesting experience, you know, actually having to wait for the next book.

At first I thought I’d talk about Morning Star exclusively, but then I realized that it wasn’t the only series I’d been following. I also recently finished the second book of Erika Johansen’s Tearling books. A few months after it came out (last July, I believe), but still fairly timely, and definitely ahead of the next book (which is due in November).

Very different animals, these two trilogies. And so has been my reaction to both of them.

  • During the actual reading of each of the Red Rising books, there were points where I contemplated dropping the series, because the main character is sometimes not an easy person to ride along with, and there’s a lot of moral ambiguity throughout. But always at the end, the book would catch my interest again so that I not only knew I’d read the next book, but that I’d look for it actively. The end of Morning Star was also satisfying for the whole trilogy, even though, for a while, it didn’t look like we were going to get there (the main character became an unreliable narrator there for a bit, which was jarring but also awesome, and I am conflicted about the whole thing).
  • The first Tearling book, The Queen of the Tearling, was awesome. I really really liked it. The second book (Invasion of the Tearling) I did not like. At all. It’s different in tone, subject matter, characterization. So, now I find myself wondering whether or not to look into the third book. Am I invested enough now that I have to see it through to the end? Do I want to see it through to the end?

What do you prefer, Squiders, reading each book as they come out, being up to date and on the edge? Or waiting until all the books are out so you don’t have to wait (and, presumably, can tell better if a series will fit your tastes all the way through)?

(Red Rising is far future scifi with a dystopian bent, the Tearling books are high fantasy with a scifi-y-ish twist, if those sound interesting to you.)

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles Readalong: Talking to Dragons

Well, Squiders, here we are at the end of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The elaborate plan set up at the end of Calling on Dragons has been executed, Mendanbar has been freed, the wizards have been vanquished, and everyone is going to live happily ever after. (Or are they? Duh duh duuuuun…)

(I mean, I assume they are, because this is the last book. I kind of wish Ms. Wrede would revisit them, however. I imagine there’s rather a lot you could do with the next generation. I mean, assuming Daystar and Shiara do get married, what if there’s some sort of incompatibility between fire-witch magic and the Enchanted Forest’s magic? And so forth.)

(Moving on.)

Now, if at any point during this you say to yourself, “What the heck is she talking about?”, I want you to know that there’s two versions of this book. You see, this book was written FIRST. So you can actually think of (and, in retrospect, they kind of read this way) the other three books as prologues to this book. So she wrote the book, then went back and wrote the other three, and then changed this one to line up better with the other three. If, for some reason, you have a pre-1990 version of Talking to Dragons, you have the original and quite honestly I’m not sure what the difference is. So! I apologize if things don’t line up.

I am torn about this particular book. On one hand, I like it better in some regards. I like the story, the idea that the main character has no idea what he’s doing, because if he did it wouldn’t work. I like Daystar and Shiara (and I really like the name Shiara). But on the other hand, it doesn’t flow well from the other three, and I’m sure that’s because it was juryrigged at the end to fit into the rest of the series.

Cimorene seems really out of character at the end and it really, really bothers me. She seems to be pushing marriage on Shiara and Daystar and for someone who fought against her own so much, it rings really false. Morwen and Telemain continue to be awesome, though they don’t get a lot of screen time. (Page time?) Some of Morwen’s cats from Calling on Dragons seem to still be alive as well, even though it’s been 17 years. I mean, cats can live into their twenties. Maybe witches’ cats get added benefits, who knows.

So! Did you enjoy the series? Final thoughts, anyone?

We’ll be reading Howl’s Moving Castle next to see how a different author handles the whole fairy tale satire thing. If you’re highly motivated, you can also watch the movie, and then in the comments we can discuss how the two are nothing like each other but, yet, are both awesome.