Novel Planning: Creating a Novel Bible

So the other day I ran across a forum post for something called a novel bible. This really piqued my interest because well probably like most writer’s this is the only thing my organizational mind can’t reach and that’s my writing files on my computer. I’m a clean and organized freak in every other aspect of my life but when it comes to my writing forget about it and most of the time I usually lose a file and what not and I can never find anything. Just this morning I found a whole half novel that I had started writing but thought I lost. It was covered in dust at the bottom of a file folder in something I would have never thought to look in otherwise on my hard drive.
A novel bible or binder if you couldn’t already guess is everything organized into one place for you. It includes everything that you might think you want to put in your future novel. Over the course of the last few days I tried making a hard copy of one, something that wasn’t on the computer but it go really disorganized fast and I was wasting paper which wasn’t something I wanted to do. So then I started thinking of programs I could possibly use to have it electronically. Some people keep it simple and in word or in evernote. Well point blank I highly dislike Evernote and use OneNote instead, and Word was too constricting.
Yesterday I had attempted in Evernote and made a small dent but still got frustrated when it got too confusing and then I realised I was doing it all wrong. It was me being over organizational again.
So instead of having a gizillion little uncatagorized pieces I have my binder organized as follows (it’s all alphabetical which will drive me insane since I want it organized by importance – may yet have a solution to fix that)

Against All Odds Novel Bible
Characters
•Major Characters
•A
•B
•C
•D
•E
•Minor Characters
•F
•G
•H
•I
Location
•A
•B
•C
•D
•E
Pre-Plan
•Rough Plot Ideas
•Rough Timeline of Events
Research
The Plot
•Uncatagorized Scenes
•Time Line
•Chapter One Scenes (Section for each chapter of scenes)
The Sequel – Pre-plan
•Ideas
•Rough Time Line of Events
•Uncatagorized Scenes
•Probable Characters
•Locations

Under each section lets say for character I can have under Character A, a page for each of the following: Photos/Character sketch, And then one for each biography category and anything else. Of all the methods I tried this one was the easiest to work out and set up. Of course the outline above for my catagories may work for myself and not for you. You’ll just have to play with it and find what way works for you.
Anyways I feel with this method I can keep track of my novels. Not to mention OneNote allows you to have many notebooks at once. Unfortunately the program only comes in the Microsoft Office bundle and costs a bunch…though if you’re a student you can get it for free. Totally worth it.
My last post I mentioned that I wanted to plan before I ever attempted NaNoWriMo again or writing at all and well I’m sticking with the program, though I have started writing down some uncatagorized and totally rough scenes when an idea or two has popped into my brain. I feel this method of planning will totally work.
Laters for now,

Happy Writing!

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