Why I never thought of this before, I don’t know. I have wanted to make a bit of a reference for the smaller details in my stories for quite some time, but didn’t know how to go about doing it in a way that didn’t look like a dictionary. And I would never reference something like that. Then the ultimate idea (and I can’t for the life of me remember who I first heard it from, but I think it was a BookTuber on YouTube).
I have started creating personal WIKI pages for my stories. This turned out to be a great idea because when I did one for Violet Blake, I started immediately coming up ideas for the rest of the sequel. I have always liked writing out character backgrounds so I can better understand why a character does what they do, but a Wiki? It turned out to be an amazing thing for my writing.
Now, we all know that I can’t plan. The very idea of planning will keep my up at night. But a few pages of a Wiki seems easy enough. I wrote one up for Violet Blake in less than an hour and it helps me to get inside my main antagonist’s head a bit better. It also helped me out a bit with the world building. I was ready to Google how to do some world building, knowing that it was critical for this story because it was moving quite fast. I was having massive dialogue dumps in order to help the character along. Understanding her circumstances has been as much of a learning experience about this world for me as it has been for her.
I started with the main character. What she is. Who she is. Her age. Who she is in a relationship with (or at least who she will be as I have not written that part yet. Probably to come or START coming in book 3). Then I moved onto the antagonist and her entire background within a few words. That did a lot for me.
Then go onto the setting. Where is it. Why are the characters there. What does it look like?
The circumstances. New keywords or terms that I created.
The societies and organizations within the story. When were they created? Why? How? Who started it? When did it go bad? (Because it all goes very badly in my story).
This might sound like a bit of an outline. It’s not! It’s an info dump for me to reference so I have less trouble with continuity errors. And it helped me to figure out the world inside my head when it was only partially created. I spent over six months trying to figure out this world. This particular story has been re-written three times. And that was just the two hundred or so pages and the first 50,000 words. The first part has been released as a novella with nearly 25,000 words. So that means I have chopped 75,000 or so words just trying to figure out the details of the first 100 pages to get everything right for the upcoming books. So basically…anyone complaining about editing and removing word count, you won’t get any sympathy from me! You rip that story to shreds and start over if you have to. I did a few times. Hell, when I first started Violet Blake, it had fairies in it! Or was it banshees? I think there was both actually. And now it’s more sci-fi/thriller.
The Wiki page did more for the story than anything else as far as helping me to construct the universe. Highly recommend creating one.
What helps you out with world building?