Writer’s First Source: Making a Guidebook for your stories

Happy Wednesday! I thought that for a while I would make Wednesday, Writer’s First Source Wednesday.

I thought today, that I would tackle on a different subject that relates to writing and that is making your own guidebook for your story. The idea of the guidebook is to help you sort all of your information for your story, especially when you are working on epic fantasies. I’m currently in the middle of making mine for The Raven Prophecy.

It’s where you have all of your information for your characters, settings, the laws of your world, you can list the creatures that are in your story and what rules or laws that they might have to follow. You might also have maps/charts in there. Yes, I know that you can have the same information in Scrivener but what if you wanted to take it with you so that you can look it over? You might want to have it in a notebook or a three-ring binder. The idea is to have all of the information that you need for your book in one place.

The idea came to me when I saw the reference guide that was put out for Twilight, and I have a book similar to that one on The Lord of the Rings also. I also once saw a guidebook for the Dune series. As writers, we want to make things easy for us to find the vital information that we need for our stories that we can refer back to when we need it.

The other point about making a guidebook is that it can make it somewhat easier when we have to write out a book proposal or anything else that we might have to make out for marketing purposes. While it might be a pain to do, but in the long run making a guidebook but in the end, the pain will pay off when we have to write anything meaningful about our books.

Granted, not every book/story needs a guidebook, not unless you want to but I don’t think that they are necessary for short stories unless that one short story is going to be part of a series. But for the bigger novels, they can become quite helpful. Also when you are working on your guidebook, you might want to think about it as that you are making a “Book of Shadows” of sorts which is based on your novel.


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