Fact-Books are Your Friends

When I first tried to write a novel, it didn’t work out so well for me. I knew my characters pretty well but my entire world that I was creating never made sense. I had no concrete information on the world I was making. Eventually I gave up on the project. Now that I’m starting another one, I’ve figured out where I went wrong. I didn’t have a fact-book.

What is a Fact-Book?

A fact-book is essentially a compendium of all knowledge involving your book’s world. Every little detail that will and wont be in your book. If anything, all of the information that will make the world real to you.

Why Would I Need One? How Would it Help Me?

Because you don’t want to get half way through your novel and not remember if the Gostian Snake was poisonous or not. Or that your character hates spiders. It will definitely keep your continuity going.

What Should I Include in It?

Everything that is important to your story. Starting off with character profiles and the basic lead up to your story is a good idea. From there you can go into all of your story notes, world building notes. You can create an entire binder for it or even write in another notebook. It may change as you find things in your world that don’t work and rearrange it as needed.

Right now I’m slowly going through and creating one for Were-Witch and I’m starting off with the Werewolves. You know the transformation process, the difference between being born wolf and being bitten. I’m also working on the character profiles to add to it.

Do you have a fact-book for your writing? What do you include in yours? If you don’t have one are you thinking about starting one?

Let me know in the comments.

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3 thoughts on “Fact-Books are Your Friends

  1. Reblogged this on Your Blog Coach and commented:
    This is awesome: a fact-book that accompanies your work in progress. You can keep track of your characters (dates, names, murdered where and how, etc), cities used (with notes such as “this street exists but the houses are my imagination” to avoid offending someone), etc. How many of you writers use a fact-book?

    Please leave comments on Jessica’s blog. I will disable comments on this post.

    Cheers and do let Jessica know if you also use a fact-book.

  2. “Do you have a fact-book for your writing? What do you include in yours? If you don’t have one are you thinking about starting one?”

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jessica!

    I was about to manage plot threads today for ‘Til Undeath (Vol. 1 in the Cryptid Series); then I received an email notification from Your Blog Coach blog, which I follow. Alice reblogged this entry and redirected it here to you.

    Today’s “Dare to Dream, Live to Write” blog entry is what I need right now.

    I have information written here-and-there, yet I never compiled it all together. As the Cryptid Series evolves, the story evolves even as I draft, redraft, and edit it. I get so caught up in making the backstory perfect from Day 1 that I abandon factbooks.

    I read your entry, agreed that a fact book is vital, and had an epiphany: Why not have a messy marked-up fact book? It’s my personal reference guide. No one but I will ever see it, and I can possibly end this overwhelmed feeling as I juggle it all in my head.

    Thanks, Jessica, for writing today’s entry, and thanks to Alice for reblogging it!

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