Building a story world is hard. You have to create cultures, races, traditions, food, and the list goes on. While many writers (myself included) can find the process fun, keeping up with it all can be overwhelming. Many of my writing friends swear by Scrivener. I tried it, and hated it. I much prefer having it all in a binder, and there is just something so special about holding a binder crammed full of papers in your hand and be able to say, this is my world.
So today, I’m going to show you how I organize my story world. Do what I do, or shake it up to fit your style.
****Disclaimer: Please ignore the cat stalking some of the pictures. I couldn’t convince her that the phone was not out for her. 🙂
This is my baby:
On the front I have notes to myself of things I want said/done that don’t have a place on my scene planner.
Here I have a outline of what I want to happen in a month’s time. While my world is fantasy and not following a normal calendar, this still gives me a good overview of what I need to happen on a weekly basis. I chose 2016 because I needed Christmas Day to start out the week.
Next, I have a scene chart that I made on Microsoft Excel, showing me what happens, where it happens, the character’s point of view, and the result of the scene.
Next I have my pages of Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method. That way if I ever get off track or need a reminder of where I want my story to go, my pages are right there.
Next I have my map. You always need your map close at hand so you can remember where everything is.
Then comes the real meat, my characters, places, and other info I need. For characters, I have descriptions of them and their back story. For places I have descriptions of the landscape: its biome, animals, minerals, etc.
Right now my characters and places aren’t all together. I’ve added the sections as I needed them (for example, a Captain of the Guard just became a major character, and he needed a section of his own, whereas he didn’t before).
In the back I have extra scene charts and empty maps.
So that’s it, that’s my binder! (Look how thick that thing is.) I hope I’ve helped you if you’re struggling to organize your story world.