In my last post, I spoke about what a simple guide to organizing your worldbuilding is and how to use the system. If you would like a recap, you can click the following link here.
The General Section
A General Summary of the General Section
The general section is best used for information that can’t fit elsewhere. It is also a good placeholder for undeveloped ideas and quick thoughts. I’ve divided the general section into five easy to navigate subsections. They are:
- Story Plot
- Character Profiles
- Quick Lists
Each subsection can hold as many sub-subsections as you need. There is no set order in completing each subsection and sub-subsection.
The story plot subsection is for storing both your book(s) plot. From story act structures to chapter outlines, you can map your ideas into as many sub-subsections as you like. Examples of sub-subsections you can create:
- Story Brainstorm
- Book or Series Synopsis
- Book or Book Series’s Story Outline
- Book Chapter Outline
- Story Plot Timeline
The Story Brainstorm, or narrative brainstorm, is where I store my plot ideas for my book series. My plot ideas include:
- Threats to my lead character’s demise
- Political/social issues my lead character faces
- The final battle
- How the story ends
I save all these ideas here so I can recall them at a later time.
With the Book or Series Synopsis, I can keep track of each book summary, logline and blurb. This makes it easy to view the story’s progression at a glance. I can also copy and paste the blurb or summary when I’m ready to finalize my book’s draft and begin the publication stage.
The Book or Book Series’s Story Outline tracks the master plot structure within my book series. I track the key events and end goals of each book.
The Book Chapter Outline is where I store each book’s plot outline. I track key points and events using a four-act plot structure from the Fool Proof Outline by Christopher Downing.
The Story Plot Timeline tracks the progression of time in relation to the master plot. Since my series spans over three years, I use the story plot timeline to check if I’ve hit every key point in my outlines.
This subsection is self explanatory. Examples of sub-subsections you can create for character profiles are:
- Secondary Characters
- Minor Characters
Protagonists are where I store my lead characters.
Secondary Characters are where I store love interests and vital characters. These characters have vital roles that help move the story’s progression in each arc. My secondary characters are not antagonists but can be former antagonists.
Antagonists are where I store the opposition of my lead character.
Minor Characters are where I store the side characters. They are the characters who make brief appearances. They also assist in the story’s progression by moving plot from one point to the next.
If you have already created a template, you can sort each profile into its designated place. I prefer to sort my character profiles by book/book series rather than an overall list.
Organizations can be good, bad or neutral depending on your plot’s needs. Whether it is a team of superheros or an evil corporation, people with similar ideals are prone to grouping together. They have a goal of fulfilling a purpose greater than themselves. Using this subsection depends on your plot.
Examples of organization sub-subsections you can create are:
- Criminal Organizations
- Superhero/Villain Organizations
- Guilds & Factions
- Corporations & Government Organizations
- Superhero/Magical Girl/Mecha Team
Quick Lists are what I like to call my too long, didn’t read (TL;DR) lists. This is the subsection I use most often when I need a quick reference. As the name implies, quick lists are an abridged version of my other information. It is like a catalogue card for your worldbuilding or story bible.
Quick Lists will almost always be the subsection that is completed last in a story bible. I often update it every time there are new or significant changes to my world. Examples of sub-subsections you can create:
- List of book series characters
- List of book series characters abilities/magic skills
- List of all countries
- Magical teams list
- Known guilds in the XX empire list
- Important holidays list
Notes & Resources
Notes are a perfect section to place your brainstorming ideas and other research materials. Out of the entire general section, this is the subsection I use the most. As I mentioned earlier, it is a great placeholder for new ideas. I find it works best when you’re unsure of where to categorize your ideas, but want to get them down before you forget.
I find it helpful to have a central place where I keep my links to all my resources that I use. Examples of sub-subsections you can create:
- Book Related Keywords and BISAC Subjects
- Website Links
- Book or Book Series Notes
- Potential Book Titles
- Unused Names for Places, Things, Shops, etc.
- Quotes for Books
In my next blog post, I will go over religion and language and break down each of its subsections.
See you next time.