D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thumping My Bibles

Warning: This is not a religious post. If you came here expecting a religious post, and are now disappointed, you may be excused and leave quietly. If, however, you are curious, I welcome you to read further.

Yes, I know, horrible me for making you wait. If I didn't, though, I'd have nothing to talk about today. Character Bibles. I keep them religiously (ahaha, I crack myself up some times). It has come to my attention that some people don't keep CB's. Other people don't even know what a CB is. This makes me sad and, as a good samaritan, I feel it is my duty to instruct you. What you do with the knowledge I'm about to give you is your choice. I pray you choose well.

What is a Character Bible?

A character bible is a reference, usually in the form of a journal (crazy collecting obsessions? Yep, that's mine), in which you keep a detailed description of characters from your works. Often this includes a characters name, age, species, hair/eye color, and (if applicable) social status. I usually list physical descriptions like height/body type. If they can shape shift, I will list their creature appearance as well, under a label like: "Dragon Form".

Why keep a CB?

Character Bibles are a wonderful way to keep up with little details about your characters. I tend to keep one for each story I write and include every character who makes any form of an appearance, regardless of how brief their part is. It makes it far less likely for you to lose track of the fact that in chapter one you named the bartender Carl, but when he shows up again in chapter ten you've forgotten and renamed him Lyle.

Before I conclude this post, I'd like to make a quick side note: it is a good idea to put each story your character has appeared in at the bottom of the page. It especially helps if your character is in a series, but is not the main character for the first x amount of books.

Alright, I'll give the soap box up and leave the floor open to your comments. Do you guys keep a CB? ~ D. F. Krieger


Angelina Rain said...

I have to admit I’m the lazy writer. The closes I get to keeping a character profile is putting their hair color and eye color on a post-it note.

N.M. Martinez said...

This is a great idea. I sort of do it, but not to this extent. Where do you keep your bibles? Are they in journals or do you have a file for them?

I've been thinking for a while that I also need to keep track of where my characters are and when. I do a lot of hopping back and forth in time while writing, and I'm sure that at some point I'm going to screw up. This is exactly the sort of information I could probably stick in there.

D. F. Krieger said...

Angelina -Post it notes die horrible cat-induced deaths here. ESPECIALLY if they are important!

N.M. - I buy journals (lots and lots of journals) in which I keep them. Occasionally, I get smart and buy a binder, type/print character sheets out, and separate stories with dividers.

Sounds like you need..A Chapter by Chapter Synopsis! >.> I'm not advertising Friday's blog...not at all! ~ D. F. Krieger

N.M. Martinez said...

lol! A chapter by chapter synopsis will be a good idea for the novel I'm working on now, but I'm meaning more for the grand scheme of things. I'm working with a series of short stories (and long ones) all taking place in the same world and with plenty of reoccurring characters that make appearances and moments shared across stories. It's not wise to trust all this information to my stupid little brain when I'm lucky I can remember my own birthday.

Oh, I like the idea of a hard copy binder with loose sheets. I think I am definitely going to give this a try. (This also means I will probably be able to go out and buy a new binder. Yay for office supplies!)