"Series Bible" in a different project than the novels in a series?


I plan a novel series and have Scriveners for Windows.

My question is how to find something again.

If I open a different project for each novel in my series, is it difficult to find information from my first book when I am writing on my second book?

If I write my series bible in a different Scrivener project, is it easy to find the data when I write novel 2 or 3 in this series?

Please advice. Thanks in advance.

I maintain my series bible – well, it’s more like a big world-building project – in a separate location completely. However, when I write individual stories, I’ll take a snapshot of pertinent information and pull it in the story’s scrivener project as a read-only PDF. That way I can reference it but if I want to edit the original, I must do so on the original source material.

I tried this, I set up a template and everything for series bible info, folders all sorted and categorized, etc. but at the end of the day, it doesn’t work for me to have everything in Scrivener. FWIW, I just set up a notebook in OneNote, sections and pages for all of the series bible info, and I keep Scrivener for writing.

The main thing is the real-time practicality: I don’t want to keep switching to sections in Scrivener while I am trying to write, I want to keep focused on the page I’m writing. Split screen doesn’t compensate for this as I’m on a laptop, perhaps on some gigantic monitor it does. I have always been a keyboard shortcut guy and just ALT+TABbing between OneNote and Scrivener is a speedy, optimal solution (for me).

I guess it also depends on how much information is in your series bible. If you have entire histories, maps, languages, etc, you certainly would want it in its own project. My own current project is a fantasy set in this world, so I’ve just been making use of the “Research” folder and it’s worked…so far.


I’m with BeGratefulToWrite. I choose to use Evernote rather than OneNote, but my writing method is similar—research and notes are not in Scrivener, except for backstory scenes.

I do keep all my novels and stories for a given series in the same project, in different folders under Drafts, with an eye to making compilation for an eventual omnibus volume easier. But that’s me; I’ve seen many other authors who prefer a separate project for each volume posting here.

I have a huge project template I call the World Builder. It combines a number of different templates I’ve gathered from around the web. It started with a template called the “World Building Leviathan,” which is worth the time and trouble to download, btw. Using that template, I describe the world. Terrain. Deities. Cities. Countries. Religions. Major political entities. some of that is done in story form, some not. I use that template, with all that information, to start a story project. I delete the chunks I don’t use or won’t use for that story.

Things like maps and images, I use a separate directory in the Scriv base directory for the project. Images indicative of the world, same thing. I know where everything for that project is: under the project directory.

Scrivener is great at holding words and documents in a hierarchy. It is not a graphics editor; I use a graphics editor to deal with graphics. I’ve got spreadsheets for some projects, and I use OpenOffice Calc for those. Again, stored inside the base directory for the project, so I know where they are.

I can copy the entire thing to a new project, rename that to volume 2, and start writing the next in the series (deleting the old Manuscript contents). Or, I can leave volume 2 inside that Project, creating Book 2 in the Manuscript folder. Everything is still there. Scriv’s response time can be slow for some commands when the text exceeds 175k words, though.

I’m chiming in a little late, but I wanted to thank those who shared their methodology before me.

I am (right now) working on moving over my series bible to its own Scrivener project. One of my reasons matches with those who use Ever/OneNote - two separate windows to move between. I have 2 24" monitors, so having 2 projects open is easy-peasy (not so true on my laptop, but I mostly work at home).

I’m currently planning a 13-novel series, with the potential for at least one spin-off that I can see already. I’m currently drafting the first book in the series. By the time that one is done, I will know a lot about the mechanics of my werewolves, their world (if it differs from ours in any significant way), and some of the major players will be fleshed out.

I’m having trouble moving characters up into the ‘manuscript binder’, so it’s taking me a little finagling to get things “right” – so glad I’m doing this now, not several books in! I don’t seem to be able to bring images into the actual manuscript folder. That sucks as I hope to be able to compile and print the entire bible, at some point.

I still maintain a directory on my PC with my writing documents – it’s where Scrivener projects and back-ups go, for one. Each novel has a folder with any supporting files – whether I’ve added them to the Scrivener project or not. This new Scrivener series bible project should make it easier to keep the fine details from causing me to have a mental breakdown. :slight_smile:

If you’ve created a story bible project and later abandoned it, would you share why it didn’t work for you?

I would be interested in your template, if you offer it anywhere. I’m headed to Google next to look for the World Building Leviathan. Thanks for mentioning it!


World Building Leviathan:

Originally at Kittyspace: http://kittyspace.org/leviathan0.html

Scrivener Templates/files at
http://www.belindacrawford.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/World-building-Leviathan-Scrivener-template.zip or

My own template is a work in progress, and is an agglomeration of a number of other templates, including the World Building Leviathan. I’ve got it converted into the current Windows Beta (v3) format, and I’m still working on the bits and pieces that make it up.

How funny is this? I found my own post while looking for the same exact answers! Still, I thought it might be helpful to share my continuing saga of project organization questions. :slight_smile:

I have finished the rough draft of the first book in my series. I’m beginning to spend more brainstorming time on book 2 and that has lead me to question if the ‘world bible’ is really working for me. Why? I found that I couldn’t remember where I’d seen something and then would (a) spend too much time looking for it and/or (b) just establish what I’m missing right now and forget about that niggling flag in my mind saying, I know I saw that in here somewhere.

I’m about to shift to the method seen here to organize this project. As I move things out of the bible and into the project, I’m marking the individual documents with “Not canon. See FC01.” (my current project name). I made it a style, with a red background and large, bold font. I usually put this ‘stamp’ at the top and the bottom of the document.

On top of all of those bits and pieces, I’ve been keeping a journal in the project as well. It’s a main-level folder with year folders, then month folders holding day documents. I only have documents for the days I opened the project – and not always even then. Since I do mention further books in the series, I’m undecided whether to separate the journal out as its own project or keep it as a main-level folder in my series project.

It’ll be interesting to see where I stand on this in another year or two. :smiling_face:

I have a project where I take various notes on writing.

All my “real” projects have a link to it.
I find it very convenient, as I can recall it on the fly at any moment.
Perhaps that’d be an idea for you. :wink:

I place it (the link) in a document named “notes on writing” at the very top of the binder.
Plus, I have that document containing the clickable link in my project’s bookmarks. (Again, at the top.)
All you need to do to create the link (in case you don’t already know), is to drop that project in a blank document.
You can also integrate that in a project template, so all your future projects will link to your bible without you having to do anything more later on.

That site is @drmajorbob’s. He’s a frequent poster here, if you have any questions about his method.


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