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Thursday, January 19, 2023

Paladin League Series Bible

I've always had trouble creating my own series bibles because I've always been at a loss for what kind of information I'd want. At least until several books in and I'm rereading like crazy, trying to find the factoid I'd forgotten. That's why I bought an Excel spreadsheet series bible created by another author to use.

I actually really liked it. I tweaked it to fit what I needed, but overall, I was so happy with it. I was even able to include it with the manuscript when I sent it for copy edits.

For the first three books of the Paladin League series, I was elated at how well it worked. And then I hit the fourth book.

It wasn't that the spreadsheet suddenly stopped working. It was more like it was so full of information that it became clunky to locate what I needed. The All Characters and Settings sheets were particular nightmares for me.

And then I started working on Wicked Persuasion, the fifth book in the series. All the problems I struggled with in Wicked Deception were there and now it was compounded by there being another full book's worth of data. OMG.

I'd played around with a free website/software called Notion in the past and I circled back to it again after doing some online searches. My original problem remains--there is a steep learning curve and I don't have time to go through enough tutorials.

I purchased two different templates and downloaded a few free ones. And while someone else did the heavy lifting, I still need to figure out how to use what they provided.

For example, one of the templates has a countdown for release day. Cool. I enter the release date for Wicked Persuasion, but the timer doesn't change. After much clicking, I get a widget page on another website that says it's been deleted. I surmise that I must create my own account here and my own countdown widget. Now the information about the release date and the countdown timer are misaligned and it's driving me insane. Not that I'm obsessive or anything.

It would have been nice if the template had come with instructions like: You will need to create your own countdown timer and insert the code in this box. I didn't see anything to explain what to do and the entire template is like this. Can I figure it out? Of course, I can. Do I have time to do this for section after section after section? Absolutely not.

So of course, I went looking for more Notion templates, hoping one of them would do what I needed it to do and have enough instructions that I could just use it. Not having much luck yet. Maybe I need to do more searches for how to do a series bible.