World Building in a wiki

Wiki time is better than waiting time.

In my view, there’s no worse time than the period between sending off a manuscript to your editor and when you receive it back.

Due to the deadline and human’s being good at always needing every last minute to complete such a thing, you are invariably very busy up to the end.

Then it just stops dead.

You are left holding all the regrets of things you didn’t do, or living with the ideas bubbling up from the space your brain now has.

And there’s nothing you can do.

That’s how I’ve felt over these last weeks since my manuscript ran away from home.

So what do I do?

I use the time inbetween to update my world wiki. What’s that you ask? Great question. Writing a fantasy series requires a lot of world building, and information that develops as the series unfolds.

As much as I’d like to think the computer in my head can remember everything, it can’t.

My wiki contains everything about each realm (country) within me worlds, incuding their history, type of government/ruler, economy, people, cities, towns, geography etc.

Then there’s all of the characters and their profiles, which includes eye colour, which hand they prefer, skin color, hair colour, preferences, quirks, you name it. If it’s part of their character profile, I store all of the detail in the wiki.

Then there’s plot threads, other pieces of information and detailed descriptions of locations that appear within the books.

All of this helps me, especially when you are deep in a chapter or scene and you can’t recall a feature of a place, or mannerism of a person.

Maintaining the wiki it is quite a task. I didn’t update it after the release of Fool Me Twice, which meant having to go back to the book instead of the wiki to confirm key things while drafting Spire Of Fools.

Thus, I am ensuring that I get it up to date now. Once Spire Of Fools is published the first task before Book 4 in the series is begun will be to repeat this exercise.

I use a piece of web software called Roam Research, which is a bidirectional wiki – meaning it links in both directions automatically. I.e. if I link from Content A -> Content B, it will auto link back from B -> A.

This is incredibly helpful and means the linkages build a graph of knowledge about the series that would take a person too long to do.

So that’s what I have been doing of late.

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