I just (well, a couple of weeks ago) finished creating a character bible for my holiday stories, and I made an alarming discovery:
I have 60 characters so far.
Now, to be fair, not all of them appear more than once, and also to be fair, some of them are minor characters in general, but still. That’s a lot of characters.
I know there are a lot of different ways to do a character bible. My way is to create a spreadsheet, put characters who usually appear together on rows near each other, and then do columns for various things, such as hair color, eye color, weight and shape, birthdate, relationships, etc. I know there’s software you can use to do this, but I’ve never had much luck with it. I just prefer to keep it all in the same place: my Google drive.
In writing my character bible, I noticed that a lot of my characters are white and straight. This is probably because those are the people I meet most often in my life. That’s a me problem, not an anyone-else problem. I do have some Black characters and some Latinx characters in the bible, as well as several bisexual and gay characters. But I probably need more of all of them. I hate to say that I write what I know, but I seem to have been writing what I know.
For the most part. I mean, I don’t know what it’s like as a woman to be spanked, but I know what it’s like to be spanked so I can accurately guess what a woman might be feeling. And I’ve been penetrated, so I can somewhat-accurately guess what that feels like (and when I don’t know, I have plenty of women I can ask). I’ve never been abducted by aliens (you’ll find out why I say that in about 13 months) but I can certainly take a guess at that too.
My biggest fear with writing a character bible is that once I’ve done so I’ll be so worried about getting the details right that I won’t want to write at all. Fortunately, that’s not the case so far; the same day that I finished the bible, I wrote three stories (all of them under 1400 words) featuring various recurring characters. I can only hope that I keep it up.