Wikify the Encyclopedia

I’ve spoken before about the creation of an encyclopedia to keep track of your novel or novel series’ world. I had an entire series about it on some website, Obscure Authors Alliance I think, the website itself is even more obscure than the authors now so whatever. My own encyclopedia for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos was all put in a Word document. I started with a rather random assortment of information, moved on to entries for species, organizations, characters, and locations, then ended with some random lists. The document became like 200 pages long or something and it was nigh-impossible to efficiently look through it.

I needed a better way to do it.

What about a wiki?

I mentioned I was putting everything on a private wiki earlier and that I would make this post so now I am. I actually have some weird wiki experience, having made one with some friends a while ago for our fan universe. This new one is private and not for a fan universe. It’s for my universe. And it helps immensely with organization. I fully recommend anyone creating their own universe put it all into a private wiki for easy access and organization of information. You might even find it easier to come up with new details when it’s so easy to find existing ones.

When I was trying to find a good program to use I checked Wikipedia’s personal wiki article. I probably should’ve tried all of them before going with one for sure but I didn’t feel like it and am always too busy so I just went with Dokuwiki on a Stick which is apparently its real name. It’s worked fine so far. Some of the syntax is different than what I’m used to (but apparently it’s the syntax MediaWiki uses so whatever) and it needs some extensions added for things that should be pretty obvious like categories, and also it has a bit of the problem of public programs made by coders which is that it can be obtuse to anyone who doesn’t code (like me) but it’s not too bad. I mean, I figured it out! See?

Okay. Okay. Okay. So on the Word document I just basically had one chunk of text with a few paragraphs smushed together with each paragraph being a different section (history, appearance, etc.) This was terrible, and for longer things, such as species with an actually notable history, it was terrible to look at because it was just one paragraph per section. It was… you know how dinosaur is like “terrible lizard” or something? What would be the name for “terrible paragraph”?

Anyway, having actual sections sectioned off for each section means I can use actual paragraphs now. It’s readable. And whereas before I could really see no more than one or two entries at a time and had to scroll the giant document to find them, now related articles can be reached right from a link. I know this is basic wiki information but I mean come on it’s really figgin useful!

So far the most time-consuming thing in transferring all this information onto the wiki is the formatting, but as I go I’m finding there are things that I never really detailed on, things that are easier to notice I never wrote down now that I can easily look at it all. Species culture, including any possible common religion, is but one of these. Eating habits is another. There is also a lot of information that I would put in lists, such as blood color, that I probably should have mentioned in the species entries. So now I do. Characters of a certain species is another example.

Honestly the Word document also got incredibly disorganized. At the start was a lot of information that should have gone elsewhere, such as planet histories, and for some reason I tucked a list of planet flora off near the bottom instead of actually in the entries for those planets.

With all this information in the wiki, I’ll be able to see a list of everyone who lives somewhere and simply click their name to see who they are. Before I’d have to like, put their name and then probably what species they are or some other identifying characteristic because honestly I just wouldn’t know, that’s why I write this stuff down so I can look it up, but I couldn’t effectively look stuff up in that document!

AAA

The character articles are probably the biggest relief of these. There was a lot of information I packed into places that it didn’t really fit in an effort to reduce the size of those terrible paragraphs on the Word document. Now they get their own section! I also never was really able to detail a character’s family in their sections because it was about them, but again, now a specific section for that can exist.

Being able to have specific sections also helps in looking up those specific things—before I’d have to scour their history for where they lived, but now I can just check the actual section for it. I’ve also started work on a properly-organized timeline article, which set me into determining just what the birthdates for all the characters are, so I’m not sure I can stress enough that having this be organized goads me to actually get more information made. Now I can tell when Ropak’s birthday is in Wandering Fortunes! Er, not that he can.

There is actually something of a timeline for a couple kingdoms in the CCC that haven’t appeared yet in the old Word document. They’re both too long to look through well and have a giant line of the kings and queens that is confusing to look at. This will, again, now only be vastly improved in the wiki format, but I can make the names of all these rulers link to pages that don’t exist, and when I find I don’t have anything important to make articles for, I can start really detailing that history. The red links to nowhere significantly help me see what parts of the CCC I still need expand on.

So I reiterate at this point in this post that I recommend organizing any world you’re creating for something into a wiki, especially if it spans for more than one something. Especially do it before you have more than 100,000 words worth of information to transfer over to it like I do…

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 4, Off the Walls

Chapter 4 of Wandering Fortunes is here, a little late. Now that Top lives with Alden and his family, it’s time for them to adjust. Or maybe not. Aside from more Top silliness we get to see the inside of Orville’s shack and get to know Alden’s family a bit more. Plus this features the first of a few scenes featuring a huge amount of food!

As always there is Patreon, funds from which would help me not kill myself trying to get everything done ASAP so I’ll complete everything before I have to go back to a dayjob I want to kill. Also I need to update that a bit, I wanted to make some changes. Thanks for reminding me, me. Let me add that to the to-do list. SPEAKING OF WHICH:

EVERYTHING AFTER THIS IS UPDATE ON ME

Some More Patreon Information and Status

It’s been a few weeks or so since I launched my Patreon page, and though I have yet to get any patrons, I have been putting stuff on there. What I’ve been using my activity stream for is weekly updates on what I’ve been working on, along with an excerpt from that work. This has so far included entries from my Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos encyclopedia (showing information that will be relevant in the future or background information that may never even come up in actual stories) and information on non-CCC works (which to some people might just look like me playing a video game, but the real story is it’s leading to other people playing a video game!). I also intend to post excerpts from future stories as I work on them and anything else I may work on during the week I feel would be interesting for people to see.

I also posted the next story part on there early, about a week ago at the middle of the month, so patrons will get to read story parts ahead of time. As a notice, the next story part will be made publicly available here next Friday, August 1st.

Besides that, I’m also considering two different ways to go with the $5 reward (a monthly video thingy where I read excerpts from my writing and field questions). I first considered just doing a video stream where people talk in a chat, but I’m also considering doing it as a video chat like with Google+’s Hangouts (though I’m not too keen on doing anything involving Google+, so I might look into other possibilities).

That’s about it for now. Though I’m including weekly updates on my Patreon page, I will still post here whenever there’s a big update or I just think of something to put on here. Maybe someday I’ll regularly post whenever I find something interesting to put on here. (Though at this rate I kinda doubt it.)

150 Encyclopedia Entries; Also, What’s Going on with Me

I’ve talked quite a bit on Obscure Authors Alliance about writing an encyclopedia for a novel’s universe.

My encyclopedia has now reached 150 entries for species, characters, organiztaions, and locations. From the uniquely-shelled arkents to the pragmatic wrallots; from the unfortunately-named Aĉçöís̈ɲđị0 to the giant, yet not massive, Zykardo; 150 entries is a lot. There’s almost 232 words per average here: 34,782 total. And I tend to just work on this during my free time.

Anyway, aside from that, I’ve been working on the personal summary for my 3rd novel (I know, hardly anything said on my 2nd and I’m mentioning my 3rd! But it really is 2 or 3 months before I should have started on it–I just got excited by a friend releasing his novel, so now every few days I work a bit on the summary). I’m also considering starting on some revision for a short story I finished writing a month or two ago.

I know, I know. “What about the 2nd novel??” you ask. Well, frankly, I don’t know who this “you” is. Or are. I’m not sure, I went from using you as a pronoun to a regular noun so it went from 2nd person to 3rd person. Regardless, I’m on the verge of starting the big revision project for that, and yet I pause–I really want to actually get a paying job so I have some money before I get back to heavy writing work. Mostly because I don’t want to break apart writing work with the stress from actually looking for a job.

I currently have about $50 to my name and in about a month I have twice that due in student loans. I don’t think noveling will pay that off just yet. Remind me why taking out a grillion dollars of student loan money was worth a college degree?? Look, all I’m saying is, maybe I should have waited for Obama’s America to reach the colleges and make all colleging free forever.

Anyway, that’s what’s up with me. My plan is to start revising the next novel next month–I want at least 3 months to work on that before NaNoWriMo comes up.

Also, I may or may not start trying to have a new blog post every few days on whatever the hex I can come up with to say, and once a day on Twitter. Will I make this goal? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But I can try!