WORLD ANVIL Demo For Writers | A Series Bible / World Building App


Hey guys, what’s up? Welcome– Oh don’t do
it. Don’t! Excuse you. Hey guys what’s up welcome back to another video. I’m gonna
be covering how to use world anvil as a digital series Bible so I’m gonna cover
some of the different perks of using world anvil and then I’m gonna go over
this just demo style so I can show you guys exactly what it looks like. Now if
you don’t know the basics about what a series Bible is or why you need one then
go make sure to watch that other video that I did so I’ll link that in
description down below. And I will eventually be covering all of the
different methods of how to make a series Bible so if you have a preference
for which type of thing I cover next make sure to drop a comment down below
to let me know. Alright so let’s talk world anvil. World anvil is a web
based world-building app that was originally designed for sort of
role-playing games but very easily applies to writing and they’ve started
adding features specifically for writers. I do want to cover the fact that this is
a small team created product so if you’re someone who only likes to use
products that are created by large companies and you feel like there’s
more security in that then this might not be the app for you but if you’re
someone who likes to support small creators and likes the idea of an app
created by the very types of people that use it then this is definitely a good
choice. Now one of the really nice things about world anvil is there is a free
tier and it really covers everything that you need. I am currently on the
journeyman tier and I think journeyman is really the max of what you would need
for any standard writing project where master and Grand Master are much more
useful for people who are doing more RPG type things. So by doing journeyman you
do get a bit more space you get upgraded from 100 megabytes to 1 gigabyte which
if you’re doing purely text-based stuff doesn’t really matter 100 megabytes is
more than enough but if you want to include a lot of photos you’re probably
gonna need a little bit more space here. You do get to export your data a little
more often with journeymen, once a day versus once a week.
You get five universes versus two. You do get slightly less draft articles with
the free version but then the main thing that was a deciding factor for me
personally was this level right here: private worlds and articles. So I wanted
to start out my world being private so that it couldn’t be searchable by anyone
and no one else would see it but me. Another notable difference between the
two is this subscribers level so you could have a specific patreon tier where
people get to see sort of behind the scenes or secrets of your world. And I
think another main other difference between the two which sort of influences my
choice is themes and CSS personalizations. You can make your
worldview page look a lot nicer. You can look through this entire list yourself
but I think as a writer you can be more than happy with this 3.99 a month and you
can definitely make the 0 month work for you. Now I did want to briefly mention
this fifth level that was just released and that is sage. It is quite a
bit more pricey at a hundred and thirty dollars for six months but the benefit
of this is you get a custom world URL and up to a thousand subscribers so if
you have a very large patreon you’re a big author this could be a really good
benefit because you can give up to a thousand people access to your secrets
and behind the scenes of your world. So to keep this video a manageable length
I’m gonna be mostly just focusing on the features available to you and just
highlighting why this is a good option for series Bibles. This app is incredibly
intuitive so you aren’t really gonna need a step-by-step guide on how to do
things. So first things first you’re gonna want to create your world and
that’s just a couple quick button clicks we’ll do create a new world you enter
your title and hit create world. Now your world itself is gonna have some
configuration options here, you’ll be able to change that using this menu here
on the side going down to configuration. One of the neat things about this is
you’ll be able to set your current date in your world and your eras so the way
I’m using this is I don’t want to set actual dates so here I have my global era
of the before Alethea which is essentially BC or BCE and then I have
after Alethea which is essentially aD or CE. Then we have setting,
again because I’m journeyman I have the private feature but I could set this to
public at any time and that would make this publicly searchable. This is the
cover image for my world. You do have the ability to transfer your world so if you
were to ever want to give it away that is an option. And then of course export
your world so if you ever want to just back up your data make sure you don’t
lose anything you just hit export world it will compile all your information
into this PDF so you can just toss this PDF in the cloud somewhere and you’ll
still have that data. It’s obviously not gonna look as pretty as it does in world
anvil but it does save everything there so something were to happen you could
access everything. Now if you have journeymen you’ll have access to this
theme here where you can just set kind of a general theme for what your world
will look like to the average viewer and of course you have access to CSS which
will allow you to do a lot of customization of the styling of how your
world looks and we’ll go over that in a bit and then you have this social
section here where you can put in your patreon and your Twitter and so to see
what all of this here does we’ll just go and view our world. And this is my world
and sort of the user friendly viewable version so if this was public I could
send readers here and this is what they would see. So having patreon listed in
social gives me this link click that opens it up and there’s Josh and my
patreon. You get to be a kitten. You could be a cloud kitten and Josh could
critique your work with his evil red pen… This isn’t a plug, you’re a plug. It’s ok. So
yes, back to the actual video. Having your Twitter username up in that social
section puts this Twitter feed in here. And here is the cover of the world. So
that’s what these world setting basics do. So while you’re working it’s a good
idea to have this world view just open in a different tab that way whenever you
make changes you can refresh it and see what it looks like over here. So next up
let’s cover the features. First things first we have articles and you can
either access that through here clicking articles or also with this little button
here at the bottom. You click that and it opens up create new and you can create
new of any of these articles. And then we have this button which is for even more
quickly creating articles if you just want to jot down an idea real quick
before you forget it. Like let’s say I think of an item I just have this free
form option here and my categories. So each of these things is a
template which is really great especially if you haven’t thought of
these things before, this encourages you to think about them. So let’s take a look
at one of the most common ones which is character so I open that up and here we
have just a ton of different options and I’m not gonna cover every single one but
this is what you’re gonna be working with. It’s a pre-setup template designed
for character building and you don’t have to put in all of the information if
you don’t it just won’t show up on your list. So here’s the user-friendly version
so you can see what that looks like. Here’s 736, so if you don’t fill in a
section it just doesn’t show up on the list. Because you don’t want to have
super small supporting characters that you put in all of these details for but
for your main character I think it’s good to try to fill out as many as
possible and one of the nice things is that you can create new articles and
link them straight to this so an example of this is conditions. 736 had Lethe but
it was cured I just clicked here put in lethe cured and added it so later on I
can go click articles go to lethe cured and fill out the information for lethe.
But what that does is here on her page for characters under conditions this
will now show up as a link so if I click on that it’ll go to the page about lethe
and once I’ve entered in information about it which I haven’t yet it would
all show up here. And you can use that anywhere as long as you have an article
for something, all you have to do is put an @ and you can then mention that
article and it will link to it in that same way. Now we also have this design
tab which is again CSS customization and that’s a little bit of a learning curve
but CSS is pretty easy to figure out your way around. Navigations you can add
things like tags you can add it to categories so I have it under the
category of main characters which means on the main page it shows up under this
category I created for main characters. You can assign previous articles and
next articles so there’s a next and previous button at the bottom of the
article so people can flip. Then we have access so you can set it to private
or set subscriber groups so again this would be if you have patrons who have
special access. And then we have this tab which is really nice which is character
relationships and this gives you a whole little prompt you can fill out for
each character relationships you have your character that you’re on
currently and then you select a counterpart and then you say what they
are to each other then you have your actual opinion of that person, displayed
opinion of that person, honesty towards that person, importance of the
relationship, all of that sort of thing. So there’s tons of options and I just
really love this. Then we have this note section so if you ever think of a note
and you don’t know really where it falls you can just add a quick note here and
it’s also worth mentioning that you can do that at any time for anything so say
you have an idea and you don’t know where it falls you just go over here and
you click notebook that opens up this and you can just create notes here that
you can then later categorize or you can just leave them as notes forever.
And then we have secrets which again is that thing that only you is the owner
see or if you allow certain subscribers to see they would see that as well. But
if you have spoilers that are revealed in the actual story and you’re okay with
people knowing there are also spoiler tags so you go ahead here and click
spoiler and that’ll fill in these spoiler tags here and anything you write
in between these tags will show up with this show spoiler button and that’s
hiding that section that we added. Now it is important to note that this does use
BBC code which stands for… What does that stand for? Which stands for bulletin
board code which you’re probably familiar with if you’ve ever written
stuff like HTML. As you saw in this 736 down at the bottom where we have likes
and dislikes this doesn’t register the extra spaces so if I want this to
register the extra spaces I have to actually put in just a quick code for it. So they have it pre-built in here at the top which is super convenient you can
just click the button break line or you can just write it out yourself
but this will then be read as a separate paragraph and now they’re on separate
lines so the formatting is always going to be like that and again you can write
it out yourself if you’d like. There is a cheat sheet that you can
access on every page you’ll just scroll down here to where it says BB code
reference and I’ll have this large list that tells you all the different things
you can do. It is also worth noting that you can embed Spotify music, you can also
embed videos so I went ahead and did that for a food
and I went ahead and embedded the video where I made a kind of actually good
tasting version of ration blocks “for a fun alternate recipe checkout” and then I
put in the video here so you can hover over it you can subscribe of course you
want to subscribe why wouldn’t you. “Echo has concerns”. Now since we’re here let’s
talk about themes. I haven’t customized yet the image that’s tied to
this specific thing so ignore the random rocks, but the rock image specifically is
because I currently have it set to the Zen theme but you can change this theme
at any time if you’re journeymen they have a couple presets and then you can
completely customize the theme yourself using CSS. So I currently have the CSS
set to add this background image of my vines by linking to it and if you need
help figuring out the CSS they have this nice style guide it looks a little
overwhelming if you’ve never dabbled in website construction but it’s really
very simple and this page here will walk you through it and makes it very easy to
just copy-paste the different things you need and add them to your customization.
Small learning curve but nothing you can’t handle. Now next up to talk about
we have the categories into which your different things fall. So I had my
characters category under side characters I then have super side
characters for the ones that are just kind of offhandedly mentioned so you can
layer all of these into each other and then that shows up in your world in this
sidebar organization here of table of contents. And then we have maps
I haven’t dabbled in maps so I can’t talk a lot about it but basically you
can do create a map upload an image and it’ll allow you to place markers on that
map, link maps together, and reference them then from any article you create.
And then we have timelines so here I’ve set it up per book when you create a new
historic event you put in the date and then it automatically organizes the date
onto this timeline and you can put as many things on this as you’d like so in
my Aletheia one i’m eventually going to have sort of little summaries of each
day as they progress and those will also show up in your world if you choose to
allow it and that displays here in this nice just little convenient view. Then we
have images where you can just upload all of the different images of your
characters in world so you can then reference
them and include them anywhere you need. If you’re using art by someone else this
is really cool in that it lets you credit that artist and art original URL
which is it’s just really cool because so often artists don’t get credited for
their work and this allows you to do that. We also have this quick access button
which is for uploading images. Keep in mind there are a couple little bugs here
in there because this is something still in development, again it’s a small team.
Then we have secrets which again are things that are only visible to you the
owner and those who you have given access who are subscribers. Then we have
blocks and this is pretty much for role player game things so you probably won’t
be using this I’m not gonna cover it. And we have followers so if you have a
public world people are able to follow it and then they will get updates when
you make changes so this is really great if you have a large world and you want
to give your readers a little something to hold them over between books. And then
just access rights which is where you would create your different subscriber
groups. And then one more item that I want to reference is something brand new
and that is focus mode. So let’s say I create a location here and there’s just…
there’s so much on this page. Maybe I just really want to focus and put in a
lot of details for this location. I just go over here and I click enable focus
mode and again this is in beta, is brand new, so it might be a little buggy but
that opens that up here so it gets rid of all of the extra clutter and I can
focus on writing. One of the great things about using this as a series Bible is
this search feature. Let’s say I forgot what color Jason’s eyes are I can go and
search Jason that’ll open his character thing and I
did a nice little writerly thing here: if something appears in the first
book I mark it as cannons so I have C that stands for cannon (I’ve started
actually using CA which stands for cannon Alethea) and then the page that it
shows up on so I’ve been trying to include that in everything that I get
straight from the book. So now let’s cover some fleshed out worlds and these
are two worlds that I got permission from the managers of the world to show
on here as an example of what these look like when they’re fully filled out and
the CSS has been played around with so this is Etnhnis. We have the created
by and the team and these linked to each of these
people’s profiles so if I click on a name that would then open their profile.
Got all your links here. I could leave comments and feedback on their world. You
can get badges. So there’s definitely a community aspect to this tool. Going back
to the world itself we have all of these base details here at the top then we
have timelines, table of contents, followers, so this is what it looks like
if you have actual followers. I can click on each of these people. So let’s take a
look at map since that’s something I don’t have and this is an example of how
you can use markers. So by adding markers to this map you can then hover over them
and it you can have a little details about it and you can also have the link
to the actual places. So let’s look at an other world that I also have permission
to show on here and that is Swordsfall. This is created by sokyoshiro and as
you can tell this has a different design setup. So this is customized to better match this world, now I don’t currently know how to do this
fancy book cover thing and it isn’t something the average user can do, if
you’d be interested in seeing a tutorial on how to do it once I figure it out let
me know in a comment down below. So let’s check out the swords fall maps. So here’s
an example of this used on an actual map and then we have these little map
markers throughout and if you hover over them they just give a little detail so
like here we have the headquarters of Omicron technologies and if you click on
those they extend and you can then read a full article on them and this
particular creator has done a lot of cool things like here we have “alert wait
don’t wander that direction no matter what you do don’t click” now that’s
something that they’ve done entirely in CSS and that is something for more
advanced users but it’s really neat. Now I’m gonna link both of the worlds
that I referenced in the description down below so you can go check them out
and I can just kind of show you what entirely is possible with this. So yeah
as you can tell I haven’t been using this very long I am far from an expert
and I don’t know what all potential issues I might hit but so far I’m really
enjoying it I think it’s a really good way to organize all of my data and I
really love the templates that prompt me to explore things a little deeper than I
might otherwise. So far I think this is a good online option and I love that you
can access it from anywhere, you can export the data to make sure you
have it backed up, and they’re improving it every day and adding new features so
I think it definitely has a lot of potential. So make sure to check it out. I
will link world anvil in the description down below. This is not a sponsored video
so I’m not getting paid, the link is not an affiliate link, I don’t get anything
if you sign up so this is purely just me trying to share with you something that
has been working for me. And that was it for the video if you found this at all
helpful make sure to give this a thumbs up and a share it really helps the
channel grow and I really appreciate it. If you like the content you like what we
do here and you want to support us make sure to go pick up a copy of Aletheia, it
is available on Amazon in hardcover paperback and eboo. Thank you guys so
much for watching as always I will see you in the next video! you

14 thoughts on “WORLD ANVIL Demo For Writers | A Series Bible / World Building App

  1. I love World Anvil so much! The community is really great 😀 And they're going to be coming out with an update for writers adding more features that they're working on with Chris Fox – they talk about it in their latest author interview 🙂

  2. Yess, I needed this video, I made a wordlanvil account but I was hesitant to use it. Now I'll very much start getting my world's set up!

  3. This is awesome! You do a great job analyzing and explaining all the features. Thank you for featuring Ethnis!

    If anyone has any questions about how to use WA, including how to do all the cool CSS tricks and all that, join the community and give me a ping!

  4. Great video, very informative! Thank you so much for featuring Ethnis. And as I think Ademal said below the community is very helpful, myself included!

  5. I had never heard of World Anvil so I was going to pass this video by… Until I saw it was from you. I swear I'd watch you talk for 20 minutes about socks lol

    saved to playlist

  6. I think I might use this for my current work. I've created a whole new world and this might help me keep everything all in one place vs thousands of sticky note. 🙂

  7. It looks amazing and very useful, I will have to try it. Great video, Megan! Have a blessed day!

  8. I love how quickly you went over everything! I've just started using WorldAnvil and know very little about it but I hate tutorials because they are typically so in depth and long that I get bored

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