Questions 3: Writing an Encyclopedia/Compendium

My parents used to have this set and it got me through so many school projects.  People don’t use physical encyclopedias these days thanks to Wikipedia.  Then again, I’m thinking of another type of encyclopedia.  We’ll get to the questions in a bit.  First, I’m going to clarity a bit.

Many authors might not consider this because it doesn’t really work for stand-alone authors or some genres.  You need to have a lot of material to make an encyclopedia that collects everything from your works.  I could probably do one for Legends of Windemere or all of my books.  In fact, I used to have a notebook that listed all of the people, places, and things from my books.  This was back in high school and I thought making a big compendium would be cool.  Now, it seems like a daunting task that I wouldn’t be able to tackle without giving up a year of my life.  Searching through every book to make sure I don’t miss a single character, monster, location, spell, and relic would take months if not longer.  So, this is really an idea that I’ve abandoned.  That doesn’t mean I’m not curious.

So, here are the questions:

  1. Do you own or have you ever read a compendium/encyclopedia from an author?
  2. Do you think they are worth creating when you or fans can make a wiki site?
  3. If you had to make a compendium about your life, what would be one thing that you could not forget?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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21 Responses to Questions 3: Writing an Encyclopedia/Compendium

  1. I’ve heard of authors paying for one to be created. 🙂


  2. L. Marie says:

    I have several in my collection: LoTR, Pokémon, Star Wars, Marvel. So yes, I would read others.
    I know people who do wiki sites. I’m not inclined to do one myself. I would rather have the book to look at.
    I wouldn’t do one on my life, but I would do one on the series I’m working on. That’s why I’m writing a series bible for each.


  3. I have never read a compendium/encyclopedia from an author. I never thought of creating a Wiki site. I guess that is a real thing. I could not forget the feeling of being published for the first time.


  4. The very idea makes me tired. I think I’ll have an adult beverage and sit this one out.


  5. I was deeply involved with Pern fandom for years, and I know I still have my Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern somewhere in the house.


  6. Renee says:

    I’ve read the Star Wars ones. We used them for role-playing. As for my books, I’ve considered creating a Wiki and inviting readers to add to it as a way of interacting with them. Not sure how to answer the third question…


  7. I’ve been thinking of creating a wiki for series I’m working on but at the minute everything is in a folder. I did recently catalogue my research library though.


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