Software Writing
Using Tiddlywiki for World Building
August 9, 2017
2

Scrivener is fantastic for outlining, planning and writing your novel or short story. However, I did discover while writing the first draft of my fantasy novella that all the names of places and characters got overwhelming. I needed something to tie it all together better, something interactive even, like a wiki.

Tiddlywiki

After a quick Google search, I came across a few articles talking about personal wikis and the one that appealed most to me was Tiddlywiki. It’s super simple and the entire program is written in a single HTML document. After downloading the “software,” the best browser to use with it is Firefox as there is a TiddlyFox plugin that works seamlessly with Tiddlywiki.

Once you load the file into your local browser, it’s easy to start adding items to your wiki. However, I do recommend watching a few short tutorial videos on YouTube from Francis Meetze that will make starting out even easier. To start, I entered place and character names that I had already created before I began writing into the wiki. Then, while writing my first draft and new places and characters came up, I added those to the wiki and linked them to each other via common characteristics such as place, race, etc.

During my first draft, I left the descriptions in each wiki as short and quick as possible, almost more like a reference than a detailed description. As I edit my first draft, I plan on filling in the details in each wiki so that when all is said and done, I have a thorough and interactive personal wiki of my fantasy world (once the series is complete, I can put the entire thing on this website as a reference). I anticipate it will come in handy even more during the writing and editing of subsequent books in the planned series.

Anyone else out there using Tiddlywiki for their world building?

David

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  • elarucci

    Hi David, I also am a writer and using TiddlyWiki as a world building tool. I’m actually in graduate school for my master’s in information design and technology and am completing a project using my novel(s) and TiddlyWiki to create something akin to an interactive narrative (that’s the plan, anyway). I found this post during my research and wanted to know if you have delved into the CSS or HTML side of things?

    • Hi!
      Thanks for the comment. I worked as a web developer for 20+ years and left it to pursue writing as I grew burnt out after so long. So to answer your question, I have not delved into the CSS or HTML side of TiddlyWiki as I have no interest in coding anymore. I love to support other developers and their wonderful products but have no interest in discovering what makes them tick anymore. Not sure if that is sad or liberating?

      Thanks again for reading.

      David