A Wiki feature for World Building?

I’ve been discovering some challenges with regard to sharing my world building in a practical manner. Most services are either fairly expensive for someone starting out or aren’t private enough. Even services like worldanvil often involve sharing links (which can potentially be shared elsewhere).

I think this could be a great addition, a sort of “behind the scenes” sort of reward category, and something most authors could take advantage of relatively easily as the information is already available, they just need to transfer it.

And having it on Ream would involve the increased security of ensuring the information is only accessible to the relevant tiers. Integrations with services like WorldAnvil (which currently is capable of integrating with Patreon) would obviously be great for those farther along in their subscriptions journey as they would be a more advanced service with a lot more bells and whistles, but offering it to even more than 10 members costs almost $10/month. A barebones, simple wiki-style structure native to Ream would be perfect for authors starting out. And maybe the story structure that already exists could be used as a template/backbone for it? Maybe having a story option for a more complex navigation menu and options for cross linking? I don’t know. Just ideas.

6 Likes

Sorry if it seems like I’m trying to scoop out your brain, but an idea like this has been sitting on the backburner for us because none of us use things like this much for our stories. Mainly because of price or they don’t scratch the itch of what we need. So could you elaborate? Break it down like we’re high schoolers who actually pay attention in class, because this is a feature we want, but we need some education on what it should be.

Please and thank you!

1 Like

I have mixed feelings about this. I’d rather see them integrate the functionality with an existing worldbuilding service than spend time creating their own. I understand the cost is high if you have a lot of readers, but you could give access to higher tiers only to help cover the cost, or limit them as you mentioned until there’s enough subscription income to cover it.

I’m not opposed to your barebones wiki suggestion for newer authors, I just wouldn’t want the Ream team getting too distracted on something that might take away from other things that need to get done sooner than later. If it gets added to a future to-do list then that would be ok.

However, a system to link community posts, or pin them I think has been suggested and would be a welcome feature.

I hope that makes sense. I’m very un-caffeinated this morning!

2 Likes

I have a wiki set up for each of my stories. The benefit over a world building platform is that those platforms often try to trap you in their version of what world building looks like. For example: characters, locations, and items.

My main story takes place across multiple realities, and each reality needs its own world built. But everything needs to be tied together because it’s one story. None of the world building specific tools I’ve tried have been flexible enough to handle this use case.

But a wiki can! Because the author decides how to structure their “pages”.

Here are some examples of how a wiki could be useful:
(1) Author A writes 3 related romance series, each with 4-6 books. They create a wiki article for each character with an image, brief description, and the books that character shows up in. They also have a wiki page devoted to reading order.

(2) Author B writes an epic fantasy story. She creates wiki articles about races, magic concepts, characters, and locations.

(3) Author C writes a story about a school of magic. Ze creates wiki pages for each magic spell the characters learn.

(4) Author D writes a mystery thriller. He adds wiki pages that look like file folders with information on suspects, evidence, and clues.

(5) Author E just wants a place to host her Community Guidelines and the rules for her annual Fanart Contest. So she just creates 2 pages, one for each of these items.

See how each author is able to do completely different things with their wiki?

I’m not 100% sold that this is something Ream should do, mainly because it can be done on other platforms pretty easily. But I think there’s value in it, which I hope my examples help to show.

4 Likes

I would add to that, each wiki page can be linked to specific tier(s)

1 Like

What do you use for your Wiki?

For my wiki, I used to use PBworks, but now I use Obsidian. It’s a private wiki just for me, so it works well to just have a bunch of markdown files that I then sync to the cloud to keep it backed up.

If I were to create a public online wiki for my fans, I’d probably do it on my WordPress site with a plug-in like betterDocs.

I have been updating a Ream story called the Tales of a Vernian Youth Companion, which has entries that are being published at the back of the ebooks. The first few entries are available for public or follower, but after that, it’s only available to paid subscribers. It’s not a wiki, but I wanted to be sure my subscribers got the content that I’m putting in the ebooks.

5 Likes

Here’s the thing I want it to do: when I highlight a term (person, place, or thing) and a reader clicks on it, a pop-up showing the wiki entry (or an abstract of it) will appear that they can read without leaving the story. If they click on the pop-up, it will take them to the full wiki page.

I use wikis both to write and to share with readers. I used to use Wikidot, but they are sunsetting. I tried WorldAnvil, and it’s a robust wiki service, but it’s over-engineered for my purposes. I ended up using LegendKeeper , which is simple and clean and easy to navigate. Here is the public wiki for my Guardsmen’verse series. There is a lot more work I want to do with it, but as a reference tool it’s good. Check out the “Compendium” section to really get an idea of everything I include there.

And, honestly, I can keep using LK forever. It’s got what I need. BUT! The crucial issue here is allowing readers to access the information without leaving the story on Ream. Linking them out to my wiki on LK is easy enough; but it puts them on a whole new webpage, throws them out of the story, and increases the chances that they don’t finish reading the story.

If you’re not able to build such a tool on Ream itself, maybe look to find ways to integrate with services like LegendKeeper or Kanka?

3 Likes

KimBoo I love that page. Really cool and gives info in an interesting way.
I’d love to have something like this in Ream, because everything we add out in the wild costs an additional fee. It would be great to have one stop shopping.

1 Like

Sorry, I don’t check the forums that often.

I think it mainly comes down to cross linking and table of contents, essentially.

At the most barebones, having maybe a story “type” that allows you to have a different table of contents structure (with subheadings) would probably do the trick (Might need multiple levels of subheadings, not sure, but even 1 extra level would be useful). This might also be helpful for people with unconventional story structures, stories in parts, or anthologies with each story inside the anthology having multiple chapters. Of note, this is something I do with Vellum for anthologies/boxed sets so it is absolutely a valuable resource for publishing.

So instead of:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3…

Or:
Story 1: Chapter 1
Story 1: Chapter 2
Story 2: Chapter 1
Story 2: Chapter 2…

You have (and sorry this looks messy, couldn’t find a way to indent in the forums):
Characters
(Indent) Sue
(Indent) Mary
Species
(Indent) Human
(Indent) Werewolf…

Or:
Story 1
(Indent) Chapter 1
(Indent) Chapter 2
Story 2
(Indent) Chapter 1
(Indent) Chapter 2…

Additionally, a quick way to select a word, maybe right click or click the link feature, and specify an internal Ream chapter/page to link to from a list or search (I believe Wordpress does this with pages and posts) would make cross linking a breeze.

Another added benefit of this is that it keeps people on the Ream website longer by keeping more of the resources here, which can serve to further insulate the member from distractions.

Less friction=more conversions/less churn

1 Like

I am Author A, and what I love about having a wiki is to be able to have all the information for each of my series in one place. Right now I am creating a series bible in Scrivener and later when I find the right wiki program, I hope to transfer that information with links and tabs so my readers can jump around and get lost in the world and characters I create. Thank so much for your insight.

1 Like

This is really great to hear!

At the moment, I’m using YouNeedAWiki. It works off the Google Drive document structure but formats it as a wiki. Not ideal, but doable.

3 Likes