Short excerpt from a post to bookmark:
"...What I am proposing here is a more clearly defined third kind of series bible; the Development Bible. The purpose of this is for the bible to serve as an effective writing and project development tool. Certainly parts of the Dev Bible might become part of the pitch and indeed it may also serve to guide writers of a series into the future when a show is in production, but its primary purpose is to give the creator of the show a firm structure and platform to flesh out story-worlds, natural dynamics, characters and story-archs in a way that will feed the series scripts.
In specific, the dev bible structure proposed below is an attempt to deal with one of the more common issues writers new to series development (particular younger filmmakers whose headspace has more readily come from short and feature films) fall afoul of; that is the development of Plot or Story-Arch before Story-World. The Development Bible focuses on ensuring you don’t put the cart before the horse and go for Plot before you’ve established your World. A series has to be able to sustain and maintain drama over a long period of time as opposed to a feature film which generally has a single protagonist focused on the fulfilment of a singular goal in the tiny span of 2 hours. A series will often see several characters pursuing different goals, facing different problems, and being beset by new problems at different times. The Story World is therefore of primary importance as it provides the fuel to ensure that your show doesn’t run out of steam. If you create a world that is too confined, limited or lacking in natural dramatics then you will find your show will quickly collapse regardless of how intricate your plotting on interesting your characters. If however, you can construct a world beset with contradictions, conflicts and engaging potential problems in an authentic and considered way then you will have given your story a much bigger fuel tank...."