When you write a fantasy novel based in a non-Earth world, you get to make up everything. And with all that freedom comes the opportunity to go way overboard in your worldbuilding. If such is your wont, here are five ways you might do it.
Every fantasy reader loves a fully fleshed out world. They might see only a tiny fraction of it (they’d *better* see only a tiny fraction of it), but they can feel if it exists.
In a fully fleshed out world, the forests are greener and every carnivore knows what it’s hunting. The sky might be purple, but we have the physics to explain why. And you’ll always know which lord build the castle that saved your hero from demons, and how much it cost them.
So if your goal is to give your readers what they want, here are five ways to go overboard with your worldbuilding.
Of course, if you follow these instructions you may never get around to writing your story, but isn’t the price worth it?*
* In general, it’s not.
Continue reading “Five ways to go overboard with worldbuilding for your fantasy novel”
I know it’s a bad idea to write a sequel to my current WIP right now, but I really really want to.
The draft of the novel I’ve been working on since 2015 is currently with beta readers (for the third time), and I find myself facing a difficult decision.
I want to write something new while I wait, but what should I write?
I started an unrelated book–which I’m going to call “Desert” for the sake of clarity–and got 30k words in before deciding I wanted to change everything and basically start over. So I could have a second go at that one.
There’s a lot that I like about it, but the problem is that I’m not excited about it right now. What I really want to work on is the sequel to my book that’s with beta readers. (I’ll call that one “RoDS”.)
Unfortunately there are lots of reasons that’s a bad idea.
Continue reading “To sequel or not to sequel?”
I’m going to share an embarrassing secret, but you have to promise not to judge.
Recently I made the discovery that my laptop sits comfortably on the front of my treadmill. And you know what that means?
Yep. I can binge-watch YouTube while I run.
Sometimes I watch educational videos about nutrition, philosophy, culture, or literature, but my usual binge watch is much more low-brow and embarrassing.
I’ll share it with you, but you have to promise not to judge me.
*takes a deep breath*
Continue reading “My embarrassing secret that might help with your writing”
When I’m editing, I use an emotional Geiger counter to tell which parts of my story are working. It often helps. Here’s how it can go wrong.
This is not a post of writing advice, because I don’t do those. This is a post of writing observation. They’re different. Trust me.
I read books first and foremost for the emotions they evoke: wonder, awe, hope, joy, dismay, despair, and all the other good ones.
Similarly, I write with the intention of evoking such emotions in the reader. The hard question is how do I know when I’ve succeeded.
Writers with a lot of craft knowledge and experience probably just know. I expect they don’t need to read their draft to know how the reader will react emotionally at each point.
Me? I’m not quite there yet.
Continue reading “How emotions can help with your editing or lead you astray”
Sometimes I worry it’s unoriginal to write about dragons, then I realise that’s a ridiculous concern. Here’s why.
From time to time I have the uneasy feeling that when I write about dragons I’m being unoriginal.
Fantasy books can contain any fantastical creatures I can create, so why stick to this familiar beast? Am I taking the imagination out of a genre that lives based on its imagination?
After deep contemplation, I decided no.
Continue reading “Is it unoriginal to write about dragons?”