Have you ever started to think of a great idea for a novel in a specific genre like fantasy or science fiction, and go to research it and walk away discouraged do what seems like an impossible task? Example, Fantasy you research and find that you need a very in-depth world with many different races, and new ones as not to rehash what is now tropes (Elves, Dwarfs, etc). A complex magic system on how it works and what you can and can’t do. Then there is the map, and the economics of the world, and societies and backstory.
        I ask you this, because when you go to write a really unique story and you have do develop your world and then see what is out there it can be disheartening. You see these massive well thought out worlds and that trickle down and in-depth backstories and myths. You might be thinking I can never do that. I going to say you can, as I used to be one of those people who could come up with a great concept but wanted nothing to do with that development of it and now I am writing multi-book series. It takes practice, and while you will need to do spend time working on somethings, to make your world feel like a world there are other things you don’t need to. Below is a make shift conversation I b/s, however it is based on many different author interviews and conversations I have read and watched lately.

        “Tell me about your book,” saids a well named author.
        “My book (insert your book premise here) and it takes place (insert your world name), and I have they amazing map,” says writer.
        “Cool, why do you have a map?”
        “I’m writing fantasy, you have to have a map.”
        “Do, you want a map?”
        “It doesn’t matter what I want, how will the readers know where things are if there isn’t a map?”        “I ask if you want a map, because this is your story if you don’t want a map in it then you don’t need one.”
        “Will a publisher publish my book if I don’t have a map?”
        “If a your book is as good as you say it is and a publisher refuses to publish you because you don’t have a map, then that person needs to be fired.”

        What are you thoughts on this? Do you think if you write a specific genre you need to have certain things? I do, but that is, just my opinion. One of the few conversations I based my little conversation on is from a convention panel where some of the top names in Fantasy were talking about magic systems. They each had their own thoughts on how magic should work, but they had an interesting advice for writers. You can watch Here! I am not sure exactly where the advice is, but it somewhere in the middle and it is Rothfuss the guy with the massive bread says starts and others add onto it. You don’t have to watch whole click get the point.

“If like a very in-depth magic system like Brandon Sanderson or maps then have them. The reason why Sanderson has maps and detailed magic systems in his books because that is what he likes.”

        That is a paraphrase of what Rothfuss says to get the topic going. Several of the other authors pile on that and agree with it. Just because you see these things in fantasy or in a genre doesn’t mean you have to do them. If you’re writing a Young Adult novel and don’t like first person view point, don’t write in first person. It is your story, tell it how you want to tell it. When you think about this advice it makes since, everything you put into your novel/series you have to spend time on. If you don’t like in-depth magic systems or hard science in your science fictions why the hell would you do put them into your fantasy or science fiction story? When you put something in just because you feel you need to, is just going to make it harder to write.
        Why would you spend hours on end to come up with a complex economic system for your fantasy world when you don’t care about economics? You think just using gold coins as your currency works fine. Half the stuff you put into developing that system will not make it into the book unless you dealing with currency exchange between different kingdoms. Or you lead character is a banker in one of the kingdoms. Rothfuss, from he video loves Economics systems and figured out the whole system on a classroom size chalk board, which he still has. People are still asking him about it, even though nearly all of it doesn’t show up in the books.
        If you watch the full video, you also hear how the authors say why develop a whole world with everything in it, it will be fifty years before you get to write the story you want to write. Not even Tolkien developed his world with everything in it for Lord of the Rings. It was years later that he added other elements, but he still told his story. The things that he loves, languages and cultures were what he focused on. It is only in the Silmarillion where Middle Earths creation account is told and all he gaps leading up to the lord of the Rings completely shown.
        This is some of the best advice I have gotten in years. I love a well developed world, but if I don’t like certain things why would I put them in. Maps, love them. I get to see what the world looks like and where things are, but never refer to them when going through a book. Actually, when it comes to non-earth worlds I think you need a map. Not a physical one that goes into your book, but you the writer need one so you know where things are. If that is a thirty-second drawn one on a napkin or a beautifully drawn out one that you bought for a few hundred dollars, or one that is in your head.
        I say this, because when you don’t have a map to reference then things magically move. J.K. Rowling has mentioned a few times in interviews that fans had pointed out to her that classes rooms magically changes floors throughout the books. Stuff like this bugs me. Thankfully I didn’t notice that in Harry Potter when I read them, or it would have lessen my liking of them. This of course is just my opinion. What do you think? Should you aim to enrich your world with everything you can or is it okay to only put what areas you like into your world? A few other things you might think about is, are you putting these things in for you or for your readers? If you’re thinking about your readers, stop. This is your book, and while you need to know what is expected if you just copy what everyone else is doing, your not going to stand out.
        Please leave your thoughts in the comments, I would love to know your thoughts. Until next weeks Craft post, you can check back on Friday to see my weekly writing wrap-up.


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