This is my latest post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, wherein on the first Wednesday of every month we post about writing. In this month’s post, I will 1) share some untruths about fiction writing and 2) attempt to be funny.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time on plot, character, and world development. This means setting up background info so it’s there when I need it and I’m not just making up stuff as I go along. Of course, I do make up stuff as I go along but I don’t want people to know that.
Fantasy world systems tend to be crazy complex in ways no one wants to know about, except you, the author, who wants to make it look effortless and consistent, as if you have the equivalent of three or four encyclopedias in your brain. You’re not making things up. You’re just casually referencing Volume 3, Page 307, Section A: The Everyday Habits of the Cave Trolls. Because you remember that kind of thing.
Because it is all real.
Suspension of disbelief. So important.
I can’t just research and develop a world system, beyond a certain point. I need to write the story first, because I don’t want to bore people with boring details I was bored writing. Also, I am lazy. Creating a world system I’m not going to use for a story sounds like a lot of hard work. And … a little bit crazy.
What about you? How do you set up your story? Do you have a plan? ‘Tis it nobler in the mind to make things up as you go along or to plan it all out first?
On a related note, do you ever like to think out loud, to someone you know will listen?