This post was written specifically for the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. All opinions expressed are the author’s own, so blame him accordingly.

I’ve talked about world-building for Toolbox posts before but in the past I’ve focused more on the ways and means of doing so. Here I’m going to talk about one of the potential pitfalls.

As writers, you have to be passionate about the world you’re creating, I think that goes without saying. The problem (or symptom, to keep with the analogy) is when you’re spending too much time on the world building, to the detriment of actually getting any writing done.

Case in point: back when I was still on the first draft of book 1, I decided that I needed to have more background history for the various Ceteri Houses. This, in and of itself was not a bad thing. I made sure I had notes for who founded each House, and when, where it was located, etc. Then, I managed to convince myself that I needed a full genealogy of my primary House, the one the book (and the series) is named for. Bear in mind, that I’d already dated the founding of House Valerius to circa 50 B.C.; which would translate to something like 60-70 generations.

I’m not sure how far I got with it but I did eventually give up on the idea and went back to what I should have been doing in the first place, finishing the story. And, now that I’m onto book 3, I’ve yet to find an occasion where any of that would have been needed. Well, if I’m honest, I did get a little bit of use out of the first few generations early on in book 2 but otherwise…

I said before that there’s a very good chance you’re not going to use all the world-building you come up with but you do it anyway because it’s fun, it’s interesting and you might find a place for it. If you find yourself working on something with no idea if or how you could use it, then you might have a case of world-builders disease.

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2 Comments

  1. When I first started writing my novel, I was probably looking up information for my world after ten minutes or so. Most of that was either never used or completely changed, so I can see how the rabbit hole can trap us.

    With my historical fiction story, I have pages upon pages of notes. However, a lot of it never went into the final product. It was totally worth all the research, though! I learned so much!

    Like

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