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Old November 17 2013, 05:33 PM   #49
Greg Cox
Vice Admiral
Location: Oxford, PA
Re: Writing questions

Occasionally something that seemed to make perfect sense in the outline just doesn't work when you try to bring it to life on the page. "Wait. Why would she get in the car with him if there's even a chance he's the serial killer?"

In which case a course correction may be necessary . . . .

And, putting on my editorial hat for a moment, world-building can be fun and useful, but remember that you're not obliged to make sure that everything in your notebooks gets squeezed into the actual book.As I mentioned earlier, it is good that you, the author, knows the entire history of your imaginary planet, going back six generations, but you don't have to share all of that with your reader--at least not the in the first book!

The same applies to research for historical novels, btw. Just because you spent hours researching every stop on the Orient Express back in 1864 doesn't mean you have to mention every one of them in the book!

True confession: back when I was reading slush for Tor, I used to cringe every time I got a five-hundred page fantasy manuscript that began with pages and pages of maps and family trees and the entire history of the Lost Realm of Zytharria. I usually skipped over that stuff and went straight to the actual first chapter of the book.
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