You want to understand the details of it, like what’s for supper and how it got to the table, for example. Or the special creatures like this fiery deer.
What about the geography of the place, and the people groups and their histories of conflict or harmony?
But don’t be like some would-be writers who spend ten years polishing the details but don’t come up with great characters and a great story to go with it. You’ll end up with something that reads like an encyclopedia. And ten years will have gone by that could have been better used.
Instead, create the basic building blocks of your world. Then craft the story and let the story pull you along. Mold only the details that you need.
That’s the word from a very helpful podcast I’ve been listening to, Writing Excuses, featuring Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler. These are highly successful secular writers who are very generous with their time and expertise, and have been cranking out these 15-minute sessions more or less weekly since 2008.
If you’re not a podcast listener, I highly recommend you figure out how your personal technology can download and feed you podcasts, which arrive regularly on your device and are free. (If this seems like a tall order for you, Google your entire questions; this almost always works for anything.)
There’s a world of free podcasted advice out there from experts. I like to listen while driving. Listening while exercising is another great way to do it. Or just listen when it’s time for your daily dose of writing craft!
I’ve mentioned Novel Marketing before, a podcast featuring author James L. Rubart, a novelist who is a professional marketer, and Thomas Umstattd Jr. Does anybody else have favorite podcasts for writers to share with us in the comments?