[DWJ] authors' thoughts on knowing

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Tue Oct 9 11:33:30 EDT 2007

On Tue, 9 Oct 2007, liril at gmx.net wrote:

> I think this discussion can be tied in to questions of "world-building". To my mind, "rich" and interesting worlds are those where not every point or detail is necessarily relevant to the plot, explored or explained. This way, the invented world seems real, because it "exists" beyond the story we are told. (ObDWJ: Ha! I can do this: Not all the places on the map must be visited!)
> To my mind, this can mean that some mysteries exist in this world that are not explained in the story (and of course, there's a fine line to this becoming annoying - also a great starting point for sequels...).
> Example: Sabriel - importinat points in the mythology remain unexplained, not all precints are used. And much as I enjoyed the sequels, Sabriel did not feel "incomplete" to me.

Ah! This ties exactly into something I've been thinking about
Robin McKinley and how her writing style has gone downhill in
the last four books (I'm counting Dragonhaven, which I'm in the
middle of in galley form right now). She does this very rich
elaborate world building -- and then puts every single detail of
it into the book. And it really hurts her storytelling.

As you say, not all the places on the map must be visited. Unless
it's epic fantasy. *g*

Ye knowe ek, that in forme of speche is chaunge
Withinne a thousand yere, and wordes tho
That hadden pris, now wonder nyce and straunge
Us thinketh hem, and yit they spake hem so.  -- Chaucer

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