[DWJ] authors' thoughts on knowing

Allison Marles apm at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Wed Oct 10 12:28:02 EDT 2007

On Tue, Oct 09, 2007 at 11:33:30AM -0400, deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:
> 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.

That's interesting to read because the opposite was true in Sunshine.
There were so many unanswered questions that I hope there will be a
sequel to explore some of it, and yet it did not bother me because the
main thread of the story felt complete enough.

Allison Marles
Freelance Writer, Editor, Web Designer, Artist

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