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Reply To: Sparkler School: Storytelling 101

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I hope this isn’t too much of an intrusion. I wasn’t quite sure whether it was okay to chime in.

This month I saw two serials (with angsty, female protagonists with hero-like powers) ground themselves at the 50-70k word mark. The two authors stated in their announcements of either a hiatus or abrupt ending that they probably didn’t have a clear enough direction (or outcome) from the start.

In light of that, several months planning is not a very long time if it gives you a path to follow and helps you avoid writing yourself into a corner.

Regarding info-dumping, I’ve hung around fantasy writing boards for a while and have received this general advice. (I’ve paraphrased it from memory.)

* An interesting world can never make up for a lack of engaging characters.
* Avoid clumps of info and try to avoid it coming all at once. Give sips, not huge drinks.
* If you don’t need to give it now, consider not including it. What you find interesting might be boring to others.
* If you want to make it more palatable, consider having it come out through a character filter as opposed to directly from the author. For example, you might say “He needed to wear the hat against the poisonous radiation from the sun.” THis is better than me the omniscient narrator explaining that the atmosphere had evaporated and the sun’s radiation directly hit the earth.

On the other hand, I think if you genuinely enjoy your worldbuilding and find some element of it exciting or intriguing, your excitement translates through your words to your readers. You can make it work!

Okay, ninja-ing back out now :o