Hard lessons

I have been pretty harshly critical over the years of authors who indulge their writing impulses and churn out endless reams of extraneous material in their books. Look at stories like Harry Potter, the first few books were fairly tight and well-paced, but by the third or fourth book they become bloated messes that make the reader dig for the story from amongst a pile of words that the author can only get published because they have become more powerful than their editor.

Or the other scenario where a book series drags on and on forever with endless side stories and deep development of minor characters as the original story line meanders like an aimless bayou shifting and changing course through the marshes.

I’m struggling with that now. I have a pretty firm concept for how my series will go. Warrior has a specific scope, and Warlock does too. Warlord, the one I am working on now, also has a specific scope, as does the as-yet-untitled final book of the series.

But I find myself wanting to explore deeper into certain character dynamics, and do more to provide the reader with information about the world, both the building of it (literally in this case) and the history of it.

I’m going to have to fight that.


About seandgolden

Husband, father, author
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3 Responses to Hard lessons

  1. Why fight world-building and side character development? I personally love stories that include such details, makes it all much more real to me. If you feel like it’s cluttering the main storyline, maybe you can put this material into other places. Appendices at the end of some kind? A side-characters day in the limelight story posted onto WordPress, or some other online location, as a teaser?


  2. seandgolden says:

    I hope I have a sufficient amount of side character development and world building already. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t want my story to veer off the main track into pointless, self-indulgent exploration of characters or world history just for the sake of character development or world history. I have a story to tell, and I want to keep the narrative tight enough that the story remains paramount. I don’t want readers skipping through pages, or even being tempted to do so.


  3. seandgolden says:

    To further clarify, I am fighting the temptation to put so much of that stuff into the story that it becomes a fifth book.


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