Clockwork Egg or Automatic Chicken?

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As I’ve mentioned before, I am a strong adherent of good universe building.  Some authors thrive on spontaneous writing and i applaud them for that, but I like to think I follow in the footsteps of luminaries like Herbert and Tolkien whose narratives were fueled by intensive, deep background material.  they crafted their worlds so thoroughly, that it gave their works this rich tapestry.  You knew that beneath the story you were being told, there were a hundred more stories that were not being.

While i’m no Herbert or Tolkien, I do follow that model of world crafting.  This is both a positive and a negative.  Naturally, by spending an incredibly amount of time strengthening my history and the world my characters live in, I’m both keeping my narrative consistent, as well as providing me with a guideline for weaving stories and plots across multiple books.  Plus I’m essentially preemptively writing some of my future stories, in a sense.

The downside is that while I’m fleshing out the politics of Herdle Bookensnatch the III, I’m not really writing my story.  It’s a detour and I have to be careful that I don’t become more of a historian than a storyteller.  At some point, my story must be told and the longer I spend not writing the story, the less alive it feels.  Eventually, the tale must be told and my task in the next couple of months is deciding when to stop the world-building and when to start the story-crafting (again).  Luckily, I do have a hard deadline I plan to keep: November 1st: NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.

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