Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Edit 2: World Building

It’s week 2 of my editing so let’s talk about the world building edit!

Oh world building. Why must you hurt me so? I guess it’s my fault in the case of this book for making such an overly convoluted world. I never take it easy on myself when it comes to the world building, mostly because my favorite fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings, Mistborn and Game of Thrones all have extremely involved worlds. Heck, the world of my favorite books of all time, Harry Potter, has an incredibly intricate and complicated history. Even though its not always at the forefront, really good world building can MAKE a story.

But it’s hard. Oh is it hard. This is the edit where info dumping becomes a huge issue. You have to give enough info to make the story make sense, but too much info sounds awkward and forced. No one wants to read a history text book in the middle of their fiction.

I’ve talked about world building before here, and what I said there holds true. World building is a dragon, awesome if it works for you, deadly to your novel if it doesn’t.
That you do world building edit. That you do.

In the case of my current MS, there’s a lot of world building to be fleshed out. The devil is in the details, and those are what I need to focus on to make the world come alive. And then of course there’s those info dumps. But they’ll be meeting the delete key very soon.

Don’t think you’re off the hook with a world building edit if you’re not writing fantasy though. World building, of course, is an important element of every story, whether its fantasy or not. Even in the real world, you have to have your facts straight depending on the time period or place. So next time you’re editing an MS, take a look at the world building. Your readers will thank you for it later.

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