Layers In A Novel

This whole “staying off social media” thing is working out pretty nicely, for the most part. My productivity has skyrocketed over the past month, with January coming in at a cool 63,000 words written for the month alone. February is already on pace to surpass that mark, even with three fewer days. Granted, I’m not sure I can keep the 3,000 words per day pace up for long, but right now? Right now it’s niiiiiiiiice.

Book 2 of the epic fantasy saga is about 25% completed already. “But Jason,” I hear you say, “didn’t you just complete a book less than three weeks ago?” You would be correct there, friend. However, one thing I’ve noticed about writing is the more you do it, the better you get at it. Kind of like, oh, drawing or painting or something similar. 😀

I’ve been wondering about drawing up an appendices for the epic fantasy saga, to be inserted into the back of the book. I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy series who do that, setting up different houses, families, nations, etc. It may be that I’m simply a huge history nerd and that sort of stuff is really interesting to me. Kind of like maps in fantasy novels. I love a good map, to see the land the way the author sees it. It’s one of the things I really enjoyed about the Dragonlance novels when I first read them. Reading the authors describe the world of Krynn and then being able to pinpoint places on the map helped draw me into the world even more. Surely I can’t be the only one whose mind works this way?

As much grief as I give George R. R. Martin about things (like writing speed, for instance), one of the cooler things he’s done is draw up a complete timeline and history of various houses in his fantasy novels. Again, history nerd here. It adds more layers to an already rich and vibrant world. And a really well-built world, in a fantasy novel, can drive a story when the plot refuses to budge (no names, but c’mon Daenerys, get a move on).

When Gary and I started the epic fantasy saga, the first thing we did was spend a solid year building the world where the story takes place in. We’d bring different things to the table and see where they fit in the world, or when, or even if they were supposed to be here or were some long-forgotten relic of a world long dead. So many cultures have come and gone in the real world, so why would it be any different in a fantasy realm? Empires rise, fall, and new empires are built upon the ashes and memories of the old… it’s just one of the many cool things we talked about during the world building process. Religion, which is a scattered mess in the fantasy realm, has no clear-cut right or wrong answer. Layers of depth in the world building process had really allowed us to elevate the story to match the world. Like I said, being a history nerd, I relish these things and incorporate them into the story whenever I can. Even if it’s just a passing mention in the book, it piques the reader’s mind. It might not appear in detail in this book, but I can guarantee that if it’s in the book, we’ve got a detailed background surrounding the casually mentioned item of note.

On that note, I need to quit procrastinating and get back to writing. These characters aren’t going to kill themselves.

Have you picked up the first book of the Kin Wars Saga yet?

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