Surprise! Worldbuilding Is Hard and Doesn’t Work Out Your Shoulders

While filling out the outline for the sequel to Far From Light, I realized I needed to use Excel to track the histories I’d created. I spent the better part of an evening reconciling a “Timeline of the Children of Luthonai” to a real, legitimate timeline of human history. Stupid as they seemed, those idiots painting shit in caves 40,000 years ago sure made my story hard to explain. I found a solution which requires me to redo some stuff, but good lord, worldbuilding is a mean chore. There’s only going to be one sequel, and the two books combined will barely total a thousand pages, so there’s a lot I need to hint at without burying the reader in historical monologues.

Chuck Wendig wrote a humorous and useful post on worldbuilding recently where he very succinctly states, “you’re not writing a fucking encyclopedia.” I agree, and as much as I love sci-fi and fantasy, even I get a little lost in the details sometimes. The only exception to this is Tolkien’s Silmarillion. I’ve read that mythological beast half a dozen times, and I kind of want to call in sick to go home and read it again. I’m not doing that because my work email is blowing up and I’m also not ever going to pretend I’m Tolkien.

No lesson here, but this is what I discovered about me and my future projects:

  1. Never try to tell the story of the entire universe.
  2. My next story will be a romantic comedy.

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