So I am writing. Typing away furiously. I’ve just hit 180,000 words. And then it all comes crashing down with a single realisation – I’ve stuffed a part of my world-building.
So how did I do this?
I’ll try to answer that in a spoiler-free manner, just in case I ever finish this novel or you ever read it.
I have a race of magic users (well, kind of). They mostly stick to themselves inside a giant citadel where, from afar, they provide prophecies for the rest of humanity. This earns them riches.
So here is the key question: why?
To elaborate: why do they care about wealth when they have everything that they want in their citadel. And I mean what I write – everything that they want! And I cannot take away the “everything they want in their citadel” from the story because that is important that this be the case. In fact there is no real reason for these magic-users to do anything other than lounge around being content with luxury.
I hear many of you saying “Who cares?” Well, I do. I mean, how many times do you read a fantasy book that leaves you wondering how a particular culture manages to feed itself when there is no economy and every able bodied man or woman is a mail-clad warrior on a horse. Huh? I expect good authors to write sustainable civilisations (unless the lack of sustainability is the crux of the story).
OK. The good news is that as soon as the realisation struck me my mind answered it. Problem is that means rewriting an awful lot of the book. Not the plot, just the world that it operates within.
I am also contemplating making a few of my key characters different by nature because I realised that I tended to write my major characters as pretty much the same person. They are all deeply thoughtful, highly intelligent, solemn types. Bah!
Another aspect of my rewrite revolves around a major character called Razin Azar, described as “Lion of Shushtar, Holy Executioner, Mage of darkest renown”. In my first few drafts we got to experience his thoughts. I’ve now decided to exclude his perspective because he is way too powerful an individual and he is slightly insane. By excluding his perspective – his thoughts – I am hoping to have him act as a wild force in the story. So I won’t actually change his role in the plot, nor his actions, I simply will not let the reader inside his head. I am hoping that this will lead to a greater sense of uncertainty and surprise. It also forces me to use those around him better to describe his actions.
Oh well, off to the drawing board.
Thanks for reading my internal ponderings as I externalise them on my blog. Feel free to add your own 2 cents worth.