On Little Gods

[It’s good to remember that those big gods would be nothing without little gods. They’d have no Olympus without them–just empty thrones. In some ways, I’d prefer Olympus to fall… Such a sad post about the loss of an author’s power–at the risk of the creation. Are you a “good little god” if what you create suffers under your own apathy to let it be abused?]

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

I’ve been thinking a lot about control. As a writer, you sculpt a world from scratch, populate it with people, with stories, and control them all. From the geography to the folklore, the smallest details to the largest plots. It’s in your hands.

In that sense, as a writer, you become a ‘little god’.

But in publishing–that business side of the art, your control dissolves.

You don’t control whether the book sells.

You don’t control the marketing budget if he does.

You don’t control the publisher’s investment.

You don’t control your place in-house.

You don’t control the sales plan.

You don’t control the cover art.

You don’t control the jacket copy.

You don’t control how the book is portrayed, publicized, given, sold to the world.

You don’t control anything.

Or at least, it can feel that way.

Because, of course, you still control one thing.

The words.

The content between…

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“The first 100 pages were build up” or “The Fantasy Writer’s Dilemma”

Some wise words from V.E. Schwab.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab

So I’m sitting here, working on my 10th book—how did that happen?—and thinking about pacing. As someone who writes fantasy, I’m always faced with a dilemma, a push-pull problem: the need to introduce the world and its rules, without dragging down the plot. I like to think I do this—I certainly do my best—but the simple fact is that those first 100 pages can’t JUST be plot, not in fantasy.

They have to lay foundations.

They have to set up the rest of the book, so that it all makes sense and pays off and the clues add up and the twists work and the punches land and you’re left with a feeling of YES. Because here’s what I think: it’s worth it. Those opening pages, which lay that foundation—I’m not talking about info-dumping, that is nightmarish and just bad writing—and establish your world, they are worth it. They…

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