I frequently get behind schedule when writing posts for my blog. I think this infographic sums up the ‘why’ pretty readily.
Of course, this kind of behavior is also why I frequently get stalled writing my novels too. In the fiction trade, we call this “WorldBuilder’s Disease”. It is a devastating ailment, characterized by dry eyes, head aches, pale skin, difficulty in focusing, frequent bouts of boring our loved ones with minute trivia about obscure topics, and most horrifying of all, an utter lack of progress on one’s WIP (Work In Progress).
Hi. My name is Nan and I’m a Worldbuilder-aholic.
It’s a sickness, I tell you. Creating languages, political systems, histories that stretch back thousands of years to the dawn of time, maps detailing every town on a continent and a listing of all the pubs (well, pubs are important!), building whole towns in Minecraft (yes, I did this for the town of Horizon from my Coffee & Crime Mysteries), designing multiple religions and their associated pantheons complete with origin stories and mythologies, producing detailed family trees for walk-on characters for seven generations, detailing musical trends (what song is that bard playing in the inn that night? Is it part of a larger musical movement? Does the Bard Guild have an approved playing list? Who controls what’s on that? Why? How did this come about…). And on and on.
Will any of this appear in the actual novel? Probably not. Does it make the world richer and deeper? Well, yes. But only to a point and mostly only to me.
Is it fun? Oh, hell to the yes!
Welcome to the world of a writer.
They say (you know, ‘THEY’) you should only build enough of your world to get you through what you’re writing. Take a few details and go deep, instead of going broad and shallow. Those of us with Worldbuilder’s Disease say, why not go broad AND deep!
The problem, of course, and why the pundits say what they say, is that all that research and the fifty thousand link bookmarks and dowloaded articles and spreadsheets will completely derail actual progress on my books. All that time I spent creating the 3,000 year history of the continent across the sea from where our heroes live is time I could have spent actually finishing the novel. Perhaps it’s enough to know that the Empress who rules over there is a nasty piece of work. Heck, the heroes won’t even get to that continent until book 4 in the series!
Do you have Worldbuilder’s Disease? It doesn’t affect just writers. Do you fall down internet rabbit holes when researching anything online? If you do, share below which particular rabbit holes are most dangerous for you. And know that you are NOT ALONE and that some day there WILL BE A CURE! In the mean time, keep focused, wear internet blinders and most of all,
Illegitimi non carborundum!