I am currently writing a short story that will be published in an anthology later this year. It is set on the same world as my Yrthull stories, but it is in a different part of the world.
Now, you could say that this means I pretty much have free rein over all the aspects of the cultural, magical and general fantasy type planning for this story. But the control freak in me keeps saying: What if I say things work one way now and I discover later that it would make more sense or be far more epic if things worked differently?
What if I say these people have certain physical traits, but later I discover that far more diversity is required? What if I put things in the story now that will be a massive obstacle later? What if the way magic works now contradicts everything that I have to write into a different story for the plot to work out?
Well…this leads me to two paths. One, I exhaustively plan out every detail there is to it all – meaning that I probably won’t get any writing done this year, because I’ll be planning for the next five years. Two, I throw all caution to the winds and simply change whatever turns out to be a stupid decision later…attracting any pedantic stickler whose source of joy is picking on inconsistencies in stories.
See…the only reason that last part even features in my considerations is the simple fact that I have become one of those people. I don’t even like that I do it, because it has ruined a lot of stories for me that I had previously enjoyed. But, after having been surrounded by hordes of geeks that pull every book, movie and game apart, I just can’t ignore stuff like this anymore.
It’s making me itch just to think it, but I think I’ll just have to give myself permission to change things later. Here’s hoping that I attract a forgiving crowd of fans.