14.35: What You Leave Out

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard

The advice commonly given to writers is to worldbuild an iceberg, but only to show the reader the tip. This is still too much work. Icebergs are big.

In this episode we talk about worldbuilding the tip of the iceberg, and then worldbuilding as little as possible of the rest of the iceberg so that the tip behaves correctly.

Play

Take a chapter of yours which has worldbuilding elements in it, and remove all of them. Set the worldbuilding slider to zero.

Stealing Worlds, by Karl Schroeder, narrated by Nancy Wu

Ask us questions for next year’s Season Fifteen!

For our Fifteenth Season, in 2020, we’re trying something different.

We’re going to let you guide our conversation.

Rather than waiting to ask your questions, ask them now and we’ll use those questions to structure the season in 2020.

Use this form to tell us what you’ve been struggling with, or what you wish we would talk about. Ask us about things that you are curious about. Hit us with the thorny theoretical question that you keep chewing around in your head.