14.40: Deep vs. Wide

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

How do you decide between digging one really deep, narrow well, and digging one really wide, shallow ocean? In this episode we talk about our desires to build worlds which appear both vanishingly wide and unplumbably deep, when we have time to do neither.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Take one aspect of your world and drill into it as deeply as you can.

12 thoughts on “14.40: Deep vs. Wide”

  1. Not to sound preachy, but if you catch yourself reducing fantasy or sci-fi races to stereotype, you might need to take a long, hard look at how you view cultures in the real world, too.

  2. Heard a tale that Jerry was looking for something to read. He might enjoy “Zek and the Extra Dit.” by A.C. Mav

    The allure of world-building is the conquer the world man-tell-atea. (butchering spelling now).

  3. One of the reasons I’m writing what I’m writing has to do with the precived shallowness of werewolf representations in mainstream fantasy. After being left with questions in by Harry Potter, Once Upon a Time, etc… I’ve decided I might as well try to address some of my own questions and incedulities.

  4. The basic foursome, Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard, looked at how you avoid making your worldbuilding wide, but thin, and still keep from having to dig the Grand Canyon of research. Look at the way things in your world are tied together, and dig deep on the ones that give you lots of ripples! Make sure you know how something works if your characters use it to solve problems. And… make your Merry, Pippin, and Sam individuals. Audition your secondary characters, and think about what makes them go! Read all about it in the transcript, available now in the archives.

  5. Great, simple, to the point podcast. Thanks.
    Any chance we can get a link to this secondary radiation stuff Howard was talking about? I wasn’t aware even the dust could kill you, and just for looking at it the wrong way!

  6. Love you guys and all your advice!

    I’d like to ask to please, please don’t spoil the book of the week. It sounded amazing but now I know everything that is going to happen. I’d appreciate it! Thanks!

  7. The site has been a bit glitchy.

    As another example the link to these comments still says that there’s 1 comment, when obviously that is not true.

    1. Interesting.

      There’s now a link to a “next episode” for 14:41 History.

      But, any link that takes you to the main page for Writing Excuses still leads to THIS episode, 14:40.

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