This is my main solution when I'm struggling with a story and not sure where it's going to go next or what to write for a new scene. Usually, by the time that I return from a ten mile run, I've not only determined how I will solve whatever problem I was originally struggling with; I've also determined what will fill the several chapters or sequences, and it's often better than what I would have come up with just by sitting down at the keyboard and stewing over the text. Nor is this necessarily restricted to stories and writing, as I've used the same technique to help me develop solutions to all kinds of problems and stresses and challenges in my life: intellectual, personal, and practical. But that's beyond the scope of this post.
One wonders what other common facts about everyday life we tend to ignore because of how seamlessly our technology helps us overcome those difficulties. Since most fantasy stories take place in pre-industrial settings that would not have most of these kinds of aides, it is worth considering working these kinds of facts of the human condition into stories.
Perhaps it’s not terribly surprising then that I try to avoid introducing contradictions into my fictional worlds. For most of the time that I’ve been writing, I’ve operated in world creation under the premise that contradictions in world-building will drive readers away and make the world less believable. After all, overt contradictions would seem to undermine the idea of plausible impossibility, and leave the reader less immersed in the world. A contradiction can act like a sort of car accident that abruptly stops the flow of traffic and ejects the reader from the story.
Some of you will be excited by this post; others dismayed. Rather than working on one of the many projects that I already have in process (especially ones like the second Fo'Fonas book, and the Blood Magic series), I sat down with some of the first writing time that I've had in awhile, and started something totally new. It's also very different from anything else I'm currently writing. To read the test scene rough draft, you can download the PDF below. If you want to know more about how this came to be, keep reading.