ofcourseitscanon asked: I'm in the process of writing my first ever full-out story, that I'm actually dedicated to. I want to know how much I should write before I get the ball rolling on the plot? It's about a kingdom, so should I explain about that even if it's not relevant to the main plot?
If it’s your first draft, stop worrying. Put down what you need to put down on paper, whether it’s information or action. Breathe. It’s hard to let go, but you have to get that first draft before you move on.
If you’ve got your first draft, first of all, relax and throw a party. Second, take a pen and some paper, and take some notes. Here are the questions you (and anyone) should ask yourself about the setting:
- How much does your reader need to know? Is the day-to-day kingdom function essential for the plot? How much of the kingdom does the main character deal with? Find the essential bits of information. If you have a detailed ceremony that has no connection to the plot (or the characters, or some emotional necessity), you may have to cut it out.
- What can you leave out? The second most important question, you need to figure out what the reader doesn’t need to know. This is harder than the first, because it all seems important to you. You’ve worked so hard on it, and cutting things out hurts. It’s okay to feel like this. If you need a second opinion, get it. Some people will be able to tell what’s not necessary more than you can. Trust your instincts.
- What can be shown, not told? If you have customs, describe people doing them, don’t just list that they’re there. If there’s a hierarchy or class structure, write out how it effects people, and what they do because of it.
- What needs to be told? You can’t show everything, especially when creating your own world. History sometimes needs to be told. Relationships sometimes need to be told. Again, trust your instincts. You’ll be able to figure this out better if you go with what feels right. Remember, you can always fix it in editing!