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I have a background story, map, places. Am I on the right track?

From: Raymond E. Feist
Date: 22 March 2009

That kind of stuff is useful, but almost never the way you think it is.  It's useful because it'll weed out all the wannabes who are really just worldbuilders and not writers, while the writers are doing stuff that gives them story.

See, if you start with a village and then you ask, "What's over the hill?" and the answer is "another village," OK, so you're a map maker/world builder.  If you answer, "the market where the farmers take their goods to sell to the high sheriff" maybe you're a sociologist/economist.  If you answer, "The market where the farmers take their goods to sell to the high sheriff, where John meets Mary and falls in love with her, despite her parents hating his parents . . ."  then you're a story teller.

Best, R.E.F.

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