Skip to Content

The question of Off camera things?

From: Raymond E. Feist
Date: 10 September 2008

Seriously, here's the deal. One thing I've noticed over the years are what, for lack of a kinder term, are "detail freaks."

Two that spring to mind are the old school gamers, of which I was one for years, who've gotten entire environments fully populated with enough backstory to write lots of books. That was (sort of) me. I was enough of a gamer that I could populate a dungeon and we who did that stuff many years ago knew there were rooms players might never find, let alone enjoy all the ghastly nonsense you had waiting for them.

The other type are among wannabe writers who feel compelled to keep taking notes and jotting down back story and filling up dozens of spiral notebooks with all manner of biographical stuff on the characters which will never make its way into the story but somehow "help" the wannabe writer become a writer. It sort of never happens.

The thing is, you see, I also didn't tell you who was the new Baron of Carse, or who was now Baron of Land's End, or who was the first sergeant on the really lousy patrol down along the Keshian border every holiday because he really pissed off the King's Warden in Landreth. If we posit there are maybe a million people in the Kingdom at the time of the book, that's about nine hundred thousand nine hundred and twenty or twenty five stories I never told you.

Off camera is . . . nothing. There's no "there there," to quote Gertrud Stein.

In other words, the guy who was Duke of Rillanon when James went back to Krondor was some guy the king gave the job to who had no bearing whatsoever on any aspect of my story, so I took zero interest in giving him a name, background, or anything else remotely related to work.

Of course, that was before Carl named him "Smoky." So, the question then becomes, Stover or 'The Bear?' That's a tough call.

Best, R.E.F.


FAQ answers attributed to Raymond E. Feist are copyright by Raymond E. Feist.
It should also be born in mind that the answer given was only applicable on the date written, and to a specific question. You may find further, similar questions, in the FAQ.


More things to See