Research and Writing - When to stop.
It's easy to get lost in world building and being scientifically correct. It's great, but when do you stop and actually write?
You're welcome for the cute picture of my son roaring at dinosaurs.
Now, for the actual blog post.
Procrastination is my forte. I'm so skilled at not doing shit until the last absolute second. Hey, it gets stuff done and ads a ton of stress... which I'm trying to lower. So, through some goal setting and smaller deadlines (and a wife who likes shit done early) I've figured out a few of my procrastination downfalls. The main culprits being research and world building.
It is phenomenal to have an entire world built, and every single rule at your fingertips in an organized and beautifully tabbed notebook(s). But when does it end? Do you keep setting world rules for eight to ten years before your plot? What about research? Do you dive down the rabbit hole of understanding every minute detail of the science you're putting in your book?
No. No to all of the above. I know of very successful authors who have done this for two years, and now they have one-hundred books out in the same universe. But for us regular folks, do you really want to write 100 books in the same universe? If you do, then I guess world build away, but I have different things to write.
The average reading level for a James Patterson novel is 5th grade. Fifth grade. So, that means that you need to explain the science in your book at a grade school level.
Also, you need to ask why you are writing the book? Are you writing for entertainment or are you writing to educate?
I personally write to entertain. Meaning I want to write books that people enjoy and read fast. If I were to explain every detail, then it would bog down the story. And yeah, maybe you'd make the 5 (?) physicists happy that read your book. But what about the rest of the people who read your stuff? Does is really matter if they understand everything you're writing.
For an amazing way to describe science in your novel, hit up some Michael Crichton or some James Rollins. They are amazing at dumbing down science for the rest of us and making the reader feel smart.
And if you want my opinion, put down the wikipedia and start putting in the words.