How much story?

This is a question I struggle with: how much story do I include in the story? Background, drawings, world-building, etc. I have, but how much of it adds to a story before too much of it detracts from the story? Having that kind of detailed information not immediately tied to the story still provides a comfort level with what I write. It allows me to move fluidly from one place or event to another. Well it should anyway. I’m still working on that part. The disadvantage is my desire to drop in not just details, but entire sections of information not directly related to the story. I spent (spend) a lot of time and effort on it, after all!

But I don’t think that’s the best answer. Which then begs the question that started this (long) post. For example, I love myths and legends so I created a one for the next book. The legend I wrote as a non-structured poem because I seem to think that way. At some point I would like to turn it into a full story of its own. Thus the conundrum of how much of that legend to put into the new book. I need a compromise that gives me the pieces I need for the book, but leaves me enough room to write at least a short story about it at a later date.

Sounds simple, eh? I don’t know how easy that is for other writers, but I’ve written well over 5000 words across 4 variations. A few more rewrites turned 5000 to about 2300 words in a single chapter. After today’s pruning session that chapter ended up a shade over 1400 words.

I can live with that. I’m sure I’ll adjust it as the book develops, but I’m fairly content with it for now. I think there’s enough to enhance this book without overwhelming it, but enough “teaser” information to pique interest should it come out on the website or in a collection or even a book of it’s own. That’s good enough for now. I already have a book to write!


Written by D. D. Wolf

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I'm on my 5th or 6th career depending on how you count them, but ideally this one will be my last with the kind help of our readers. I've traveled to several states across the U.S., but the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina will always be where I'm most comfortable. I've been an avid reader of comics for more years than I'm going to mention, but I return time after time to the old pulps. Obviously the Doc Savage books have been a tremendous influence. There's just something about seeing and hearing those characters in your mind's eye, just the way YOU, as the reader, think they should be.. I've been writing poems, lyrics and stories of varying quality since I was in my teens, which means most of my archives are on paper in three-ring binders! I've been creating characters in various RPG systems for at least that long. I've always thought characters made the story: good characters can live on through story after story. It wasn't until the last 6 or 7 years that I felt I could write characters well enough to be engaging. You'll have to let me know how I'm doing.

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