The Finished Draft: Finish a Novel that Works #3 Choose Your Favorite Kind of World and Style

Choose Your Favorite Kind of World and Style.

You can set your current novel in a world as small and claustrophobic as a single coffin, or vast and expansive as a dynasty that spans several galaxies. Your novel can take place over a matter of days. Or it can explore the lives of many generations over several decades. You get to decide what will satisfy you and your audience.

Do you prefer to read about worlds set in the past? Set in the future? Set in the present? Or set in another reality altogether? Do you prefer pure realism, a touch of magic, or a lot of magic? Worlds with grit? Or worlds with polish? Historically accurate? Or historically irreverent? Worlds built around likely scientific advancements? Or worlds so scientifically advanced the technology fuses with magic? Worlds that are bleak? Or Worlds that are hopeful?

Once you have an idea of the genre that most feels like home (i.e. romance, war, coming of age, action, adventure, family saga, crime, spy, space opera, workplace saga, thriller, superhero, friendship story, western, and so on) ask yourself what level of realism and what time span will best hold your story and your interest. Then decide if you want to explore that story with a style that’s bleak, or frightening, or languid, or fast-paced, or quirky, or hilarious? Use stories you love as a point of reference to discover the kind of world and style that most appeals to you.



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