Episode 82: Archmage’s Rage: Fantasy Critique

Episode Description

In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of The Sentinels Sworn Book One: Archmage’s Rage, a fantasy novel by Andrew J. Cardin. They discuss world building, strategic use of exposition, point of view, tightening your prose, and the role of sidekicks. 

Listen Now


Show Notes

Your cast has the knowledge of the past, present, themselves, and each other that your readers or audience members will need to know in order to follow events. Therefore, at pivotal moments, let your characters use what they know as ammunition in their struggles to get what they want. These revelations will deliver the pleasure of discovery to the emotionally invested reader/audience as the fact quickly vanishes into the story-goers background awareness.
— Robert McKee


Editorial Mission—Strategic Exposition

This week, schedule ten minutes each day to write about your world, whether it’s fantastical or commonplace. I recommend free writing (no editing, no crossing out, keep writing through misspellings and grammatical misadventures). Write by hand if you normally type and try different locations if you can. The object is to get as many details down as possible over the course of the week and shake things up so that you are accessing deeper layers of your mind and the story.

On the last day, look over what you’ve written and pull out the top five details you mentioned on each day that communicate something about the world. How do you know which ones will do that? Make your best guess; you know your world better than anyone, but try to see it with fresh eyes (this is why I suggested writing by hand and changing location). In today’s example, I would definitely include the spire and shards, for example. 

In the alternative, look at a scene from your manuscript each day for a week and cull the details about your world for your list. 

Take that list of 25–35 details and record why the reader needs to know each one, when they need to know it, and who can deliver it (and how) to greatest effect. Add these details to your story in the appropriate places. 

Do you want editorial missions sent directly to your inbox?
Sign up below to join the podcast club and you'll never miss an episode—or an editorial mission—from the Writership Podcast!


Inline Critique