It’s the famous Mark Twain quote, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”. When aspiring authors get asked, “What’s your book about?”, it’s usually the time we scrunch up our face and tell people we prefer not to say, it’s bad luck, or we go shy. Most of the time, I think it’s because we can’t reduce what the hell we’ve spent months writing into one or two simple sentences.
Ex-literary agent Mary Kole is full of useful expertise on her frequently brilliant blog (kidlit.com) and I think this is one of the most interesting in regards to worldbuilding, entitled “Pimp your premise”. The gist is simple – if you spend most of the book building a world with a surprise ending, you’ve more than likely missed a trick. Much better to sell the world you’ve created up front, rather than hiding it. It’s great advice and you can find it here, although I’ve reproduced the entire article in full below.