Advice for fantasy writers, from a reader
(Originally published as a sequence of tweets in slightly different form.)
Let the story go where it needs to go. Don’t fill in too much of the background.
Remember that, if you’re successful, those characters are now living in other minds besides your own. Don’t make them do things that they wouldn’t do; always have a good reason that makes sense from your character’s point of view.
Leave some room for the reader’s imagination. Leave some room for the fanfic writers, too. (You don’t have to read any of it.)
Make a map, if you need it to get directions straight, but don’t publish it.
Stop when you can no longer keep enough of the story in your mind to know when you’re contradicting yourself.
But don’t be afraid (pace Bujold) to have a better idea.