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Every once in a while, I’ll read an excellent fantasy novel, but when I reach the end (or sometimes just the middle), the author suddenly divulges all the secrets of the universe back to its very creation.  And many times, this (in my humble opinion) only hurts the story. 

Many times these creation stories end up sounding like mythology, rather than fantasy.  This may seem like splitting hairs, but there is a difference between a believable fantasy set in a world with hard-and-fast rules, and mythology, which can ignore the rules.

The best policy, as with so much in life, is “everything in moderation”.  We don’t know everything about our own world, why should we expect to know everything about a fictional one?  Obviously, you can’t tell the story without divulging some secrets.  But without any left, where’s the suspense? the realism? I’m intentionally avoiding citing examples, as some of my favorite books bend this rule.  Some books I like quite a bit break it.  So I guess you can break any rule.  But if you know you’re breaking it, you can compensate or moderate.


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