Ask “Why?” and “How?” When Building Creatively in Minecraft
Years ago, I read an article by sci-fi author John Scalzi that mentioned one of his strategies for writing a great novel. It was a short comment, but it’s stuck with me over a decade later:
Whenever he’s finished with a section of the story he’s telling, he goes back through and he asks “Why?” and “How?” something works the way it does. Whether it’s a character’s decision to go to a meeting, the way a spaceship’s engine works, or why two neighbors don’t like each other, he asks those questions.
And when he comes up with an answer, he asks those questions again.
Like a toddler that just learned that those two words even exist.
He does this at least two layers deep, and if the answers are satisfactory he keeps them in the story (well, I’m sure there are exceptions).
An Example of How This Works
Story point: The enderman stepped through his front door and hit his head on the...
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