I love world building.I love the histories I can make, the cultures and races, the architecture and religions. I can give you documents upon documents where I have spent many hours of my teen life creating different sci fi and fantasy worlds. But I had a problem. An unprescribed disease, most commonly known as the World Building Bug. I didn't even know back than that I had it! Not until very recently.
It all started with the writing workshop I went to a few weeks back. Jill Williamson, one of the speakers and a good speculative fiction author, told the story of how she began her first published novel (By Darkness Hid) which later turned into the first book of a trilogy, she had begun with the idea of a tree. That spread into a full blown map, including geography, cities, etc. That turned into other details that took up six months of her life (I have spent about two years in the past on one world. . .) . All she did was create and explore this world that she was going to write about. The key word to remember is going to. All of this helped her with her writing, it is true, but it also stalled her writing.
How do you find a cure for this disease? I don't think there is a cure. At least not for us world first novelists. The closest thing to a cure (or at least as close as I can find) is accountability. Mrs. Williamson's accountablilty turned out to be her husband pushing her to do more than work on a world. For me, it's currently my deadline for the end of July (which is really creeping up on me).
No matter what kind of novelist you are, (world first, character first, plot first) how do you handle accountability?