Stephanie Garber on writing

Everyone who has read the Caraval series knows that Stephanie Garber is a master for creating fantasy worlds, from the colors and smells of emotions, plot, and narrative. Even the names of her characters and places are perfect. The descriptions are just right to pull the reader into her carefully devised world, but not too excessive to derail from the story. Everything about Garber screams magic and fantasy. The author, born on January 5th, also teaches creative writing. Interestingly, her curriculum evolves as she learns more from her own writing process:

Write the book you want to read. This isn’t the same as writing the book you want to write. We all write for different reasons, sometimes we want to tell a story because we think it will sell, or it feels good to put it on paper, but if you’re writing something just to write it or just to sell it, and not because you are aching to read it, then it’s very likely that no one else will ache to read it either. But, I really believe if you write the story that you are burning to read then others will want to devour it as well. People who are like-minded are drawn to similar things. And, if you write the book that your heart cannot let go of it will show on the paper.

I love creating new worlds but it’s also really difficult for me. When I’m drafting, I spend a lot of time thinking about my world, how to make it unique and creative and unexpected. But sometimes (or most times) I struggle to then convey all these ideas clearly on a page. I love fantasies that fully submerge readers into a different world, but it’s difficult to put lots of details and descriptions on the page without slowing the story down too much, or confusing the reader with too much information. So, my constant challenge is figuring how much to show, what to explain, and where and when to explain it.

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