For all you fantasy fans who keep banging on about world-building, some words from M John Harrison:
Worldbuilding is dull. Worldbuilding literalises the urge to invent. Worldbuilding gives an unneccessary permission for acts of writing (indeed, for acts of reading). Worldbuilding numbs the readerâ€™s ability to fulfil their part of the bargain, because it believes that it has to do everything around here if anything is going to get done.
Above all, worldbuilding is not technically neccessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isnâ€™t there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there. It isnâ€™t possible, & if it was the results wouldnâ€™t be readable: they would constitute not a book but the biggest library ever built, a hallowed place of dedication & lifelong study. This gives us a clue to the psychological type of the worldbuilder & the worldbuilderâ€™s victim, & makes us very afraid.