R.A. Salvatore and Patrick Rothfuss on What Does and Doesn’t Make Epic Fantasy Worlds Work

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Patrick Rothfuss R.A. Salvatore NYCC 2018 epic fantasy panel

Is it anachronistic language? Deadly logic rabbitholes? Or knowing the parameters of an epic fantasy society and then in comes a deus ex machina to completely upend the laws of the world? Patrick Rothfuss (author of The Kingkiller Chronicle) and R.A. Salvatore (who has returned to the Forgotten Realms with a new Drizzt Do’Urden trilogy) sat down with NPR Books’ Petra Mayer at NYCC to talk about what draws them in to epic worlds as readers, and what they endeavor to avoid as writers so as to keep readers engaged in their respective sagas.

You can watch the entire panel below, but here are some highlights:

Sometimes the most rewarding worldbuilding isn’t the expansive stuff, but the granular details that move the plot farther than an epic prophecy. For Rothfuss, it was the realization that if the University were to conduct interviews with all 1,000 of ...