Emma Donoghue

Like many teenagers, I spent more of my summer holidays than I probably should have immersed in the world of The Lord of the Rings. It’s the best example I know of world-building: an author’s creation of a world as detailed and vivid as our own. The key, I think, is Tolkien’s unrestrained, obsessive interest in the details, and when I’m researching and planning a book, I try to do a Tolkien on it and go all in: don’t hold back, because if you don’t fully know and believe in your world, nobody else will.

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