How Might I add a Secondary Attachment to my Book

#1
One of the issues of having a book in any fantasy genre; I recognize why Isekai and fish out of water stories are so popular. It's so much easier to use another character
to ask questions about the world, and learn the world through a character. But when these characters have lived their entire lives in that world. It makes Absolutely no fucking sense for them to talk about certain things. And it's hard to squeeze every world detail. And I find world structure just as interesting. 

So, I guess how do I add an attachment to my book or something that can be used as a table of contents for world building stuff that accompanies my book?

Re: How Might I add a Secondary Attachment to my Book

#2
I'm sure you can anchor chapters at the top of your novel page if you want to create a world-building chapter. Though I honestly wouldn't recommend it as a form of providing new details to the reader. Most readers won't look at it, and if you rely on feeding relevant information in the story through it you will lose a large part of your audience. If it's irrelevant, it tends not to be interesting because the reader doesn't see its application.

Re: How Might I add a Secondary Attachment to my Book

#3
Andrew Wrote: I'm sure you can anchor chapters at the top of your novel page if you want to create a world-building chapter. Though I honestly wouldn't recommend it as a form of providing new details to the reader. Most readers won't look at it, and if you rely on feeding relevant information in the story through it you will lose a large part of your audience. If it's irrelevant, it tends not to be interesting because the reader doesn't see its application.

.......................the application is kind of......important - I don't usually put it in the books as giant info dump, but an addendum sounded cool. 

Re: How Might I add a Secondary Attachment to my Book

#4
I might not be the best person to opine on this, as I myself am notoriously stingy with my world building details, but I’m of the firm belief that if it makes zero sense for someone to talk about because they’ve lived their whole lives here…then just don’t talk about it.

But then how will the reader know about that aspect of your world?

shrugs

They won’t, probably. Who cares. If it’s not relevant to how something in the story plays out, then the reader doesn’t need to know. And if the reader doesn’t need to know, there’s no reason to put it in the book beyond self-indulgence.

Honestly, even if it does play a part in the story, you can probably get away with still not explaining it and just letting context clues do their job.

Anecdotally, if there’s any kind of world guide attachment to a story, I generally just don’t read it unless I’m out of things to read.

I didn’t read Aeon Legion’s appendices until I was done with the book. I still haven’t read any of Stormcrow Cycle’s world building and language notes (sorry bohki). I basically never touched the Codex while playing Mass Effect.

That’s my two cents on the matter anyway. Like I said, I am of the Matt Colville “less is more” school of exposition and explanations. It’s different if there’s a fish out of water or some disciple being trained needing to ask questions, but even then, I answer the questions they would genuinely think to ask. I don’t throw out a “by the way, here’s something nobody talks about because it’s common knowledge, but you need to know it.”

Re: How Might I add a Secondary Attachment to my Book

#5
Expand your toolbox to include more subtle information vectors.

In dialogue have the MC complain. "Stupid Titanpeak mountains always getting in the way. Why can't we just get an archmage to tear them down so that we can invade Torusk and rid ourselves of those filthy orcs!"  = Here you convey that there are two countries, one of which is an orc country and is separated from ours by a mountain range that is big, as well as conveying some of the beliefs the MC regarding orcs and their desires to rid the world of them. 

While naval gazing (introspection as the kids call it) the MC can consider options and immediately discard them: "spooling the cytonic arc capacitor might work to vastly increase the hyperspace jump distance to twenty-four parsecs, but the increased power draw makes that a non-option." = Here we learn a component of the ship which can be used to increase the jump distance but costs a lot of power...

During beats you can add an extra bit reminding the reader about the anatomy of your races: "I slammed my wing into the table, silencing the suseration that Kal's proclamation had induced, and sending my grand imperial red wattle jiggling." = here we are reminded that the MC has a wattle and should remind the reader that they are in fact a chicken (or whatever race you have them to be that also has a wattle)

During action you can convey character traits or aspects of the world based on how the characters choose to act: "I slid under the Fel Tree's gently swaying braches, taking care to avoid the gossamer threads that would shatter my mind should they touch me, and rolled to my feet on the other side. With a flick of my wrist I summoned the power of Kal Adin and Stormlight rushed out of the jewels sewn into my waist and into my muscles. I kicked up, launching my body with unparalleled agility through the narrow gap in the Fel Tree's branches to reach the core and with a slice of my dagger I ripped out its heart." = here we are reminded of what the Fel tree is, what it looks like, what its weakness is, and the danger that it poses all while watching the MC acrobat their way through to the heart.

I'm half asleep so the examples might suck, but remember you have 4 methods to convey information to the reader. The clumsy approach is exposition; having a child or idiot ask the obvious question. The clever approach is to imply what should be done, or what the state of the world is based on how the MC acts. He is tried, his sword dug deep into the ground as he pushed all his weight on it to hold him up. The battle was long. Never ending, and no matter how many souls were sent to Geh'enom the endless tide of the Unfallen could not be pushed back.

Also, readers tend to be smart. Subtly implying something - rather than explicitly stating it - often works to your advantage. I've found that writing is a lot like telling a secret in slow motion. If you can slowly tease out details of the world, your readers will be able to piece it all together in their own time and be happier for it. 

The only time I recommend adding an index is for maps ( See Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan ). If you are writing a multi thousand page epic then you could consider having an index for character names (I don't actually have an example, I think this is bad practice), or if your magic system is convoluted then you can consider adding a page describing the different types (see Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson).

If your book is long as shit then you can do a quick reminder for each character to the readers in the beginning of each book/arc. Furies of Calderon by Jim butcher does this really blatantly.

Luck,

Re: How Might I add a Secondary Attachment to my Book

#7
Flamebeard Wrote: Expand your toolbox to include more subtle information vectors.

In dialogue have the MC complain. "Stupid Titanpeak mountains always getting in the way. Why can't we just get an archmage to tear them down so that we can invade Torusk and rid ourselves of those filthy orcs!"  = Here you convey that there are two countries, one of which is an orc country and is separated from ours by a mountain range that is big, as well as conveying some of the beliefs the MC regarding orcs and their desires to rid the world of them. 

While naval gazing (introspection as the kids call it) the MC can consider options and immediately discard them: "spooling the cytonic arc capacitor might work to vastly increase the hyperspace jump distance to twenty-four parsecs, but the increased power draw makes that a non-option." = Here we learn a component of the ship which can be used to increase the jump distance but costs a lot of power...

During beats you can add an extra bit reminding the reader about the anatomy of your races: "I slammed my wing into the table, silencing the suseration that Kal's proclamation had induced, and sending my grand imperial red wattle jiggling." = here we are reminded that the MC has a wattle and should remind the reader that they are in fact a chicken (or whatever race you have them to be that also has a wattle)

During action you can convey character traits or aspects of the world based on how the characters choose to act: "I slid under the Fel Tree's gently swaying braches, taking care to avoid the gossamer threads that would shatter my mind should they touch me, and rolled to my feet on the other side. With a flick of my wrist I summoned the power of Kal Adin and Stormlight rushed out of the jewels sewn into my waist and into my muscles. I kicked up, launching my body with unparalleled agility through the narrow gap in the Fel Tree's branches to reach the core and with a slice of my dagger I ripped out its heart." = here we are reminded of what the Fel tree is, what it looks like, what its weakness is, and the danger that it poses all while watching the MC acrobat their way through to the heart.

I'm half asleep so the examples might suck, but remember you have 4 methods to convey information to the reader. The clumsy approach is exposition; having a child or idiot ask the obvious question. The clever approach is to imply what should be done, or what the state of the world is based on how the MC acts. He is tried, his sword dug deep into the ground as he pushed all his weight on it to hold him up. The battle was long. Never ending, and no matter how many souls were sent to Geh'enom the endless tide of the Unfallen could not be pushed back.

Also, readers tend to be smart. Subtly implying something - rather than explicitly stating it - often works to your advantage. I've found that writing is a lot like telling a secret in slow motion. If you can slowly tease out details of the world, your readers will be able to piece it all together in their own time and be happier for it. 

The only time I recommend adding an index is for maps ( See Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan ). If you are writing a multi thousand page epic then you could consider having an index for character names (I don't actually have an example, I think this is bad practice), or if your magic system is convoluted then you can consider adding a page describing the different types (see Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson).

If your book is long as shit then you can do a quick reminder for each character to the readers in the beginning of each book/arc. Furies of Calderon by Jim butcher does this really blatantly.

Luck,

I already do a majority of these.