This is kinda sorta me. Carl Sinclair has put his finger on an affliction that affects a lot of writers, especially of fantasy fiction: Tolkienitis. Having spent the past week roughing out half a dozen possible species of unicorns—with absolutely no plans for including unicorns anywhere in the “Into the Wonder” series—I am definitely somewhere on this spectrum.
What is World Builder’s Disease?
World builders disease is a terrible affliction for many writers and authors, mainly in Science Fiction and Fantasy, but it can certainly affect writers in many genres. The scientific medical term is Tol-kien-itis.
What causes it?
It is caused by the constant building and tweaking of your world and setting. So much that you never actually get around to writing the book.
J.R.R Tolkien had the worst case on record, spending much of his life (around 30 years) building the world, languages and setting for Lord of the Rings. He finally managed to finish his series, but his case was very severe.
I would only suggest that the proper clinical term should probably be Tolkien Syndrome on the pattern of Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, etc.
Well done, Carl, and thanks for your honesty!