As science fiction and fantasy have become more mainstream, writers and marketers in other fields have become experts at selling these franchis­es in mundane terms. Yet I still have conversations with other writers in SF/F where I get these long, windy explanations about the technological theories their current book explores. I do it myself, defaulting to long rants about my worldbuilding and giant flesh eating plants and satellite-reliant magic. Predictably, I’ve found that the folks who hook me on their project are the folks who talk about the stories. Not the backstory. Or the narrative experiment. Or the long, grinding history of their whole made-up world. No, it’s the folks who stick to the basics.

It’s the folks who talk about the people.

–Authors like writing about themes, people like reading about people.