I had my own "Too Much Macro" experience with the Ledyard City Chronicles, my current IP that grew out of my old, long since-scrapped Elite Unit project (if anyone here still remembers that hilariously bad collection of boring clichés with a name that sounds like it was made up by a thirteen year old because it totally was). I've been developing that universe in one form or another for literally fifteen years now, and as a result the collected canon was HUGE at one point, way too huge to try and do a single "main" story in. This is why it never went anywhere, despite me trying to get it off the ground about a hundred times. My solution, once I grew up enough and had the guts to start killing my sacred cows, was to start parsing things down. A few years ago I took the scope of the canon itself down from an entire epic galaxy (I think I was seriously trying to single-handedly make the next Star Wars) to a single megalopolis on Earth, with all the galactic stuff and aliens being somewhat relevant to the main story but not getting much actual screen time. The result was a significantly more manageable story that's now free to focus on a higher density of world detail and a still fairly large cast of well-developed characters. Right now I'm still hashing out the finer details of a plot and working on my formatting, but I hope to start publishing it as a web serial before the end of the year.
The lesson to take away from this would be to refine your sense of scope as early as possible (trust me, I'm a game design major). You're not going to invent the next Star Wars galaxy or Middle-Earth overnight, and your work will most likely be orders of magnitude stronger if you focus on strong characters and small-scale world development first. It's good to have a rough idea of your larger world as well, but you should expand into that and let the details fill themselves in naturally, not try to artificially force them in first and bend your characters and story around them later.
- Lukas Exemplar likes this