What I mean by “fluff” is content, facts, and scenarios that don’t make it into a novel. Personally, I love the idea of content like this, so it’d be a major ‘yay’. I do this with my series via my newsletter. I’ve been told that keeping a newsletter for that sort of content is actually very useful and will get people more interested in your universe. What I plan on doing is leaving my content exclusive to subscribers for 6 or more months, and then publishing it on a section of my website. Wouldn’t it be fun if I named it “The Fluff” or something?
Anyway, my novels run very violent and gory. This leaves very little room for my characters to just relax and show themselves having a good time. There would be no plot attached to this, which would be fine if that was my brand. My selling point, however, is heavy action-oriented plots. If I show too much “fluff”, my audience will get bored. However, I want to give something to the fans who are really attached to my characters and world, who would not mind learning about them through “fluff”.
Things like ‘hanging out on the beach’ or ‘training sessions’ would be very good for showing intricacies of how characters interact in a relaxed setting, and even build them more than they could be in the book itself. Not to mention, things like ‘training sessions’, if they involve weapons or magic, can show more on how a character makes decisions in battle.
Some people would disagree that this is a good thing, or that it should all be included in the novel itself. But if people are building whole worlds in things like fantasy, I don’t see the problem with having a bunch of little extras. Now, the problem could arise if you’re being contradictory with the content, like if my character said “oh, my favorite color is red!” but in the “Fluff”, they say “my favorite color is blue!”. That example is not as serious, but you get the point. You could unintentionally create plot holes!
Other benefits to extra content outside of the novel are explaining your lore, if you are a fantasy writer, more in depth. I do this with my compendium right here on my website. I can’t include every little fact in my work, otherwise it would be a lot of info-dumping. Sure, I utilize a college setting to bring out specific facts not seen in battle or other dialogue, but I can’t cover everything that way. Therefore, out-of-content stuff works in this case too.
Therefore, I personally enjoy the idea of ‘fluff’, or smooth scenes without much or any conflict outside of the novel. This also includes more elaboration on character lore, creature lore, or world lore. It’s a great way to give more content to readers while they wait for the next book in a series, or add onto an already-completed series to keep the excitement up. Who doesn’t love learning more about their favorite characters?