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fantasy, Musings, Writing

The problem with writing short stories …


is that every time I write one, I come up with the potential for a new world.

I love worlds, this world and all the other worlds that people make up. I loved Shadowrun because it was such an amazing world. Cyberpunk & fantasy merged into a world that is ruled by Corporations, with some very cool character classes. I bought the rules, I book the books and I even started writing an adventure for it.  But, I didn’t play it that much, I just liked reading about the world.

I also LOVED the Forgotten Realms world, reading all of the books, buying additional campaign resources, making up characters and playing some cool AD&DWarhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40,000, Runequest, Judge Dredd, Fighting Fantasy, Grail Quest; I bought them all, played them all, but most of all, I loved their worlds.

And that’s where the problem lies. Writing a book is fairly simple. You come up with an idea. You write a synopsis. You write a chapter plan. You  write a book that hopefully follows that same path. Although you put things in the book that point as to what the world is like, you leave a lot of it unexplained, unexplored. Unfinished.

If I have an idea for a story, I always want to write about the world behind it. I want to set out a timeline, countries/factions, Lords, Ladies, Heroes. I have two stories that I started to write a long time ago. One is fantasy, one is science fiction, and both I started to write RPGs for. But, and here’s where I come up against another problem, I keep having other ideas for other stories, other worlds.

So, what do I do? Do I put these amazing worlds to one side, or do I try to write about the good ones, short 50,000 words or so World Books? Shattered Lands, for example, is one that I will try to explore as much as possible when I’m writing the – so far – trilogy. However, a lot of people have said how much they would like to see it as an RPG world. I’m not about to start writing an RPG for it, but there is an inkling for a World Book that can be used with rules such as the Fate Core rules.

I don’t know whether I’ll ever come up with an answer, but I do wonder if other authors suffer from the same angst.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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