Steve’s Update 8-7-2022

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

“Think Agile, Write Better”: (Deep Breath) The Draft is COMPLETE!  Yes, I have the draft done – which means this week I slide into editing it heavily.  It’s shaping up to be only about 100 pages or so, which is within my limits (I wanted less than 130).  Expect it to go to beta in a month or so!

The Way With Worlds series: The new covers are not only done, but I’ve done some tests of book updates!  I got on a tear and it was kind of relaxing.  So I’ll update a few books to test in as I’m able (probably next few weeks)

The Seventh Sanctum rewrite: It will not surprise you that this keeps getting bloody interrupted as I seek that magical “block of time.”  At this rate, I think I need to take the chance of doing the launch incrementally.  I’d rather not, so I can have strong burn-in, but life seems to keep interrupting me.

Plus there are giveaways!

Steven Savage

Steve’s Book Roundup 8/1/2022

I write a lot and have quite a few books.  So now and then I post a roundup of them for interested parties!

The Way With Worlds Series

This is what I do a lot of – writing on worldbuilding!.  You can find all of my books at www.WayWithWorlds.com

The core books of the series will help you get going:

  • Way With Worlds Book 1 – Discusses my philosophy of worldbuilding and world creation essentials.
  • Way With Worlds Book 2 – Looks at common subjects of worldbuilding like conflicts in your setting, skills for being a good worldbuilder, and more!

When you need to focus on specifics of worldbuilding, I have an ever-growing series of deep dive minibooks.  Each provides fifty questions with additional exercises and ideas to help you focus on one subject important to you!

The current subjects are:

Fiction

Take a typical fantasy world – and then let it evolve into the information age.  Welcome to the solar system of Avenoth, where gods use email, demons were banished to a distant planet, and science and sorcery fling people across worlds . . .

  • A Bridge To The Quiet Planet – Two future teachers of Techno-Magical safety find trying to earn their credentials hunting odd artifacts backfires when they’re hired to put some back . . . on a planet where gods go to die!
  • A School of Many Futures – The crew is back, and finding having secrets and keeping them isn’t the same thing! Unfortunately they also find “very normal” is a cover for “anything but” . . .

Creativity

I’m the kind of person that studies how creativity works, and I’ve distilled my findings and advice into some helpful books!

  • The Power Of Creative Paths – Explores my theories of the Five Types of Creativity, how you can find yours, and how to expand your creative skills to use more Types of Creativity.
  • Agile Creativity – I take the Agile Manifesto, a guide to adaptable project development, and show how it can help creatives improve their work – and stay organized without being overwhelmed.
  • The Art of The Brainstorm Book – A quick guide to using a simple notebook to improve brainstorming, reduce the stress around having new ideas, and prioritize your latest inspirations.
  • Chance’s Muse – I take everything I learned at Seventh Sanctum and my love of random tables and charts and detail how randomness can produce inspiration!

Careers

Being a “Professional Geek” is what I do – I turned my interests into a career and have been doing my best to turn that into advice.  The following books are my ways of helping out!

  • Fan To Pro – My “flagship” book on using hobbies and interests in your career – and not always in ways you’d think!
  • Skill Portability – A quick guide to how to move skills from one job to another, or even from hobbies into your job.  Try out my “DARE” system and asses your abilities!
  • Resume Plus – A guide to jazzing up a resume, sometimes to extreme measures.
  • Epic Resume Go! – Make a resume a creative act so it’s both better and more enjoyable to make!
  • Quest For Employment – Where I distill down my job search experiences and ways to take the search further.
  • Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers – An interview-driven book about ways to leverage cosplay interests to help your career!
  • Fanart, Fanartists, and Careers – My second interview-driven book about ways to leverage fanart to help your career!
  • Convention Career Connection – A system for coming up with good career panels for conventions!

Culture

  • Her Eternal Moonlight – My co-author Bonnie and I analyze the impact Sailor Moon had on women’s lives when it first came to North America.  Based on a series of interviews, there’s a lot to analyze here, and surprisingly consistent themes . . .

My Sites

Going Big To Go Small

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

Sometimes minimalism requires excess.

I took an interest in “minimalist games” the last few months.  It started with “Vampire Survivors” a simple Castlevaninia inspired game that turned complex adventures into “automatically killing hordes of monsters.”  Soon I discovered games like Gunlocked, 20  Minutes to Die, and more.  All of these games too classic ones and stripped them to basics.

I found that these games refreshed me, taking oft overcomplex games and getting to their essence.  There’s a time I want to wander through a Vampiric castle, but also sometimes I just want to blow up monsters and go home.  Being able to get to one of the core elements of a game was enjoyable and sometimes what I wanted.

“Where were these games earlier,” I wondered.  Then it struck me that we needed excess in games – or any media – to know what the minimal is.  These games were no different that some light novels, down-to-basics movies, and effective minimalist music.

Excess is the key to minimalism.

“Going big” in a game or media means that you’re going to try many different things.  Many may not be needed, not work, or not be the best choices.  But by trying many different things, you have a chance to find what matters – then you can strip away all the excess.

Excess also gives one a chance to find the core of a work.  The true spirit of a work may not be apparent until you’ve played with a concept through a few iterations.  Though the “core” of a game or music may be there, it’s not easy to see – you need to mess with it and add things to find what points you to the heart of a work.

If you’re aiming for the minimal, you may need to look to or create excess.

Maybe you need to learn not from the streamlined but from the overdone, the broad, the excessive to see what lies at the heart.  Perhaps you even need to go overboard and elaborate in one of your creations, to see what points back to the heart of what to do.  Excess is not just fun, it might be what let’s you do less.

Perhaps there’s a larger dialogue here between more and less.  I’m sure I’ll explore it – to excess or to the minimal, depending on my mood.

Steven Savage