Fandom and general geekery is a place with a plethora of talent.  Epic fanfics that take a year to write, incredible art, extensive websites, huge conventions, fantastic cosplay – all are a testimony to the talents in fandom cultures.  Indeed, one of the motivations for this blog is my desire to do my part to help the talented people out there find ways to use their talents and make a living at them.

However, for fans and non-fans alike, there is a set of skills that are
indispensable to survival in the job world and the world in general.
That is an understanding of economic and related issues.  Or in short,
no matter what kind of professional you become, you’re going to need to
become an amateur economist.

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An entire summer course on worldbuilding?

Link here.

Wofford College is sponsoring a residential summer course on worldbuilding where attendees will build an entire world as part of their project, and work collaboratively.

This is something I’m very encouraged about.  Worldbuilding is a major part of writing, game design, and art.  A good world is literally the main character you never see as the main character as it defines every element of your story with a coherent whole.

I’m also glad to see Worldbuilding treated as a kind of craftsmanship.  When I read fiction I want to get something out of it – to think, to laugh, to have a reaction, to come away with more.  Good worldbuilding can really contribute to that, by laying the foundation to make it all mean something.

Finally it’s nice to see something THIS unrepentant creative and geeky having a course like this.

Also I rather imagine this or something similar would be a heck of a thing to put on a resume for some young people, or those helping with the class . . .

– Steve

Give away writing, get it published?

Can giving away your work actually boost sales of a book?  In this case the author built a following with podcast releases.  I’ve seen his book in stores all over my area, which I assume is a good thing.

I’m not sure if this model would work for everyone, simply because it seems to be a highly individualized and personal way of doing things – building a loyal following, putting in the effort to reach an audience, etc.  What works for one author may not work for another.

At the same time I look at this and pretty much think "fanfic" – because that can get an author a following, feedback, and support and is essentially giving away something for free.  Perhaps the leap from fan-author to published author could be done more easily with an intermittent activity – giving away an original work or works for free in some format, leveraging one’s fans as a starting base.