Force And Form

(This column is posted at, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my

So I’ve been thinking about what to do next in my writing. I’ve had quite a few “phases” of my writing – career writer, creative writer, worldbuilding writer, etc. I feel like I should have a what’s next.

I want to write because writing is what I do. I like to write, I have the urge to write. So I know I’m going to write – this column is an example of how I can’t really stop.

However to be really fulfilling – unless you’re just playing – it seems the urge needs a form. Something to put it into, channel it into. At least for me, I can play, but I really come to life creatively with a project.

(Again play can be a project, but I think that’s got a limited lifespan before I want to do).

So as an example, here’s where I am.

Right now, I look to the work I’ve done before, what I do now under assorted pen names, and I think what I want is connection. I want to interact more with people, have dialogues, and have my creativity connect me with people.

I also have been reading and listening to columns and podcasts (often from the same people) and really enjoying the idea of “one or two people give a deep dive” on an issue. They’re personal, and the creators often invite input and commentary. There’s something about a “unique voice” that is appealing, evne when you disagree with the voice.

So I’m thinking of expanding on my columns here. Maybe take it to two a month, make them longer, more in depth, and send them out as newsletters as well. Maybe just do what I do with more discipline and focus. This way I can go into deeper exposition on creativity, technology, and culture in ways that invite people to connect with me.

I might even put some together in a book (this time for real, yes I have about a book and half I could and should use).

Will this work? No idea! I’ve got to play around with it a bit. But I’ve got the drive, I’ve got an idea, so if nothing else I have something to try out. If it fails at least it’s a specific situation I can learn from.

And I can always go back to play to see what emerges and takes.

Steven Savage

Seventh Sanctum: Next

On 9/4/2023 I launched the new Seventh Sanctum, 4.0 if my numbering is right.  I was able to fix most of the bugs, but found some resource issues that required me to revert the code.  So while I take a look at what’s going on, here’s my plans for the future.

I know I can’t maintain the site forever – if nothing else, I won’t be around forever.  So, I want to add some archives for people to use my work to make their own generators or just copy mine.

So here’s the status of the site – it’s running some old code that probably won’t survive many future server upgrades.  I’ve got a modernized site ready to go, but it’s got some unexpected errors I need to troubleshoot (though I think I have an idea of what’s wrong).  It’s a reminder that I probably can’t do this forever.

Truth be told, I also realize that I won’t be around forever.  Seventh Sanctum has been around nearly two and a half decades, so as you may guess I’m not young.  The last few years with COVID, deaths in the family, etc. were a reminder of how life can change – and end.  So I have to ask what happens when I’m gone one way or another – be it technical ineptitude, my limits, or life changes.

I also have to prioritize my time.  Life has changed a lot, as have my priorities, especially in the last few years.

So here’s my plans for the Sanctum – and you’re part of it!

First, I’m going to keep the Sanctum running as best I can in the near future.  I don’t really know if I’ll be up to make new generators anymore to be honest, but let’s see what happens.

Secondly, I’m going to start making my generator notes and data available to you.  The data is pretty easy to just bundle up, but I also want to make some notes on how to use it.  I’ll make this very visible on the site so you can just download it and go do your own thing.

Replicate my generators.  Enhance them.  Build your own.  Learn from them.  Whatever works for you.

I also will keep my links to other generator sites so let me know of cool ones you do or make.  This way the Sanctum points out new talent – and old talent.  Plus I have a few other ideas.

So that’s the plan.  Let’s see what happens – and what you might do.

Steven Savage

Writing Plans For Next Year

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

As the Holidays approach and the year ends, I wanted to round up what I’m doing writing-wise for everyone.  So let’s go – in what may be some kind of order.

First, the next Way With Worlds Minibook is up and will be out soon – it’s on Organizations!  That one really just needs formatting, so it’s definitely out in December.

Secondly, somewhere in all of this is the print copy of A Bridge To The Quiet Planet.  This is unpredictable because it’s a mix of formatting, checking, giving up and running a print, and finding out the mistakes you made.  It could be out in as early as start of January or late as February depending on how much I screw it up.

Third, there’s a world guide to the setting of the novel.  I plan to get that out around the same time as the print copy.

Fourth, there’s a new creativity guide, my guide to Brainstorm Books.  That one is in weird shape, as I found the original draft, based on my columns, was lacking.  I’ll be tackling that once I get other stuff out of the way, so expect to see it in January to February.

All of THIS clears my plate for the next round of work.

RANDOMIZED CREATIVITY BOOK: In February I’m going to begin work on my next big book, a guide to randomized creativity and procedural generation.  This will compile all of my theories into one guide to assist people making random generators, games, etc.  I’m going to try to power it out as a draft as fast as I can because I want to experiment with some writing techniques.  Note that even at the best, this thing won’t be out until August or so.

MORE WAY WITH WORLDS MINIBOOKS: I have a ton of these I want to write (try more than 20), so I’m pretty much going to do them for years at this rate.  I need to find a workable pace, but expect to see them intermittently – I’d like to do at least four a year.

So past about  May or June I will have A) caught up, and B) have the randomized creativity book in editing.  Then I’ll consider larger steps – there’s a sequel to A Bridge To The Quiet planet in my mind so I’ll almost inevitably do that, but I want to try to do it faster this time (but still even at best it won’t be out until 2020 while I do minibooks)

So there you go, lots to look forward to!

Steven Savage