Tag Archives: why I wrote it

Why I Wrote It – Chance’s Muse

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

Chance’s Muse is my first book on my principles for creating random generators. I took what I’d learned over two-plus decades of running Seventh Sanctum and compiled them into a collection of guides and theories.

I created it because of my own sense of mortality.

Seventh Sanctum started in 1999 after I’d made a few random generators. At first, it was a subsection of my personal site, but it became its own thing due to popularity. It is one of the oldest random generator sites on the internet that I know of, and obviously, an older site means an older creator.

In 2018 I realized I had to ask what the legacy for Seventh Sanctum should be. Though I am in excellent health, I will age at some point, and I won’t be here. Though I love the site, there might be a time of change that means I’d pass it on. I had to ask, “what should be next.”

This resulted in a multi-pronged effort:

  • I identified an inheritor if I die.
  • I participate in a community of randomizer enthusiasts, so I have people that may help.
  • I am rewriting the site in a more modern code base for anyone that may come after me. Plus it helps me keep up on coding.
  • Third, I decided to write things up in a book. That became Chance’s Muse.

Chance’s Muse is part of my legacy, something that will be out there when I’m gone. I’m a writer, so obviously, that was one way to pass on what I learned to others. I am not sure how much good it will do, but then again, what is certain?

There will probably be a sequel or two for it, additional legacies for the future.

This is something I want to encourage in your writing – finding a way to leave a legacy. This is part of mine, but I have talked to other people about writing down histories or experiences – one did not live to do that. This is your chance to create something to outlast and to reach others.

Steven Savage

Why I Wrote It: Organizations and Worldbuilding

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

Ever heard of “the book you were meant to write?” Organizations and Worldbuilding is one of those books for me. It’s a book on how to write fictional organizations, and it exists due to two personal

I am an organizer by nature and by profession. I was always organized in my youth, always with a plan or something to do. I became a Project Manager, then an Agilist. Now, I not only manage, but I also speak and write on organization.

However, when you’re naturally organized and trained in organization, you see flaws. I’m used to seeing deficiencies in processes, institutions, and teams. That’s how I help people get better at what they want to do.

I also write on worldbuilding, and you can imagine what it’s like when I turn my gaze on fictional organizations. I see flaws in fictional organizations – not appropriate problems, but ones where they’re not believable.

My job is to help organizations and teams run because that’s simply not everyone’s specialty. In turn, that means people writing fictional organizations may need some help. So I figured, “hey, time to write another book.”

I used my specialty.

It’s not like there aren’t other organization-related tips in other worldbuilding guides. Guides to political structures, discussion of genres, etc. all touch on organization. My goal was to create a general guide for worldbuilders making fictional governments, companies, etc. Something to cover those not-specific but oh-so-important questions like “how the heck do these people communicate.”

It’s another one I’m happy with, but it has a special place in my heart – it’s uniquely mine. Perhaps I’ll revisit it, do a sequel, or expand it, but it’s doing its job for now.

Steven Savage

Why I Wrote It – A Bridge To The Quiet Planet

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

A Bridge To The Quiet Planet was my return to fiction. It exists because someone said writing genre fiction is worth doing, and I said, “I should do that.”

That’s it.

The author in question was Magen Cubed, best known for her Southern Gothic Series. Her story is about a monster-hunting modern himbo cowboy and his neurotic vampire boyfriend. Their misadventures include wild romantic hookups, monster politics, and a chihuahua. Honestly, Netflix should option this even if they may need some “fade to black” when things get steamy.

She wrote her thing, and her Twitter statements on the way genre fiction is open made me think about my writing. I hadn’t done fiction in years, and I suddenly had the urge to return.

I have written about worldbuilding for ages – it’s been a specialty of mine since my teen days. I’m fascinated by good setting construction, and it was a vital part of my previous fiction work. Even a decade-or-so break from writing fiction wasn’t a break from worldbuilding – I was the guy to bounce ideas off of, read beta editions, and so on.

But oh, her Tweets about why you should write fiction reminded me of how I missed bringing a world to write.

Then it began. Ideas began to come to me . . .

. . . I loved anime and video games, and specifically the techno-fantasy worlds where science and sorcery existed . . .

. . . but those worlds often never extrapolated on what this meant. Sir Terry Pratchett and Dave Barry came to mind, ideas to explore this world of gods and computers more closely . . .

. . . a pair of heroines began to evolve, one a kind of Hermionie (Marigold), and Mei Hatsume of MHA (Scintilla) . . .

. . . they lived in a world scarred by a massive war, as many fantasy novels have so many ruins they are post-apocalyptic . . .

. . . and the world valued stability, and that meant I threw in the schemes renegade god to screw things up . . .

And there we had my return to fiction. A Bridge To The Quiet Planet was a road trip where a bunch of modern fantasy tropes traveled to a planet-side graveyard for gods. I won’t spoil.

Thus I had a novel, my first in ages.

Overall I’m pleased with it. It’s a road trip story, mainly to have fun traveling through the setting and the implications of what one reader called “a typical fantasy world in the space age.” Though I would do parts of it differently, there are also elements I’m very proud of.

There’s also a sequel in the works – A School of Many Futures. I play with several tropes there (The Big Book Of Plot Secrets, Magical School Adventures) and go for a more complex mystery ala “Knives Out.” It’s harder to write than the first because I’m pushing myself to make a more complex, richer story.

The novel awakened my fiction-writing urges, so I decided to write at least three books in any setting. The truth is, I know I’ll be writing fiction for awhile – maybe the rest of my life.

All because of the right Tweet at the right time.

Steven Savage