Saturday, July 23, 2011

Writing Project

I received some very positive feedback for the Vayniris campaign idea - which was basically a re-skinning of Zak's Vornheim with 'far-gates.'  People also seemed to like the little picture I drew of some Vayniris snow  Then an offline comment got me thinking.  The comment said something like 'the city would make a good backdrop for stories.'

That got me thinking.  It's been a while since I've written a short story.  Well, completed one would be more accurate.  I'm really digging the concept of a fantasy city that is scattered all over bits and pieces of a planet.  Writing a pulp fiction style story inside Vayniris seems like a no-brainer. 

So that is what I am doing.

And that got me thinking.  (I think too much, probably.)  Why not write a whole bunch of stories and make a Vayniris anthology? Vayniris: The Scattered City!

Then reality sets in.  I haven't showed the type of focus during my life necessary to pull off something like that.  But what if others helped?  What if Vayniris: The Scattered City was written as sort of a Thieves' World-esque shared fantasy world?  The city has a lot of room for parallel development.  A whole planet's-worth, in fact.

This idea points back to something I've been wondering about for a while.  The Old School Renaissance movement has game designers, module creators, cartographers and artists.  But are there any story writers in the OSR adding to Appendix N?  Are there?  I'm asking, seriously.  I try to keep my ear to the ground, but I haven't heard of such a thing.  (Okay, okay, there are fine authors running around writing fantasy - but I'm talking about specifically from an OSR perspective.)

I think an OSR inspired anthology would be pretty nifty.  We have the technology now to publish a book WITH NO CASH DOWN.  I published a book with Lulu and ordered a copy.  Poof.  Very nifty.  Or heck, it could go bigger - like a 'literary' version of Petty Gods.

So, anyway, I'm going to write my little story.  If you are interested in reading it, give me a holler. 

And if you are interested in reading an OSR inspired anthology, let me know as well.  If it's five or more people, I may have to push this thing through to reality - even if I have to write it all myself. :)

- Ark


  1. I'm very interested in reading it, and an anthology like that, and I'd certainly be willing to contribute something. I think it's an excellent idea.

  2. Yes, there are writers in the OSR community. It's been sometime since I was last published (a very long time in fact) largely because writing is a solitary pursuit and I'm very much a social person.

    I'd be delighted to contribute. I also hope you mind might if I presume you've never done anything like this before and try to offer some advice?

    Generally speaking, successful Anthologies need a lot of editor supplied "glue" to bind them together. This includes such things as a central theme that prevades through all the collected stories. It also helps to have several "editor" characters that can make brief cameos in stories written by different authors. Finally, it's helpful if a certain major event (such as a festival or a state visit) is ongoing in the setting as well. One or more of the stories should even feature this event, but most of the rest should at least make mention of it, if only as "back-drop".

    Elements like these help tie the individual pieces together. So, to make this work, you would need to send each contributor some background information about the city. They'd also need descriptions of editor characters (basically NPCs) that appear in their story asdescriptions of major locations. if only so you don't have three different authors describe the city walls in three completely incompatible ways.

    You pretty much need to write a short supplement about the city for the authors.

    On top of that, you also need to set some groun rules to define the boundaries that the authors can play in. For exmaple:
    don't kill any of these characters,
    don't blow this up,
    don't introduce any major new factions without permission from the editor.
    don't transport the entire city in another dimension.

    Put these rules and your mini-supplement together and you'll have a pretty solid set of "writer's guidelines" to send out to potential contributers. It'll also cut down on the number of submitted pieces you have to reject out of hand because they don't quite fit with your vision of Vayniris.

  3. An original shared world anthology on the order of Thieves' World or Liavek sounds like a lot of fun, and I'd definitely be interested in contributing.

  4. Sounds like a great idea. Not sure how I can contribute but would give it a fling.

    As for big writing projects I'm still dreaming and sometimes writing my fantasy opus - for twenty years!

  5. Count me in as well (as both a potential reader and contributor.)

    Brian's point about "guidelines" is a good one, as we'd have to know what was off-limits and what was available to play with ;)

  6. Good god! Just re-read my post. Remind me never to write a comment with a migraine until after the meds have kicked in. That spelling is atrocious.

  7. @Dangerous Brian:

    I'm adding "exmaple" to my lexicon to describe my friends who are living outside of Canada.

    I can assure you they are *not* doing any of the things you listed.

    They might try to transport themselves, or a group, inter-dimensionally, but never a whole city...

  8. @ All-a-Ya'll

    Wow. Looks like we have a quorum. Thanks so very much. I'm excited.

    I'll take Brian's advice and work up a background/guideline document for contributors. I'm thinking to call it the Vayniris Almanac & Gazetteer. Kinda like Roddenberry's mythical Trek bible, only not so long. :)

    Thanks again!

    - Ark