A bit on Anthologies

Euphoric winner winning at home

This year I have only two stories destined for anthologies. One is for a summer anthology, due out soon, another a children’s book scheduled for Christmas.

This is the lowest number of stories I have given for inclusion into collective tomes for several years.

I know some writers stay away from this form of publication. There are many reasons.

Some do not write short fiction, others focus on just one genre, some believe these books a waste of effort, while others only give licence if the book is a charitable or fundraising edition.

I appreciate everyone’s point of view on this matter.

To give a story away, even secured by a simple first serial rights licence, is a big thing. To take time out to write a specific tale for one is a commitment. Then, there is the fact of finding the extra time to write in the first instance.

If someone does not wish to commit to an anthology, so be it.

I, however, am a sucker for these books.

Partly, it is because I am a prolific writer of short stories and flash fiction. I always have some unpublished works on hand which need a good home. Another reason is, I enjoy writing from simple, given prompts. I belong to some writer’s groups, such as ‘500 – Iron writer’s spin-off‘ who regularly exercise their quills by doing just so.

I find scribbling a short tale a fantastic writing exercise, as I do with poetry and blog writing, even this post you are reading now is teaching me something about my trade as a wordsmith.

It is called, gaining experience.

I believe we can and should always strive to become better writers and, like modern athletes and sportsmen, we should ‘cross -train’. That may mean writing poetry and short stories, trying our hand with a genre we have never approached before, writing non-fiction too. Whatever it takes, we should often step outside of our comfort zone, we should do it to improve ourselves.

For me, committing to someone as a guest blogger, or agreeing to contribute a piece to an anthology, encompasses that training; it allows me to be creative, try something ‘new to me’, or come at a subject from an alternative perspective. It also allows me to get my work in front of readers who may not have found me otherwise.

It is not something I do for a direct reward. I have, where there have been shared royalties, had my allocation directed to charity.

Which brings me nicely to this point.

Many collections of short stories are put together as fundraisers, or for creating http://authl.it/6boawareness for worthwhile causes.Looking into the Abyss: Saving the Rhinoceros one story at a time’ an anthology designed to spread the word about the Rhino’s fight for survival, and ‘Sticks & Stones and Words that Hurt Me’ which supports anti-domestic violence, along with ‘Storybook, Individually together, Vo 1 (no longer available) are three charitable books I have close association with.

 

However, not all anthologies have to be for charitable causes.

awethologyLIGHTSMASHWORDSThe ‘Awethors’, a group of likeminded indie authors from across the globe, have created three anthologies crammed with a wealth of wonderful tales. These books, The Awethology Dark, The Awethology Light and the December Awethology Dark & December Awethology Light, were produced for several reasons.

These books are to show what an alliance of indie authors, living in various countries around the world, can achieve when working in unison.

The Awethors collective produced not one, but Four great works, proving such co-operative action can be repeated and maintained.

These anthologies also bring the contributing authors closer together, it strengthens the collective and in some cases, creates new, long lasting, genuine friendships.

If you have never contributed to an anthology before, I ask you to consider doing so. I am certain you will know at least one other writer who has a link with at least one. Do it for yourself, for a literary exercise, for learning, for betterment, but most of all do it for fun.

To finish, I quite fancy contributing to a Sci-Fi collection, (I don’t write Sci-Fi), or something from a female perspective perhaps?

Any offers, contact me.

 

Thank you once again for reading my Ramblings, Paul.


Looking for something different, a gift with thought? Take a look at the Pussers Cook Book.

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Building a Fantasy World

Please welcome Tom Fallwell, as my guest blogger on ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind’

11204879_1081984258525096_337361035155144461_nBorn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1951, Tom Fallwell spent much of his career as a software developer and programmer. Now retired from that field, he has taken up writing, which he had always loved to do, but did not have the time to indulge himself in. Now he is writing the stories he had always wanted to write. Still living in Oklahoma, Tom is active in church, running the sound system and sometimes teaching adult Sunday School. He has always had a love of fantasy and science fiction, both in reading and in movies. His love of story telling came as a result of playing table top role playing games with friends, in which he created adventures for the other players to experience.

Tom Fallwell is an author of heroic fantasy adventures. His first book, Dragon Rising, was published in late 2014, and the first book in the Rangers of Laerean series, A Whisper In The Shadows, was published in April. 2015. Book #2, Where shadows Fall was published on February 1, 2016. Tom is currently working on Book #3, which is tentatively titled, The Shadow of Narwyrm.

If you wish to be kept up-to-date about special events and new releases by Tom Fallwell, please visit and follow Tom’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and YouTube Channel.

 Building a Fantasy World 

As a Fantasy author and lover of epic many fantasy series, like The Lord of the Rings, and also a fan of role-play gaming, I’ve always had a fascination for world building. Building a fantasy world can involve very little, or quite a lot, depending on how you approach it and what you want to do with it. Deatails can be scarce, or intense.

In my gaming experience in the past, I only had to create enough of a world to deal with the adventure I was creating for my players. So I only needed a coastline, or a mountain range. Perhaps a desert or forest where all the action took place. In my first novel, Dragon Rising, I limited myself to a single Kingdom, and left references beyond its borders purposely vague and undetailed.

 When I began to think of my current series of novels, the Rangers of Laerean, I knew I wanted something far more rich in history, rich in lore and with great detail. I thought about many aspects of the world I wanted to create. The politics, the races, the creatures, the economy, and so much more. This involved a great deal of time and contemplation, and lengthy note-taking sessions.

 If we look at the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, which he called Middle Earth, we can see how deep the rich detail and history he put into that work went. It was more than just drawing a map. There are political systems, racial cultures, economic systems, and within that world are many kingdoms and creatures. He detailed not only those elements, but also how they all interacted with each other. Middle Earth is a massive undertaking, and my hat is off to Mr. Tolkien, for he not only did it, he did it with such fantastic and imaginative detail that his world now lives on today, in the minds of fantasy fans everywhere.

 This is the kind of world I wanted for the Rangers of Laerean, and I spent many hours writing down thoughts, drawing maps, and considering how the political and economical factors would come into play, as well as how each race would have their own culture and history, religions and politics. It is a lot to deal with, and in fact, is an ongoing process that I don’t think will ever truly end.

 Creating a section of a world takes less work, but to truly create an entire fantasy world is a huge undertaking and requires much work and enormous amounts of energy and imagination. So how do I do it? A very good question.

 I think the simplest way to begin such a monumental task is to just start. Where? That matters less than just getting the process going. Once I started, things become much less confusing and more focused. I began with a map. I mapped a continent, a large one, added mountains, forests, an inland sea, and many other features. I even added a desert and a swamp. Then, as I began naming these features, I started getting other ideas that would lead to elements of history and legends that I took notes on for my planned stories and for future stories.

 I created four races for my world, though I will likely add others later, from other continents, perhaps. What I have created is something about the size of North America, and the world is a much bigger place, so there is room to continue to grow. I added many common and some strange creatures, and yet, the continent I’ve created is so large, it’s quite possible there are areas where creatures and things that haven’t yet been discovered may be revealed in later stories.

 When it comes right down to it, I’m nowhere near finished creating the world I now have, and I will continue to add to it, modify it, and develop more lore and more history, which in turn helps define the present and the future. It’s still being developed, in the stories I write, and in the notes I write down for later. Constantly increasing in size and scope, and constantly evolving.

 I doubt it will ever reach a point that I can say, “It is done!” My only hope is, that in the far future, long after I am gone, that fantasy fans will know about the world I have created, and enjoy the stories I have placed within it, and say, “What a fantastic world he created!” Just as we do for past authors, like Tolkien, today. I believe Middle Earth was Tolkien’s dream world, and in the world I have created, my dreams can come true as well.

 

 Find out more about Tom on these social sites

Facebook: http://facebook.com/TomFallwellAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11303749.Tom_Fallwell

Website: http://tomfallwell.com

 

 Click on the image to get Tom’s books

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