Status Update: Autumn 2011

Hello and welcome to! If you’ve come here after meeting me at the DIY Days conference in Los Angeles, it’s great to see you!

Here’s what’s up with me right now:

For Hire

Creator Matthew Wayne SelznickThat’s the big news these days! For the last two years, I’ve been gainfully employed as an interactive marketing producer and writer for a small, award-winning Los Angeles agency. The regularity of incoming work when your clients are some of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world is surprisingly inconsistent, so I find myself laid off and available for freelance and contract work on a project to project or short- or long-term contract basis. What can I do for you? Check out my resume, learn more about my guiding ethics and standards, read some selected endorsements, explore my web hosting and WordPress services… and let’s talk!

The Sovereign Era: A Shared Storyworld

The Sovereign Era Storyworld from Matthew Wayne SelznickI bet you didn’t know how lucky you are for visiting today! This hasn’t been officially announced anywhere — in fact, you might say the whole project is in kind of a public alpha test at this stage — but let’s blow the roof off it anyway: I’ve opened my popular Sovereign Era universe (setting of the Parsec Award nominated, Amazon Top 100 book “Brave Men Run – A Novel of the Sovereign Era”) as a shared storyworld. As of yesterday, I’m accepting submissions for prose narratives (short stories, novelettes and novellas) that, if they are approved as canon, will be commercially released in a variety of media. Naturally, profits will be generously shared with creators. Learn more about The Sovereign Era storyworld, and come play in my sandbox!

Blog Series

I’m writing two blog series these days, both in line with my interest and passion in the development of storyworlds and modern mythology in the form of popular, and especially genre, fiction. Down the line, each series will be available in expanded form through a series of e-books, but for now, you can check them out right here:

Worldbuilding for Writers, Gamers and Other Creatives

Gundifai From SpaceIn this blog series, I explore how to design a realistic, science-based fictional Earth-like planet from the top down. I won’t sugar-coat it for you: there’s some math! Still, it’s all pretty easily tackled if you have a decent spreadsheet application. Together, we’re working our way from the appropriate star for your planet to orbit, to the duration and distance of that orbit, to the length of day, gravity, atmosphere… and eventually we’ll suss out continents and climate, ecology and biomes, culture, technology, language, fantasy subjects like magic, gods and monsters, and the like.

By the time Worldbuilding for Writers, Gamers and Other Creatives is complete, I’ll have a comprehensive “subcreation” resource available for anyone interested in making sure their storyworld settings are internally consistent and carry the ring of truth. Check out Worldbuilding for Writers, Gamers and Other Creatives and please let me know what you think!

Reading The Amazing Spider-Man

Since 1963, issue after issue, Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man has built a modern mythology with deeply rich, complex characters and story arcs. I wondered — what could we learn, what example could we study, if I attacked a critical review of every issue from number one through number five hundred?

That’s Reading The Amazing Spider-Man… a look at one of the most enduring American story franchises from the perspective of a storyteller. Every issue has lessons for us… and I have to admit, it’s just a heck of a lot of fun to re-visit these wonderful stories. Try Reading The Amazing Spider-Man with me!

Enough About Me – How About You?

That’s what’s up in my world — now, I want to know what you’re up to and what you’re about. Whether we just met at DIY Days or you’re a regular reader with something to hype, I want you to spill the beans, toot the horns and lay it all out for me (and my readers and followers) in the comments. Don’t be bashful! Let’s get to know each other… maybe before long we’ll be making something together.


  1. Hey Matthew,

    I’ll start the conversation by saying I’m a fan of your book, Brave Men Run, (Book One in the Sovereign Era) and think there is a lot of story opportunities there. I’ll keep that in mind. Right now I’m working on a couple story worlds of my own, one a science fiction where virtual reality internet has shaped a space power, and the other is a zombie mythos based off of Hebrew burial mounds and deals with the dead.

    I like what you’re doing with the Spider Man read through, and the worldbuilding, but I’ll be honest in that I haven’t kept up with all the posts. I’m most interested in your worldbuilding series because I need to flush out how my VR internet would work in practical society, especially as a means of technological growth, but I don’t know how important it is that I figure out the math of planet and star locations. Right now, that sort of thing is a little overwhelming, and not necessarily critical to figure out at this stage in my story.

    I’m not sure how much conversation this evokes, but these are my thoughts in relation to what you’re doing. I think you’ve got a good thing going on this site and hopefully I’ll take a closer look at your worldbuilding series to see if I’m able to participate. No, you know what, take that “hopefully” out of that last sentence. I’m going to save your posts and work on them this week. How’s that? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll see you around with my thoughts. Wish you the best, Matthew! Keep those creative juices flowing.

    • Thanks for the comments, Tim! I appreciate that the Worldbuilding for Writers, Gamers and Other Creatives might not fit your worldbuilding needs right now. If you’re building a world where the details of the planet don’t matter to your story (or the planet is Earth) then instructions on how to build a realistic Earth-like planet aren’t relevant to you. The series isn’t intended to provide solutions to specific story questions, but to create a toolkit. Stay tuned, though — I’m betting that as we get into more social / technological issues of worldbuilding you’ll get more use from the series.

      I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing “supplemental” installments of Worldbuilding for Writers, Gamers and Other Creatives that would have a less instructional and more conversational tone, too, so that “softer” issues and questions can be addressed. Would that be of value to you?

      • I looked over your posts and realized that with Nanowrimo the next day, I needed to work on something more pertinent. However, I would like to do something like this someday. I’m not sure how easy it would be without experience in that kind of math, but I’m sure you’d help.

        A softer, conversational piece would be helpful. Maybe something like how real your world has to be to be science fiction and if the standard of our day requires more specific science to pass the litmus test. Or questions that could be helpful to entertain for creating story out of world building.

        • Hi Tim,

          Ah yes, Nanowrimo. I love it for the once-yearly boost of ambition it provides for so many. It’s not for me, though. If I’m going to write 50,000 words on a single project in a single month, someone had better be paying me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Look for more conversational elements in Worldbuilding for Writers, Gamers and Other Creatives down the line and in a different form. And again, I might find a reason to do “sidebar” installments if there’s enough demand.


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