(guest post on the CSFG Blog)
I didn’t start writing stories – at least, not with the serious intention of having them published – until the year I turned thirty. Prior to that I’d fiddled about with ideas and worlds, maps, creatures and characters, even plots and actual scenes without ever progressing so far as actually writing andfinishing a story. My world building and planning had become part of my procrastination, and remained that way for twelve or fifteen years.
I found my way out of it almost by accident, after a couple of writers separately made the suggestion to me that short stories are a good way to learn the craft of storytelling, because they’re of a more manageable size than novels, and you can write twelve of them, and explore twelve different plots, narrative styles, worlds and character sets, in the time it takes to write one novel.