The Complete Picture Part 2: The Gaming Years

In the previous post, I discussed the last nine years of my short story submissions and presented data about the number of submissions, rejections, and so on. A friend of mine (Hi, Jared), however, wondered about the overlap between my short story submissions and my previous career in the gaming industry. It’s an interesting question because between 2012 and 2016 I was publishing in both the gaming industry and the broader speculative fiction market. So, I thought it might be fun to take a look at those years and see what they tell us.

First, lets look at where I published during these years.

Privateer RPG Other Total
2012 31 2 0 33
2013 12 2 0 14
2014 13 0 4 17
2015 10 0 4 14
2016 9 0 9 18

You can see the number of writing credits I had during these years, but let me elaborate on what each category means.

  • Privateer: Between the years of 2010 and 2015, I worked for a tabletop gaming company called Privateer Press. From 2010 to 2013, I was the editor-in-chief of their inhouse magazine No Quarter, and from 2013 to 2015, I was the publications manager, overseeing both No Quarter and the inhouse fiction line. Though I formally left the company in 2015, I did some consulting work for them in 2016, so I’ve included that year as well. The material published under this header would be articles for No Quarter, rules material for various gaming supplements, and narrative fiction set in the Iron Kingdoms. You can see my writing credits drop off as my editing duties grew in my new position.
  • RPG: This is material I wrote as a freelancer for other gaming companies, primarily Wizards of the Coast. This work was drying up in 2012 for a variety of reasons, and it disappeared completely after 2013.
  • Other: These are the flash fiction and short stories I wrote and submitted to outside speculative markets. I didn’t really get serious about it until 2014, and after that it became a big part of my writing endeavors.

Clearly, 2012 was a busy year, and I can’t even recall why. The following table might shed some light on that, though, as it reveals the types of projects I was writing.

Gaming Flash Short Novella Novel
2012 28 0 2 3 0
2013 8 0 5 0 1
2014 5 2 9 1 0
2015 4 3 4 3 0
2016 4 5 8 0 1

Like the previous chart, I’ll give you some definitions.

  • Gaming: This is material, usually articles for No Quarter magazine, that focused on the gaming world of the Iron kingdoms, the primary setting for Privateer Press. Most of these articles ranged in length between 3,000 and 5,000 words. Many of them definitely had a more fiction-like tone, but they’re still not true narrative fiction. Once I handed over the reins of No Quarter to a new editor, I wrote far less of this type of thing. A few projects under this heading are adventures and articles for Dungeons & Dragons published by Wizards of the Coast.
  • Flash: Flash fiction, stories under 1,000 words. You don’t see these show up until 2014, when I started to submit such stories to speculative fiction markets.
  • Short: Short stories. Some of this is narrative fiction set in the Iron Kingdoms, but after 2014, they’re also pieces submitted to and published by various speculative fiction markets.
  • Novellas/Novels: During this time, these longer works were all narrative fiction set in the Iron Kingdoms and published by Privateer Press.

The number of strictly gaming-related articles I was writing dropped off sharply after 2012, and after that I primarily wrote fiction for Privateer Press. Additionally, those fiction pieces became longer and longer as time went on. The novel in 2016 was my first full-length novel written as a freelance contractor for Privateer Press. Two more would follow in 2017 and 2019.

Those were certainly busy years, and I’ll admit I frequently miss them (and the people I worked with). Opportunities have arisen over the last five years to write more gaming-related material, and while I’ve taken a few of them, my focus now is my own writing. I can tell you that the years I spent with Privateer Press (and with Goodman Games before that) taught me a lot about writing, editing, and publishing, all of which has given me a firm understanding of how publishing works, from the nuts and bolts of putting a book together to marketing said book. I’m very grateful to have had those opportunities.

Obviously, I have not included the years before 2012 when I worked solely in the gaming industry. I think the overlap of what I did then and what I do now is more interesting. That said, my gaming career could be the subject of future posts.

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