Where the Light Hasn’t Reached, a guest post by Neal Shusterman

I began writing – as many young writers do – with short stories. Recently, while excavating the strata of my garage, I came across a collection of my early stories and a huge file of rejection letters. I never actually published a short story until after I had several novels under my belt. Then I got to publish entire short story collections. Only one of my old stories made it into those collections. It was there as an example of how unpublishable my early writing was.

Every once in a while I get the opportunity to contribute new stories to anthologies such as Shaun David Hutchinson’s Violent Endsor Jonathan Maybery’s Scary Out There.

But my favorite anthologies are the ones where I get to play in my own sandbox!

World building is, in a sense, playing God. You get to reimagine creation—but with that reimagining comes so many loose threads, most of your time is spent weaving in those stray threads– molding and caressing the world into a tapestry that makes sense. The world might start small—just an idea—but as your story grows, so does the tapestry until you begin to sense there are places that the light hasn’t yet reached. Entire corners of creation that were too far off the path to explore. There might be distant places you’ve alluded to. Mysterious histories that you’ve hinted at. Secondary characters that deserve a life far richer than what they’ve been allowed.