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How to Write a Web Serial July 27th, 2021

With Worth the Candle concluded at a hefty 1.6 million words over four years, I can finally give some authoritative tips! I can’t promise that these tips will work for everyone, because writing follows some very individual processes, but I think they generalize well. If you want a more general post on the more business/audience/process ...

Post Mortem: Worth the Candle July 19th, 2021

As I write this, Worth the Candle isn’t quite done, but it’s got so little left to go that it might as well be finished. It’ll clock in at roughly 1.6 million words, having taken approximately four years to complete. This post mortem will give some broad thoughts on what went right, what went wrong, ...

Interesting Things to do with Time Loops July 11th, 2021

Time loops are a relatively established genre of fiction, and while Groundhog Day wasn’t the first, I think it lays down a lot of the foundation for the genre and demonstrates an essentially perfect form of the basic structure. Someone realizes that they wake up in the same time and place no matter what, and ...

The Problem With Writing Nazis April 14th, 2021

Nazis are a common punching bag, with good reason. If you need a bad guy, then the Nazis are easy to go for, because they’re so clearly reprehensible, and no one is going to get mad about it except the kind of people that you’d want to offend. All that I have no problem with. ...

AI Dungeon Completions: The Marriage Proposal January 09th, 2021

I’ve been playing around with AI Dungeon a little bit again, and got to what I thought was a rather funny scenario: a man, Duncan, returns from the war, and proposes to a princess. Everything before that isn’t terribly interesting, but the underpinning trope here is that someone answers a marriage proposal by revealing a ...

Substantial Differences Between Juniper and Myself September 19th, 2020

Some very mild spoilers for Worth the Candle follow. Also, a warning that I wrote this while in the mood for some introspection, and none of it is very interesting. Juniper is a self-insert, but a loose one, whose life is informed by my own, but not a direct copy. There are a few reasons that ...

Rational Fiction as Narrative Focus May 22nd, 2020

Preamble (you can skip this) /r/plotholes is one of my least favorite subreddits, mostly because there simply aren’t that many plotholes in popular films and books. What the sub gets filled with instead, as often pointed out by commenters there, are questions that seek explanation or clarification of the plot, or questions that point out things ...

Serial Writing, An FAQ May 22nd, 2020

What’s serial fiction? Serial fiction is any form of fiction that’s published serially, rather than all at once. Technically speaking, any long series of books is serial fiction, but here, it mostly means something that’s put out chapter-by-chapter, and usually written that way as well. This practice is seeing a resurgence in the web era, but actually ...

Narrativism vs. Simulationism January 10th, 2020

Definition: Simulationism In the simulationist approach to writing fiction, rules are defined and then outcomes are decided upon. These rules can be fundamental rules far removed from human/story scales (“there is no up quark”) to something that can be intuitively grasped and whose first order effects are somewhat obvious (“people die of an aneurysm when they ...

Thoughts on Adapting Worth the Candle for Tabletop RPGs, Part 3: Gold Magic, Revision Magic, Still Magic, Warding July 13th, 2019

Part 1 here, Part 2 here. Gold Magic I think this one is definitely the hardest of the magic systems to adapt, mostly because by its very design it’s entirely antithetical to tabletop design philosophy. That said, I don’t think it’s impossible, just difficult. A gold mage has tactile telekinesis, which grows in power the more gold they have ...

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