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Worm: The best supervillain web serial that you aren't not reading yet.

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Wildbow

Retired User
In 'On Writing', Stephen King says that he strives to write 2k words a day.

Thanks for your thoughts, by the way. Appreciate the compliments you seeded in there, and the recognition. I don't know how to expand on that without sounding arrogant or something, so I'll stop there.

I hold to the notion that it's easier to slack off when you're already slacking off, and the opposite is true. It's easier to work harder when you're already working hard. I think that's why people like Donald Trump thrive. They hit the ground running in the morning and they work until they go to sleep. And if a crisis comes up, they find a way to condense that 16 hour day into a 14 hour day, and work with those two hours.

And the thing is, when you really get going, it changes how you think. For me, I'm in the shower, turning story ideas over in my head. Walking the dog, I'm debating options, contemplating possible events. I ride the bus and I'm either writing in my notebook or replaying conversations in my head. Emptying the dishwasher, I'm visualizing fight scenes. In the quiet moments during painting jobs, installing flooring or tearing up carpets, I could be filing away the good tidbits or stray thoughts I want to keep or use. And all the while, I'm weighing everything against the core pillars of both setting and story. I have to, because I know that I've got a deadline coming up and I'll be dead in the water if I don't.

It's not quite so bad or as intense as it sounds. I can and do find moments to turn off my brain, but even then, I consider it constructive. To write, you need to read, so you're unconsciously drawing in the essence and mechanics of others' work. Even watching a good TV show or anime or reading a comic is a way to turn my brain off while still drawing in more fodder and/or sources of inspiration (in a roundabout way).

But all this stray thinking does mean I can sit down to write on a day off (I try to arrange things so I have such) and I generally have a strong idea of:
  • How the chapter begins.
  • One or two good scenes or lines I want to insert
  • How the chapter ends.
and it's just a question of bridging the gap. I know I'm pretty good at writing that flows naturally, and I try to employ that. Writing conflict and tension comes with the practice. Getting into the main character's head? I spend enough time there that it's not a problem.

If I were writing 500 words a week, I think I'd find it harder to write Worm.
 
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Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
No comment on Lung.
Well, that's not ominous at all.

In regards to the list:
Already done Armsmaster and Defiant.
Already done Legend.
Victor is possible, but no strong ideas.
Accord is possible.
Parian is very possible.
The Teeth... Probably not.
The Fallen... probably not.
Taylor's Dad, already done.
Major Cape from elsewhere, possible. Been considering touching on Asia, but I think I may put that off for an Arc or two.
Doctor Mother is possible, but I may save it for later, with the possibility of more involvement with Cauldron.
Oh, do you have a one Interlude/character policy? I didn't know that.

Also, I don't remember the interlude with Taylor's dad. Could someone refresh my memory?

That reminds me...if you could include character names in the Table Of Contents entries for the Interludes, that'd be great. It would make it much easier to find specific chapters.

Um... I thought the existence of the Dragon Suit AIs indicated Dragon's programming had definitely been altered, since "creating offspring" was one of the things forbidden to her (...wow, that relationship IS serious - they've already had seven kids together! ;) ).

Maybe he hasn't removed ALL the restrictions, but I think he's made headway.
She killed Manton, didn't she?

That she was able to kill means that she's been pretty significantly altered.

I'd be curious how his success in creating that kind of volume of high quality writing compares to "prolific authors" like Steven King or Jim Butcher. Meaning, how many words-per-year do those writers get out and is there really that large of a gap (or even any gap at all) between the "publishable quality" of their prose and the quality that we see two to three times a week with Worm?
Worm is noticeably less polished than one of Jim Butcher's books. But it's nothing that a decent editor couldn't fix. And I like the ideas and the characters in Worm better than the ones in Butcher's work, so I like Worm at least as much as I like the Dresden Files.
 

Wildbow

Retired User
Character names for interludes in the ToC could be spoiler-ish.

Taylor's dad was Interlude 1.

Dragon's allowed to kill, but only targets of a certain priority/threat level.
 

Lost Demiurge

4th level Cosmic Monarch
Validated User
Well, the Undersiders do need a Tinker...
::Blink Blink:: I don't normally fangirl squeal. But when I do it's to ideas like this! Stay reading, my friends...

@Wildbow: Hey, glad to hear someone else took "On Writing" to heart! That book was probably the turnaround for me. It improved my own skills immeasureably, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted to seriously write. King knows how it goes, and it's good to see another author I respect giving it props.
 

Wildbow

Retired User
@Wildbow: Hey, glad to hear someone else took "On Writing" to heart! That book was probably the turnaround for me. It improved my own skills immeasureably, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted to seriously write. King knows how it goes, and it's good to see another author I respect giving it props.
I think On Writing is, in a way, the best companion to Strunk and White's Elements of Style.

I don't agree with it all (I have one writer in my circle who's a little too attached to 'said', which King is, too) but it was a sound & valuable read.
 

Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
Character names could be spoilers, but they usually won't be. You can blank out the few that would be, or you can use pseudonyms.

If you want, I can come up with a non-spoiler-errific list of Interlude names for you.
 

Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
Okay. Here's a spoiler free list. I left a few spots blank because they're a little tricky; I'll discuss those in a moment.

1. Danny
2. Glory Girl
3.
4. Kayden
4. Brutus
5. Gregor The Snail
6. Paige
7. Hana
8. Sarah Livsey
8. Coil
9.
10. Dragon
10. Regent
11.
12. Jack
12. Jamie
13. Imp
13. Piggot
14. Sierra
14. Legend
15. Carol
15.
15. Rebecca
15.
16. Lady
16. Defiant
16. Marquis
17. Francis Krouse
18. Kevin Norton
18. Justin
18. Jessica Yamada
18. Dr. Jeremy Foster
18.
19. Rey
19. XxVoid CowboyxX
19. Emma

So, there are two main kinds of spoiler to avoid here. The first is revealing that the character in question survived to the point of the Interlude. The second is revealing who the Interlude is about before the reader is supposed to know that.

Where possible, I've used names that were introduced in the Interlude to avoid that.

So. Problematic Interludes:

3. Not really worried about spoilers for this one, but I just read it and I'm not sure exactly who the viewpoint character is. It seems to focus on the young heroes in general. Maybe just call it Wards.

9. Again, I think it might be best to call these all by the collective name of Wards. You don't want to spoil the arrivals and the deaths. You could get around this to some extend by using real names like Dennis and Missy, but that has its own problems.

11. A collective name like Candidates might be best here. Otherwise you might reveal the identities of the prospective Niners. On the other hand, there are two Interludes from people who aren't actually candidates. So maybe that's enough obfuscation.

15. (Donation #2) Might be best left nameless. Using a name reveals that Brian makes it through his ordeal with the Nine. And Brian doesn't get a new name in this chapter.

15. (Non-bonus) Is in a similar boat. I would leave these blank, but you could also use surnames.

18. Dunno about this one. It contains the first mention of Echidna, so if you used that name it wouldn't be too spoilery. But it's really about Noelle, and I get the impression that Noelle and Echidna are separate characters.

PS: In 15.8, the word "thugs" is capitalized for no clear reason. You might want to fix that.
 

Alathon

4d6+27
Is there intended to be a lot of learned helplessness going on among the government/military and unpowered people in general? Looking back, it really strikes me as odd just how badly the authorities handled the Merchants. There are parts of the US that are poorly managed enough that I could see things completely breaking down (see: the South, Hurricane Katrina), but Brockton Bay is supposed to be situated in New England, or at least that's how I read the 'Wards East-Northeast' bit. It's a part of the country with strong expectation of competent governance, and the National Guard alone should have sufficed to control that sort of situation.

Also, people arming themselves with knives/clubs is strange. Guns are the go-to weapon for self defense in the U.S. and there's no lack of access to them. If there's supposed to have been pressure against gun ownership from capes, I'm not sure how that could have played out without a pogrom in the U.S. There's a good chunk of this country that would start shooting capes if they so much as breathed a word about disarmament.

Edit: also, thirded on a Parian chapter!
 
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Lost Demiurge

4th level Cosmic Monarch
Validated User
Also, people arming themselves with knives/clubs is strange. Guns are the go-to weapon for self defense in the U.S. and there's no lack of access to them. If there's supposed to have been pressure against gun ownership from capes, I'm not sure how that could have played out without a pogrom in the U.S. There's a good chunk of this country that would start shooting capes if they so much as breathed a word about disarmament.
Not entirely. East coast's a bit stricter with gun laws than most of the rest of the country. And remember, this version of earth has developed a bit differently.

Look at it from this perspective... If the problem is capes, then a gun isn't a good solution. If it doesn't work on a cape, then you've just made them mad, or prioritized yourself as a target because you've shown you're willing to use lethal force, or risk missing and doing collateral. If it DOES work... Well, congrats. You're now a cape-killer. You just broke the unwritten rules, HARD. What happens when the dead cape's bulletproof buddies track you down? What happens when... Holy crap, I just had an idea for a character. A Punisher-type vigilante might actually fit pretty well in this universe.

Hm, time to go read over the donation rules...
 
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