State of the Author, January 2021

Hey all,

Alright, it’s been a few months since my last update, and I just wanted to say again, thank you all for your patience and your support as I worked through a few various side projects and miscellaneous ideas, as I tried to figure out what in the hell I wanted to do next. First, some good news: I have a new story up over on Patreon, which I’ll post over here next week once. It’s a sign that things are finally rolling for me, and I’m confident that I have a good idea of where I’m looking to go next, so here’s a little on where my head is at, what I’m going to be working on for the next while, and some other little things.

2020 was rough. Looking back on what I managed to get done, I don’t really know when or how it happened. Ruts are difficult, and when you’re in one, especially when you’ve been writing this stuff for as long as I have, it becomes very difficult to try and figure out how to force yourself out of it. I don’t know if I would characterize what I was pushing through for the last few months as a rut, but it’s similar. 

Part of the issue for me, is that I’ve been really wanting to devote myself to something longer and more robust than the short fiction and captions I’ve been putting out lately, but at the same time, I know that short content is popular. That said, each time I tried to sit down and conceptualize a “novel” it never seemed to pop out like that. It would come out as an RPG, or as a twine story, but as I pushed down those avenues, those didn’t really fit right either and were leaving me frustrated as well. 

There were a few things that lit a couple of lightbulbs for me this year. One of those was the story “Precinct 17”, which did a lot to expand some of the Pigtown lore, and felt like it was part of something much larger than just a little story. I starting poking at it, thinking on ways to expand it, but none of the stories really felt like they were coming together. At the same time, I’ve been kicking around a lot of ideas for some more City of Bears content, but in all honesty, CoB requires a level of optimism and joy that I’m finding in short supply right now. This is a time for Pigtown. Another light bulb that went off was the “Frat Daddy,” interactive I did over the summer, which succeeded in feeling more like an actual interactive story, than a TF simulator. I liked how open ended it felt, that it wasn’t necessarily interested in driving towards an obvious conclusion, but merely opening up possibilities. If one storyline closed, another couple seemed to pop up behind it to be developed. I liked the serial nature of it, and it reminded me of years ago, when I used to put out smaller entries of stories on a regular basis. There were always problems with that model, of course, but I also miss it. 

The last few months I’ve just been kicking all of this around, seeing what it felt like, and what it didn’t feel like. What I felt like making, most of all. What felt like something I could put out into this current world that might make a little bit of sense to me. I managed some other projects along the while, a good chunk of captions over November, a series of Christmas tales in December. Around New Year’s I started sketching something out, it felt right, I’ve been enjoying writing it, and I’m happy to announce that for the next while, I’m going to be working on something I’ll be calling “The Pigtown Chronicles” for now. It’s a long form serial in the Pigtown setting, and I’ll be posting entries three days a week for now, with more or less depending on how my buffer is looking.

As always, patrons are going to get early access to entries. I’ll probably run early access at least a week ahead, but might push it to two weeks. In the future, once I get the serial up and running and readers get a feel for it, I’ll be soliciting ideas and requests from the upper tiers, and using that input to shape characters and storylines as the serial progresses, and possibly offering commissions for specific content, if people are interested in that, but all of these plans are mostly tentative. More important to me, is delivering something regularly that I feel like I can commit to, and that you all will find enjoyable. 

A serial presents some additional challenges, making it a bit harder for folks to pick up in the middle of the series, especially as the story develops. As someone who reads a lot of webcomics, I am well aware of how confusing it can be to drop into the middle of a substantial story arc with no idea of what’s going on, having to go back in the archive and start from the beginning. So, I’ll be collecting and organizing the individual entries for patrons as downloadable files as I finish sets of them, so people who join late have an easy way of downloading and catching up. 

For now, starting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting the first entries over on Patreon, and I’ll follow up by posting them here a week later. I have a feeling you all will probably enjoy it. For the first few weeks, I’m going to give patrons at all tier levels early access to the series, but once we’re through the introduction, I’ll go back to giving early access to folks at the $5 level and up. If you’ve been waiting for a good time to join my Patreon, this might be it! You can find out more here.

And of course, thanks as always for reading, and for your patience.

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