2020 Writing Log, Part Twenty

– I wrote and posted Chapter 38 of Malice. In this chapter, the person who was initially set up as the villain turns out to be not such a bad person, just someone who was forced to make an awful decision when he was younger and has had to spend the rest of his life trying to justify it to himself while dealing with the consequences. I’ve been gradually (and subtly, I hope) building to the reveal that there’s an actual antagonist in this story, and this chapter is where that reveal happens. I hope I was able to pull it off successfully.

– I edited Chapter 37 and posted it on FFN. According to the site’s statistics, this story has an ungodly number of hits, but I’m not sure what that means exactly, especially given that it has so few followers and reviews. If I had to guess, I would say that FFN still gets a lot of traffic even though actual fandom engagement has moved elsewhere.

– I also edited Chapter 2. I hope it’s not pretentious for me to say that this chapter feels much less dependent on tropes than I remember it being. I went ahead and edited Chapter 3 as well.

– I ended up writing about two thousand words of the story based on The Tale of Genji that I mentioned in the last writing log, but I decided not to submit it. I also decided not to write to the anthology editor to ask for a deadline extension. I realized that this piece has the potential to become something much more interesting if I give it more time to develop. I think it would be cool if there were a frame story in addition to the Heian period diary that contains the core of the narrative, and I also think it would be cool if the narrator of the frame story had my actual name and was in fact my actual self.

– I actually wouldn’t mind being a recurring character in my own fiction, come to think of it. If Stephen King can do it, and if Andrew Hussie can do it, then there’s no reason why I can’t do it too.

– I posted a review of a light novel called Overlord, which – to be super honest – sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. I still had a lot of fun reading and writing about the book, though.

– I really enjoyed working with Frankiesbugs on a comic about Ocarina of Time, which is posted on Tumblr. It’s so gratifying to meet someone who shares almost my exact taste in horror, namely, an appreciation of both classics and trash and the desire to pet, hug, and/or be bffs with the monsters. Basically, I love horror, but I don’t take it too seriously. So when I wrote a comic about all the spooky monsters in Ocarina of Time, but I also wanted them to be cute while at the same time making fun of Ganondorf, it was such an amazing realization that I could actually work with an extremely talented artist like Frankiesbugs instead of having to take three or four months to draw the art and try to make the joke work all by myself.

– I said earlier that I commissioned an artist to illustrate the climactic chapter at the end of the fourth story arc of Malice, and that the illustration would more than likely be amazing. That artist is my best and most excellent friend Krokodilov, who managed to create an actual living masterpiece when I wasn’t sending them rambling bits of speculation about the apocalypse via DM. This painting is so good that it makes me re-evaluate my relationship to art, and this artist is only getting better with every piece they create. Seeing something like this come into existence right in front of my own eyes has filled me with determination!

– I moved to Philadelphia and unpacked everything. Now that my desk is set up, I can get back to the illustrations I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.

– I did what I could to amplify voices speaking out against police brutality and support protestors within the Black community. And you can too!

I’m starting to be able to see what my life is going to look like now that I don’t have to spend seventy hours a week working for a horrible neoliberal institution, and the view isn’t bad. May we all be powerful and brave as we look forward to a better future!