The Death and Rebirth of The Points Between

Submitted by C B Wright on

Once upon a time I was happily writing a serial called The Points Between. It was a story I was incredibly passionate about telling -- a story that was viscerally important to me, even though it was way out of my comfort zone and far, far above my level of expertise -- and I'd actually finished an entire arc, and had started on the second arc, when a bunch of inconvenient things happened. The result of these inconvenient things was that the story has remained dormant for years: not dead, because it's never a story I've given up on, but dormant. I needed to make some decisions, and I didn't know what decisions I wanted to make.

I've made those decisions, and am in the process of moving forward. This is the story of that interminable process, and what came out of it.

The Points Between is, in my head, a story with three arcs. The first arc, where Matthew discovered he was a magician, was finished. The second arc, where he had to discover what that meant, was getting started. The third arc, where he had to choose how to use what he knew, was being set up. I was generally pleased with most of what I'd written, but there were a few things I'd done that had bothered me:

A Worthy Kickstarter: Mostly Wordless

Submitted by C B Wright on

You probably already know what Kickstarter is so I'm not going to bother with that intro. I'll get to the point: I'm supporting a Kickstarter called Mostly Wordless and I want to plug it here.

Why? Because if it's funded my daughter gets a cool picture book.

Here's Jed's video summarizing the project:

Jed does great work--you can see samples of it on his Kickstarter page if you're curious--and I'm pretty sure my daughter will enjoy the finished product. If you have a son or daughter who might also enjoy this work (or a cousin, or niece, or nephew, or even your own inner Peter Pan) please consider contributing.

Mostly Wordless: A Picture Book for Everyone

A Somewhat Unorthodox Birthday Request

Submitted by C B Wright on

July 2, 2013: I am 42 years old. For the record, that means that for an entire year I get to be the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. I’m looking forward to that. When I turn 43 it means I will have moved beyond the question which is also kind of cool, but for now I’m going to revel in my Douglas Adams-inspired cosmic awesomeness.

This year I actually have something of a birthday request to you, my readers. It doesn’t involve spending money (though if you’re inclined to go out and buy my books, hey, that’d be awesome) but—if you’re so inclined—it does involve spending a little time. In short: if you’ve read either Pay Me, Bug! or Curveball, and if you’ve enjoyed reading them, would you consider posting a review somewhere?

Happy Birthday Schlock Mercenary

Submitted by C B Wright on

Today on Twitter Howard Tayler announced that Schlock Mercenary had turned 13:

Schlock Mercenary is one of my favorite webcomics, and Howard is a pretty cool guy. Congratulations Howard!

An Experiment in Present Tense: The Points Between Chapter One

Submitted by C B Wright on

The Points Between is on hiatus until July (and hasn't updated since last November) but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything with it. I actually have part of Chapter 26 written (just not all of it) and, since it is a story that is radically different from anything I've ever tried to write before, I spend an awful lot of time brooding over it and tinkering on it. I often wonder how I will rewrite it, when the time comes.

Enter Curveball. This prose comic is very different in style and tone than TPB, but it is also similar in one respect -- I've never written anything quite like it before. In Curveball's case the difference is that I'm writing it in the present tense, something that, at one point in my life, I swore I would never do.

I swore I would never do it because the first time I read a story written in present tense I hated it. It took effort and it made me tired when I was finished. For a long time I assumed it was because the tense made the setting of the story too immediate and artificial. Now I think it may have been the author didn't use it correctly, because I've read other stories where it worked quite well (Howard Tayler's short in Space Eldritch is a good example of present tense done well.)

I don't know if I'm using it well in Curveball or not, but it feels right. And I notice that as I'm writing in present tense (which feels incredibly difficult to me, still) I'm forced to think about the story differently and it occasionally leads me to write in ways I wouldn't have considered before. Which is neat.

So a few months ago, as an exercise in "trying to look at old material in a new way," I decided to take the prologue and first chapter of TPB and re-write it in present tense, to see if it helped me look at the story in any differently, to see if it changed the tone of the story, for better or for ill... and mostly just to see what would happen. The results were interesting to me--the result feels different from the original, and in the process of writing it I wound up adding hints of things that weren't touched on in the story till later. I printed out a hard copy to edit and then promptly forgot about the whole thing...

... until this weekend when I found the hard copy as I was sorting through stuff to pack or throw away. The soft copy was still sitting on my hard drive. I still think it's interesting. And since I don't have a lot else planned for the site this week, I figured I'd post it. So if you're curious to see what the opening of The Points Between looks like when told in present tense, it's right here, under the cut.

Yesterday Help Desk turned Seventeen

Submitted by C B Wright on

Not an April Fool's joke (I don't really do those too much). Just an observation that as of yesterday Help Desk has been in publication for seventeen years. I should probably put an asterisk next to '98 but I won't. So there!

Anyway. That's a pretty long run on the Internet and I'm pleased I managed to hang in there. There were definitely moments I considered walking away from it all.

Let's see if I can make to twenty!