Rolling Interview : 3

Question for Author:

Whatever happened to Dale’s manager from his introductory story?


Blair bailed out when he was tapped to join Fourth Fist.  She wasn’t interested in working alongside the sort of people that the Regime would Link.

I always struggle between two contradictory impulses.  The first is basically myself-as-reader, wanting to learn absolutely every detail of anything that is going on.  This wins most of the time, leading to the occasional update which is just everyone standing around justifying whatever they are currently doing.  The other is the urge to move the story, which wins more rarely.

Leaving out how everyone got from the end of their first individual stories to meeting for the first time was a rare victory for the latter impulse. but it did have the cost of losing a bit of information.

Question for Author:

Is there anything that you wish you’d done differently?


The thing that I get, by a wide margin, the most complaints about is the ABAB nature of my updates.  That is, the way it goes story, supplement, story, supplement and so on.  A lot of people feel that the Sunday supplements take them out of the overall flow of the story.

I didn’t see that coming at all.  I wanted to update more than once a week, but I knew that I couldn’t possibly pull off 2 story updates.  The short Sunday updates were supposed to be a compromise, a way to get 2 updates without having to do 2 updates worth of work.

I’m not sure how I’d do it differently.  I felt like a bunch of the early Sunday updates were delivering important exposition.  I guess I’d try to figure out a way to get that into the main story.  It would have been difficult, but going by reader input, perhaps worth it.

Question for Author:

Was there any particular inspiration for this story?


Yeah, definitely.  A buddy of mine recommended Worm to be, way back in the day, and I was just astonished.  The idea that you could just write your own superhero story and put it on a website was amazing to me.  Then I was like “why am I not doing that?”, and I decided to do it.

For the longest time I felt like there was going to be another shoe dropping.  Like, some authority figure would appear and scold me for writing words onto the internet, but it turns out they let anybody in here.

The story itself takes inspiration from my overall skepticism regarding mainstream comic books.  I always thought that the fact that the best people got the best powers was really convenient, and I’d always thought that it might be interesting to have some stories that were set up differently.

Question for Author:

How much of The Fifth Defiance is improvised versus planned out ahead of time?


The overall story was blocked out from the beginning, but I have added a lot of minor twists and character arcs as ideas struck me.

Question for Author:

Why don’t you set up a Patreon or similar?


I looked at the Patreons from the other stories that share my space at the bottom of the TWF ladder, and the amount that they take in is basically equivalent to how much I pay out every month to other web serials / web comics that I like.  It feels like if I set one up then the money folks would be sending me would just be paid out again, with Patreon taking its cut twice.

I basically thought, why bother?  I’m not good enough to make a living at this, and anything short of that feels like it is too much trouble.  I am doing ok, financially, so I figure the money ought to go to the people out there trying to make content creation their real job.

3 thoughts on “Rolling Interview : 3

  1. (Lol I had this tab open for 10 days and forgot to post this earlier…)

    Re: Blair — so she encouraged him to join the 4th Fist and then just left? My first thought is that’s kind of weird… but re-reading Indulger’s first arc, I guess that they were thrown together kind of by happenstance. Maybe Blair saw it as a temporary, working partnership and was mostly concerned with getting home over sticking with him.

    I think the ABAB structure works pretty well when binge-reading archives (although I can’t say whether my opinion is representative of course). Most comments are probably from people reading the updates in real-time, so the comments might give the impression that it’s worse

    One mild critique I have of the format though is that over time the B sections have gotten less interesting… or maybe just less well integrated with the story? Like early on we have KEM reports or the Ultra Fight bill, that clearly exist as documents in the story. More recently some of them have lacked that (Death’s Reserve… which we already discussed to death*). A lot of the Union communiques (e.g. Contact Guidelines) pretty much just state the facts without any sort of framing. “Dearest Isis” feels overly mysterious… hmm, I’m not sure if there is one critique here that describes all my (very minor) concerns. For now I’ll just note that I don’t like the newer B sections as much as the early story ones, and I will reread, pay attention to further ones, and try synthesize this into a more constructive critique in the future!

    *Or maybe not, but the pun called to me! 😛

    1. Haha, I hear you about the B interludes. It was very easy to create them early on in the story, since I had so much information that I wanted to share with everyone.

      As the story went on, however, you found out more and more, and there was less and less to put into the interludes.

      The hardest part comes when I miss a story update. I can’t continue on with the planned interludes, because those would now spoil the main story, but I feel like having no updates in a week isn’t cool, so you sometimes get a ‘filler’ update, one that sheds light on something that isn’t super important to the main story.

      The answer is clearly to stop missing main story updates! Definitely not going to do that anymore. Yup. Yup.

  2. Personally, the ABAB format with the supplements is part of what I love about the story, but I can see how it would be frustrating for most readers, particularly those week to week followers, as Q mentioned. I’ve been binge reading, of course, so maybe it’s not as egregious in my experience.

    That said they do seem a bit more scattershot than they used to, but I’m still liking them.

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