Anyone just getting here, I’d like to beg you to read the serial before you read on.  I think it is a law of nature that reading anything an author writes about their work will make you like it less, so you’ll probably get more out of my story if you read it before hearing me out.

It feels very strange to finally write this post.  I started writing The Fifth Defiance in November, 2015.  I finished last week, so I spent approximately four and a half years on this.  It felt both shorter and longer.

I remember vividly how it all started.  I was surfing the internet, and somehow I ended up reading Worm.  I boggled at the whole concept.  It had somehow never occurred to me that you could just…do that.  You could write your own superhero story and put it on a website and people could read it.  There was no one to ask permission from, and if you screwed it up it wasn’t like the internet would run out of space.

All my excuses kind of went away.  There was nothing stopping me, so I googled up how to get a WordPress site, entered my credit card and within a week or two I was off and running.

After that it was simply a matter of posting updates, one after another, and the story wound along like a strange clock, characters appearing, speaking their brief pieces, and then vanishing back into the bin.  It’s genuinely, profoundly strange to see your mind exposed like that.  Dreams that would ordinarily flash past pressed to leave lasting impressions on some digital page.  Some concepts were ennobled by the experience, others got way cringier.

It was even an odd feeling to sit down to write this.  To know that this was it, I was finally going to make my last update, let TFD take on its last shape.  The time’s all blocked out to wrestle with thousands of words, but there’s no need.  This is just me and whatever audience the internet brings my way.

The last thing I wanted to do was thank y’all, so I should probably get on with that.

A huge thanks has to go out to the other web serial writers.  WB, most obviously.  It made me smile to finish up at the same time as the sequel to the thing that started my own work.  AW, EE, DSE, Sharker, all the others.  I’ve always struggled to keep to my own meager update schedule, and watching other people crush much rougher ones was nothing short of inspiring.

Podcasting?  For web fiction writers?  That’s a thing?  I love it.  Rationally Writing, Handsome Voices?  Thanks so much for putting your content out there.

Beyond that, there’s the commenters.  Both those who gave me support, and those who gave me the gears.  It all helped.  The site lets you know that people are visiting, but only discussion, commentary and feedback let me know that folks cared.  Talon, CC, Quae, BV, all the rest.  You rock.

But that’s all prelude.  The real people I have to thank are the great anonymous audience.  You, the ones reading this right now.  You were the purpose of all this, my goal all along.  If you enjoyed this, then I’ve succeeded.  If you didn’t, then, well, no harm no foul?

Force may rule the world, but it never ruled you.

10 thoughts on “Acknowledgements

  1. We’ve talked on Discord before, but just to close it out here, thank you very much for writing and posting this. Still one of the best web fics I’ve ever read, even if it had its rough points. And as you know, it was a point of inspiration for my own web novel, so thanks for that, too!

  2. Thank you for this excellent story! I enjoyed the way you set up the Gifts the characters had, and Haunter’s ability made her a great narrator. I do want to know what happened post-Defiance! …and that means it was time well spent. I wish you well Walter!

  3. I don’t want to say that I hate you, because I’ve been periodically returning to read your story for several years (since end of 2016?), but I can’t believe that you would end it with the cliffhanger size of the mountain. What did the jury choose? What did happen then?

    Good luck with your future endeavors you sadist (I read the last chapter day after release and I was really wondering, what would happen next0

  4. So, is that all? Haunter 12:3 is the end? No closure for any character at all, save the dead? I don’t doubt like Pilgrim. I hate you

  5. Now I have a little more time, I’d like to expand on my previous comment.

    Summary of The Fifth Defiance: “There are superhumans. The most powerful one is unbeatable and rules part of the world, we don’t know why she doesn’t rule it all. Power is all, yet hubris tends to be punished. We will follow five special Ultras, which reluctantly serve the Regime, have a lot of adventures against impossible odds, sometime triumph through wits or luck… only to be, in the end, completely irrelevant because the power in the shadow (not the one in charge) is a truly physical Goddess, unbeatable, immune to surprise or hubris, who suddenly ends the party because yes, she can. Oh, by the way, the author was too lazy to close any story, thread or character. If you like closure, pray your favorite character be dead”

    Really, ANY possible ending would have been better than this. Remover snuffs everybody. Prevailer rends the Earth apart in the process of childbirth. Everybody loses powers, nobody knows why. Worm crossover. Marvel crossover. Heck, *Spongebob* crossover. ANYTHING. You’ve gave me the worst “Epilogue? What Epilogue?” moment since… well, since Rowling, in fact.

    So… thanks you for the chapters up to “Fourth Fist: Cliffhanger”, I suppose. For my part, I will just assume you abandoned the writing there.

  6. Wait, that’s it?

    I’ve read this post before and didn’t realize you were saying the story is over. I was still checking back to read the next installment. I don’t think I seriously considered the possibility that you’d present six potentially interesting endgames and pick NONE of them, as well as leaving every other plot and worldbuilding thread dangling.

    I don’t “hate” you, exactly, as I don’t have any reason to think you wrote this whole thing just to troll us with a shaggy dog story. But I absolutely regret recommending this story to ~15 others while it was still a WIP.

    1. I’m sorry to have disappointed you. I have a tendency to think that things will be really cool and be very wrong about that. (Regime Quest!) I hope you got enough enjoyment from the earlier to stuff to pay you back for the rec.

  7. I’d seen you plug this on SSC a couple times, but didn’t look into it until recently.

    I’m glad I did. That was really great, Walter. Thanks.

  8. Found this through the SSC open thread and loved the story – couldn’t put it down in my free minutes (and other not free minutes WFH ;)) Thanks for writing this Walter – shame I didn’t get to accompany it while writing, would have loved that experience as well. Please keep it up and would love to see a sequel!

    PS: of course also quite disappointed with the open ending…

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