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.