New! Wandering Fortunes Chapter 26: Sea Spectrum

The newest Wandering Fortunes chapter is up! We’re all on a boat! Boat adventures! We’re going fishing, and it’s going to be great, and we’re definitely not going to get eaten by a sea monster!

Also, Ropak struggles with guilt.

This month has been weird. There hasn’t been a new Odemon (and this chapter is a day late) because my laptop has been sent for repairs. I hope to have it this week but Best Buy actually has it repaired right now and it’s just apparently taking them a whole week to run diagnostics and sheesh.

Also I’d mentioned a comic for June but that’s late too, but it’s going to release this weekend.

New! Wandering Fortunes Chapter 25: Top Chef

Top is a chef in the new Wandering Fortunes chapter! Top had some plans earlier, and now those plans come to fruition… or should I say, pizzaion? No because I don’t even know how to pronounce that.

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 25: Top Chef

Top’s opened up T’s own restaurant, and though business is slow, when T gets a customer things just might blow up in T’s face if T isn’t careful! Will Top’s friends make sure Top’s new restaurant doesn’t get closed down?

By the way I’m experimenting with using pronouns based on people’s names, *name*ly just using the first letter of their name. I dunno how it’ll go but it’s gotta be better than forcing discussions about gender…

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 24 is up!

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 24: I Love a Parade!

Wait. There’s a love plot?

If you want to see where this is going sooner than next month, you can take a look at my Patreon! Patrons can see chapters a month early, as well as extra regular updates. You can also give to my Ko-fi for an early chapter or a signed copy of a book!

April Fool’s!

I mean obviously it was April Fool’s day, I wasn’t really going to start writing horror, I’d done this before, but still, it was interesting writing in the horror genre for this story!

A bit of backstory on it: I’d originally thought of the idea of having a Slenderman-type character be elected president back when I’d watched Marble Hornets (years ago before it’d been even close to finishing) because the idea of a tall, thin, gaunt fellow in a suit just kind of… made me think of Abraham Lincoln? The honesty part reflects that. But when I started researching Slenderman I discovered that the original mythos for it suggested that Slenderman captured large groups of children, forcing towns to give them up, and I went

wait a minute

There was something in the news not too long ago about children being forcibly removed from their families, WASN’T THERE???

So it ended up having more related to current events than I’d originally planned. But when pieces fall into place I’m not gonna take them out.

Anyway, the main character is trans.

I’ve decided to change genres. A new story is enclosed.

I know it’s a bit sudden, but I’ve grown weary of the humor. I think it’s time for a change. I know it’s the middle of a story, but I’ve written a new one for this, as I am going to start writing horror stories now. Also, maybe political ones, I’m not sure yet. Let me know what you think.

New Species Profile up for Kanhase

Introduced in the most recent chapter, kanhases can be found all throughout Derantu but vary widely throughout. Check out the profile! And check out the new Pokemon Moon comic coming sometime within the next week unless I forget but I definitely won’t.

(A new profile will be going up soon early for Patreon backers, but because the middle of the month snuck up on me I… haven’t written it yet. I need to get on that.)

Now up, Wandering Fortunes Chapter 23: Friends Don’t Let Friends Rot in a Basement

The new chapter of Wandering Fortunes is up! A new forest! New friends! New eats! Fashion? And something only seen before in previous novels. Chapter 23: Friends Don’t Let Friends Rot in a Basement features Top and his friends meeting some new friends in the Salenth Kingdom, and in the process help a new friend make something of their life. It also features a song by Top!

You can read the next chapter early if you give or pledge to my Patreon or Ko-fi; a $3 pledge or a single coffee, will let you read it early. You can also get other things like weekly updates on my Patreon, or special books through Ko-fi. Check them out!

New Wandering Fortunes Chapter 22: The Pearl Kingdom

About a year and a half ago our protagonist friends arrived at New Zhopolis, and discovered a seedy hive of wretched folk out for no one but themselves. (A few months later they found some good folk though.) Now we’re now and they’ve arrived at a new kingdom on a new planet. What will they find at their new home? It’s as big as New Zhopolis, but warmer, shinier, more colorful–but is it nicer? Join them as they explore their new home in Chapter 22: The Pearl Kingdom.

If you want to read the next chapter in a hurry, they go up a month early on my Patreon, which also has weekly updates of what I’m currently working on and other behind-the-scenes odds and ends for people who give monthly pledges. You can also give a single donation at my Ko-fi and get the next chapter early.

Technology in Stories

As TV Tropes has an entire page about, cell phones are still hard to work into stories for some reason. Maybe we’re all still used to them being part of the future, like in sci-fi TV shows and such. One of my favorite books about writing, How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman, makes mention of this–in the past nobody had cell phones, and there are lots of stories from back then that would be totally different with cell phones. If you’re writing in an era that has them though, you at least need to remain aware that at least someone probably has one–unless you’re dealing with my dad in which case he might’ve forgotten or intentionally left it at home. Or you’re dealing with me, who hates all phones and refuses to have one. But I still have a tablet, and I’m at least gonna email somebody, even if they don’t respond.

My first two novels, Slubes and Darmenzi, featured protagonists from a small village–only a couple characters even have regular phones. So that wasn’t much of a big deal… except in retrospect I’m not sure why Zeth didn’t have one, but does have a phone in his vehicle. Ah well, what’s past is past. Maybe he was trying to hack his phone and install wings on it or something and he broke it. He doesn’t live at a place where he could buy another one, anyway.

In Wandering Fortunes, the protagonists again begin living in a very rustic area, so they have no cell phones. Then they move to the big city… so of course they’re going to get cell phones! Now I have to deal with this malarkey! Well, the first time it really becomes pertinent it actually makes more sense for them to not have them–they’re put in prison, of course their stuff’s going to be confiscated. But for the most part I actually have a note while editing, and one of my passes I actually keep cell phones in the back of my mind. “They have them, is there a reason to use them?”

Now then, the reason I didn’t call this “Cell Phones in Stories” is I also apparently have trouble remembering that cars are a thing. At New Zhopolis the main characters are always running around; initially they don’t have a vehicle, and at a big city I suppose I can imagine traffic being so bad that it’s easier to get around walking. It’s also particularly troublesome when there are few parking spaces. But you know what probably does exist? TAXI SERVICES. Buses! And if you’re going halfway across the city you’re probably not gonna run there!

A lot of times this probably doesn’t matter because you’ll show the characters once they’ve arrived, not on the way, but you’d better believe I had a chapter where they ran halfway across the city and when I started editing I was like “why are they running halfway across the city?? they’re in a hurry so they won’t wait for a bus but did you know there are services now where you can call (maybe with a cell phone??) and someone will drive to where you are to drive you somewhere??? I’ve used one before! what? no i’m not talking about uber. i think these are local. although an uber service would definitely be something you could easily have in a story, but honestly the only difference between it and taxis i can imagine is one of them probably isn’t unionized, and obviously you should make sure your fictional characters are properly unionized. what were we talking about? who are you, anyway?”

Anyway. Check your email. Then check your spam folder. Thank you.

Character Recurrence in Novels

Something I’ve noticed when reading old Charles Dickens novels is that many stories of his have some character who appears early but is gone after a few chapters. They’re named but they’re not really important, and they disappear and are forgotten soon after.

And then 80% of the way through the story they return, out of nowhere, and it’s mentioned they knew this one character from the beginning of the story. Does this happen in stories anymore? I’m particularly thinking of Dickens stories that take place over a character’s whole life, which is actually probably most of them, but this is something I tend to notice a lot in Dickens books but not so much in more modern tales.

It’s an interesting part of stories. I’m holding things like this in reserve for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos as a series, though that’s over multiple books where a character who appeared in one might appear unexpectedly in another, and that’s more notable for full-series readers than having a character return in a single book.

What started me thinking on characters returning within a single book was a chapter I was editing recently. My original draft had the main character meeting with some unnamed characters for a conversation just for a bit of world building, but there really wasn’t anything to it. As I’ve been working on a lot of story notes regarding characters related to where this meeting took place, I realized a couple characters who’d appeared earlier could easily appear instead, connecting the world and time in the story more. These don’t appear at the beginning–not until more than halfway through, in fact–but it’s still a bit of an “oh yeah, them!” moment.

The weird thing about Wandering Fortunes as you can see with what chapters I’ve put up is the second half is a different planet. With an entirely different setting, there’s not much call for characters from the first half coming back. My fourth book will be a little like that too, in fact. But in future books this happenstancing of old character return meetings is something I might experiment with. It’s probably easier both to do and make significant if it’s planned from the outset, and I do write outlines before I write stories, but in the case of Wandering Fortunes the meeting was both added in the editing phase and spur of the moment.