About The Story (START HERE!)Alexandra Erin on August 16, 2007 in
What’s “weblit serial” mean? You might think of it as a free serial novel, but you’ll probably get more of the right idea if you think of it instead as a webcomic without any pictures. TOMU tends to hew closer to the storytelling conventions employed in long-running comic strips than anything that fits between two covers up on a bookshelf somewhere.
There are side stories, there are chapters that explore character interactions or give background on the setting and the ins and out of magic therein without noticeably advancing what you might call the “main plot”… and in fact, opinions can differ pretty wildly among long-time readers about what exactly the main plot is.
The story is broadly about Mackenzie Blaise, a young woman going to college in a world that’s as much like ours as your typical fantasy roleplaying game setting is like the medieval world. That is to say both “quite a bit” and “not very much at all”, often at the same time.
I began writing this story as an experiment back in the summer of 2007… or rather, as several experiments all at once. Early in 2011, I decided to start fresh and put everything I’d learned in the past few years into practice so I advanced the story several months all at once to the beginning of the next school year.
If you don’t want to get bogged down with the equivalent of thousands of pages of printed prose, I recommend starting at the beginning of year two and picking things up as you go. If you’re in the mood for a nice long archive trawl, you can read the story from the very beginning, at the start of Mackenzie’s freshman year at Magisterius University.
Please note that this story is not intended for everyone… and indeed, with so many different aspects of Mackenzie’s life and the world around her on display at various times, I don’t expect anyone to like every chapter equally. If you don’t like reading it, that absolutely does not bother me in the slightest… it’s a big ol’ internet out there and chances are you’ll find something somewhere that’s more to your liking.
Also note that this story is written by an adult, for adults. I intend to add an option for trigger warnings on specific chapters, but this is a labor intensive process that is beyond my current technical expertise. So for now, just be aware that anything that might happen in the life of a college student or somebody in a fantasy world with demons and dragons and other d-words can happen. In particular, sexual assault and non-consensual situations are a theme, particularly in the first volume. At the time I felt it was more important to process my experiences and reflect my own reality. I don’t know that I would make the same decisions regarding depicting these things if I’d started writing this today, but I also don’t know that I consider it a mistake to have done so back then.
I do know that this decisions means this story will be less accessible to some audiences, and I recognize this without malice or judgment. Some people find it helpful to read stories that deal with these kinds of experiences. Some people find it harmful. You may make your own determination of where you fall. If you want to read the story but you’d prefer to skip past all that, the second volume may be the best jumping-on point