Please Stand By

on January 8, 2015 in MU Blog

Hey, folks! Hope everyone who has had holidays has had nice ones. Mine were wonderful, eventful, emotionally intense in ways both expected and not, and very fatiguing.

It’s taken me a while to get back up to creative speed after the holiday break. Today’s the first day the writing gears really fully engaged for me. It’s also, not coincidentally, the second day where I had the right amount of sleep and the third day I’ve had all my usual braining pills at the right time.

Faced with the decision between resuming publication today where I’d be starting the new year out in the day-to-day writing model (i.e., what I’m working on is the chapter that’s due for publication next) or pushing things back a few workdays to start off with a slate of finished chapters ready to be polished and published, I’ve decided to take the “anything worth doing is worth doing right” stance over “anything worth doing is worth doing now”.

Being able to work ahead is not just a matter of having padding in case of hiccups in the routine (though it helps there!). It also greatly improves the quality of the storytelling, both chapter by chapter and overall, when I can stand back and look at several chapters at a time, see the shape is taking and adjust it or shore it up where needed, and even rework material that’s just not working.

To make a long story short (though if I could do that, would I be here?), Tales of MU will resume on Monday. This will let me start my first publishing week of 2015 with all the chapters for the week already in the hopper, and I can spend next week focusing on the week after’s chapters. The same chapter I wrote today will inevitably be better if I’m able to sit on it until Monday.

It’s just a question of opportunity cost vs. benefit. The marginal advantage of getting two chapters out that much quicker isn’t worth giving up the opportunity to improve the quality of the writing for the immediate future.

Thank you for reading! See you all on Monday.

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9 Responses to “Please Stand By”

  1. Majikkani_Hand says:

    Sounds good! Looking forward to Monday.

    Current score: 0
  2. Anvildude says:

    Hey, the fact that you actually tell your readers what’s going on and give reasons (whatever those reasons are) for late posts is miles ahead of many other serial fiction authors/artists. I know that I’ve been enjoying the writing of Book II a lot more than Book I (honestly, book I mostly kept me reading because of the uniqueness of the setting- I skipped entire chapters of it when they didn’t catch me enough)- I’m now more invested in the characters and more interested in reading due to wanting to find out what happens next with them and finding that next interesting turn of phrase you use than just the setting.

    “Braining”. Heh.

    Current score: 2
    • Lyssa says:

      Is it miles ahead of the others? I mostly read webcomics online, and (at least the ones I read) they never do this. They always have padding. The times they’ve taken breaks have been for things like cancer treatments and surgery, which are clearly unavoidable.

      I’m sorry, I know I’m in the minority, but I expect better consistency from my content creators, which in her case is mostly sad given how long she’s been doing this.

      The fact that I’m still here is certainly a testament to how good her content is, but the consistent inconsistency grates horribly for me.

      Current score: 2
      • Oni says:

        No, to be fair, the lack of buffer isn’t a general thing in webcomics and such that are as “well known” or “high profile” as this one. Don’t get me wrong, this is the exact reason why I’ve never released something like this.

        I’ve been here for years. I really do like the content. Take my comments with a grain of salt and that in mind.

        Current score: 0
        • Gruhl says:

          And to be extra fair, most webcomics contains much less story per day, with a much lower detail resolution.

          Example: Last chapter, in comic-book storytelling style, might possibly be fitted in 7 pages, which is a week of an mythically productive webcomic-creators work… (about a month for a dilligent mortal webcomic-creator) and still lots of subtleties and details would be lost.

          Current score: 1
          • Oni says:

            No, definitely, it’s not a situation with a lot of equal ground.

            Current score: 0
          • Lyssa says:

            It isn’t a perfect comparison, but I’d argue that the balance is there. Stories such as these may be more “mentally taxing” as zeel put it, but then, while a serial author is working out the plot for chapter 11, the webcomic writer is doing hours of sketching and shading to get the right effects. Either way, it’s moot because you’re missing my point. It doesn’t matter how hard or easy the task is. She chose it to be her source of income. To me, that means she’s taking this seriously. It isn’t just a hobby to be updated sporadically.

            Anyway, I’m just griping because I would really like to see her get a schedule that works for her. I’ve been reading for five or six years and honestly, when she’s made claims about keeping a schedule, she’s done some of her best writing. When she has the padding and isn’t so stressed about it, she seems to be able to just relax and write great material. If she would just sit down, get herself some realistic padding, and keep to a schedule, I genuinely think the overall quality of the story would be improved. I wouldn’t care if it meant taking a month off to do it, as long as she was consistent once she got the schedule going.

            I get that what she’s writing is different from most things out there, but I don’t think keeping a schedule is impossible. I do think it would be enormously beneficial for her writing and stress levels. Not to mention it could help her Patreon support. In most lines of work, you have to actually produce to earn, and I wouldn’t be shocked if a regular schedule meant more regular support, which would be better for everyone here.

            You guys are just Debbie Downers if you think she can’t do it, which seems to be most of your points. I think she can, and I hope she eventually will.

            Current score: 4
      • zeel says:

        In my experience webcomics tend to rely on guest strips and fan art when they go on an extended leave. But that’s much easier for such a medium – it’s not that easy for MU. The annoying thing is when the author just. . . disappears. You have no idea what they are up to, why they’re not updating, or if they are coming back.

        Furthermore much of the creative effort in a comic is done before hand, in a big chunk – at least for those with strong story arcs. The pages are then just visually representing the story bit by bit. This takes time yes, but it’s not as mentally taxing as writing a chapter of a book. It’s a lot of work, but it’s easier to build a backlog of.

        Current score: 1
  3. Order of Chaos says:

    Good to know. Back Monday.

    Current score: 0