Intermezzo pt1

Hello all,

This is not a chunk of story. Wait! Don’t go! I’m going to keep it short.

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for reading. I’ve thanked various people in the past for things they have done that have helped promote the story, or helped me write it, but right now I just want to thank everyone equally. It’s been a great deal of fun for me to watch new people come into the story, read up the archives, and generally get some enjoyment out of this. Back when there were only a few readers I could see a person read the story by watching each update pick up one more view. That was fun, though the archives are generally too busy for that these days. On wattpad sometimes people have stared each up the update as they read it. The mobile app makes my phone ding when you do that, and I get a kick out of listening to that. (Also, I calculate your reading speed…) Odds are, if you’ve left a link in your posting handle I’ve followed it. Sometimes I can see the pages that linked people here, I go to those as well.

What I’m saying is, I’m really thrilled people are reading. 🙂 Also, I am not a stalker. I don’t know why you’d say that!

Second, a little housekeeping. Book 2 “Fundamentals of Magical Semiconductors” will begin on June 16th. I know, I said June 23rd in the comments last week, but I’ve changed my mind. Waiting to start posting the next book doesn’t really buy me much. So, on Thursday, I’ll post the front dust jacket style synopsis of the next story, and then next week it will kick off. If anyone saw June 23rd and decided to come back then, um, sorry. But hey I guess you got a surprise about how much there was to read.

Third, a question. Soon, quite possibly only hours after I post this, someone will finish reading the entire book as a single unit. That’s how I wrote it, that’s how I conceived it. I only posted it as a serial because that was a good way to get it out there, and I was really enjoying some other serials at the time. (Well, I’m still enjoying them, but you know what I mean….) However, now that it’s all out there, if you did just read the whole book more or less like a book what did you think? Did it hang together in *that* format? Your experience was a little different than the people who followed along in real time, and I’ve got a little less of a window into it at this point.

Last but not least, my future plans for The Beginners Guide. My next step for this story (The one you just read not the one I’m about to start. “The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing” was really conceived as a title for a book, not a series, though I suppose it will serve for that as well.) is to submit to real live professional publishers. They’ll reject it for several reasons. A) I’m not really quite ready for prime time, B) it’s a strange story that probably works for a narrower audience than they target C) professional publishing houses are risk adverse and they seem inclined to keep publishing more of whatever sold well last year, and D) this website counts as self publishing and that will hurt my chances as well. But I’ve got to try, don’t I? I’ll give my query letters three months to bear fruit and then I’ll self publish (well self publish *more* I guess) and get the thing up on Amazon. That’ll probably involve a minor re-write and maybe a professional copy editor. Once it’s all up, I’ll let you guys know and maybe you can drop me a review and a rating.

Alright, that’s all, hope you’re having a great day, and see you again Thursday.

The End
Intermezzo pt2

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

Posted in The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing
24 comments on “Intermezzo pt1
  1. Drake says:

    If you dont go overboard with the price, ill buy it like all my favorite books/series ive followed till they gone “e-book” – so post the link when its done. ^^

    (Cant wait till 16th)

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thanks. Whenever I do an e-book it’ll probably be pretty cheap. I don’t need to make any money off of writing, and even if I did I’m probably not in a position to. At this point it’s approval I desperately crave so I’m eyeing that 99 cent price point very seriously. 😉 Maybe drop it back to “free” once there’s a second book.

      • Warren Peace says:

        Maybe consider the D.D. Webb model, and charge $.99 for a novel, in order to show publishers that people are actually willing to pay for your work?

        • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

          If I can’t find an agent who is interested in the book, and honestly that’s the most probable outcome, I think I will self publish it. I mostly see that as giving my hobby its due; it’s so easy to self publish these days, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars on other hobbies, so I feel like I should let this book out to roam on Amazon.

          I honestly haven’t the slightest idea of how it will do. I think the book is a little unusual. That could work against it and it will just vanish in the noise, or it could find an audience and really take off. Either way this website is going to go away (Drew Hayes – the guy who started it just didn’t get the interest he was hoping for) so that’s prompting me to actually move on this project. It’s a good thing. Really. Even if it feels like extra work. heh.

          • Irrevenant says:

            Okay, I’mma be completely honest here. I think you have the seeds of a *really* good novel here. You have a really interesting setting and story concept. But I also think if you want to make a published novel of it it needs to be significantly fleshed out and polished. Not just in terms of typos. What you have at the moment is an interesting Web serial/short story. The whole arc with Thomas could certainly make a great novel. But it would need a lot more meat on its bones and that’s not just a matter of extending what you have, it’s a matter of expanding it with enough content to justify a novel. If you fleshed out that short to a fully-fledged novel I reckon I’d buy it (and its sequel :).

            This is all assuming you’re being literal when you say you want to publish a novel. Publishing serials in eBook form is definitely viable (the guy over at Citadel has just done exactly that) but it’s a different thing to publishing a novel with a different audience.

            • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

              Mostly I wanted to warn you that if you want to finish what I’ve got here the site is going away in a couple of months. I just don’t want to vanish in a puff of smoke and leave people wondering how it all wrapped up. I know lots of people read in fits and spurts, so that’s definitely going to happen to a few people – I’d just like it to be as few as possible.

              I don’t know how much I intend to change this between the end of its current incarnation and self publishing. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people, yourself included, so obviously I’d like to incorporate all of it. OTOH I’ve never really edited a novel length thing. With a short story I’d just rewrite it. Obviously, I can’t do that with this. If I had an editor I expect they’d tell me “cut out three meetings, rewrite this scene, that scene, and this other scene, and expand that arc.” With the arc that gets expanded probably being the Thomas arc.

              Part of why I’ll send send out query letters to agents first no matter what else I do is I’d like that input from a pro. I’d also like the breather waiting for responses will give me before I try to summon the energy to manage it all on my own. 🙂

              To clarify your feedback, are you saying you’d get rid of most of the start of the story and then try to do a full 50 to 70K words on the Thomas arc? When I read your initial comment I was thinking you meant “in addition” and that you, like Mr. Peace, saw a “full sized novel” as being considerably longer than the lengths given here: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/word-count-for-novels-and-childrens-books-the-definitive-post

              • Irrevenant says:

                I owe you an apology. It’s been a while since I read this and it’s much, much longer than I remembered it being. Novel-length, in fact. 🙂 When I said ‘the Thomas Arc’ I meant from ‘In which a man with a headache does a spell’ through to ‘The End’ and I thought it was shorter than it is. I’m not sure what Mr Peace is thinking – you can get away with more if you’re Neal Stephenson, but 110k words is a good length for an author’s first SF novel.

                I retract my comment. My bad.

                Yeah, it’s always a great idea to have someone, especially a professional look at your work with fresh eyes. I’ve seen even professional long-term authors on the NaNoForums swear by having a professional editor review their work.

                Thanks for the heads-up about the site closing down. That’s a shame. 🙁 Will you have a new home on the web somewhere?

                • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

                  > …much longer than I remembered it being.

                  Heh, cool, that’s better than when something seems way longer than it is…

                  > Will you have a new home on the web somewhere?

                  For this setting, probably not if I’m going to publish it. However, my plan was to write a few short stories and post them to https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/. I’m crumjd over there. Once I’ve found something that has a lot of plot upside I’ll turn it into a longer work.

                  I like HFY because it presents, to my mind, a very interesting challenge i.e. how might humanity be exceptional if there are other intelligent beings in the universe. It kind of makes you step back, squint at our species, and say “yeah *that* trait is legit weird, and maybe useful, even if there’s a whole galaxy of aliens out there.” They also get a lot of mil scifi, and while I’ve never taken anything in a straight up space war direction I *definitely* need more room for conflict in my next setting.

                  That and it’s a pretty cool group, lots or writers, lots of readers, and practically never any trolling or pointless fights. Quality varies, of course, but you’re gonna get that with any group of amateurs and people seem to have liked the stories I’ve posted thus far.

  2. DeNarr says:

    Awesome, glad to hear the new story is starting so soon. So, now that you’ve finished your story, do you have any plans to get your own website?

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      I had plans like that, but then some friends from two jobs back contacted me and said, “Let’s write loan analysis software for banks and get rich and quit our jobs!” So now that’s what I’m doing with my spare web-development time. I’m kind of a chronic over-commiter, so I’ve got a lot of stuff going on and a personal site for the serial will have to go on the back burner for a bit. 🙁 Still, maybe we *will* get to quit our jobs and I’ll have all the time in the world. heh…

  3. Arrange says:

    I’ve just read through this in the last couple days. I read through on this site rather than Wattpad because I wanted to read the comments and I’m glad I did.

    There were parts some parts where I was confused (eg. Kyle’s discovery of Lux) or things I would’ve missed (eg. the Tesseract’s danger – I still don’t remember the other time Kyle’s Lux went wrong though you commented there were 2 at one point) or loopholes that were covered by comments.

    I also noticed some grammar errors that weren’t covered by other comments. I didn’t post because I noticed that you hadn’t fixed some of the earlier ones (and didn’t know you’d just finished the story). A common one was “cloths” -> “clothes”.

    I thought the story flowed pretty well, though I’ve probably got a better tolerance than most for webserial pacing – I made it through most of wildbow’s Pact as a “novel” form and that was a long string of escalating tension and action scenes. When Jessie was first introduced, I found the pace to be a bit slow for my liking but I liked her better as I read more.

    The change from no action to tons of action from “Old Mine Amphitheater” and on was a bit odd; from that point on, the story becomes very different. Having gone through the Mall, and Santa chapters, I definitely wasn’t expecting a series of fights. If there were some way a better balance could be struck between fight scenes and non-fights, I’d suggest it. In each of the halves there were times when I had wanted more action or something different before another fight.

    Thanks for posting this story up. I especially enjoyed the setting and Kyle’s characterization. I’m looking forward to following along for Book 2.

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback!

      > There were parts some parts where I was confused (eg. Kyle’s discovery of Lux) or things I would’ve missed
      > (eg. the Tesseract’s danger – I still don’t remember the other time Kyle’s Lux went wrong though you commented
      > there were 2 at one point) or loopholes that were covered by comments.

      I should really play up the tesseract’s danger more. Have it eat a wall and set some electrical work on fire. It’s in the middle of a slow part anyway so it would liven things up. If I said lux went wrong twice, the second time I was thinking of was probably just when Kyle turned a big chunk of the city dark without really planning it.

      > I made it through most of wildbow’s Pact as a “novel” form and that was a long string of escalating tension and action scenes.

      He writes some exhausting stuff doesn’t he? I think the proof of superhuman endurance would be moving from “Worm” in to “Pact” or vise versa. I loved “Worm”, but I still haven’t checked out his other two.

      > If there were some way a better balance could be struck between fight scenes and non-fights, I’d suggest it.

      That’s one of the main things I’m thinking of when I say I’m not quite ready for prime time. The pacing of this story had a right angle in it. I did everything I could think of to make the first part peppy while avoiding tropes that feel overused to me (flashbacks, the discovery of a hidden magical society, brief sections from the villain’s perspective, etc.), but I didn’t pull it off. In the unlikely event this story does get picked up by a publisher they are going to make me rewrite *so* *much*.

      It’s interesting that you feel there was a bit too much fighting in the second half. The sequel is far more active, and at times I’ve wondered if I’m over-doing it. Perhaps I’ll find toning down to an ideal pace easier than jumping up to one.

      • irrevenant says:

        My vote to address the pacing issues would be to make this story *bigger*. I’m not sure how many words it came out at, but it feels like it wrapped up far too quickly.

        If you make the scope of the conspiracy bigger (I’m sure Thomas has far more than two operatives and two Manticores in his employ) as well as Kyle having to be on the run from the law on IP theft charges, while struggling to clear his name. Okay, so I just reinvented “The Fugitive”. xD But you get the idea. There’d be more happening to fill in the space between fight scenes as Kyle avoids the authorities, seeks out potential allies, tries to obtain evidence, etc.

        You could even make this story up to “Round one: Victory” Act 1 of the novel and have them escape with the evidence but Jessie is slowly turning. And is that little bit of evidence enough by itself to bring down an Archmage? Probably not but maybe they can leverage it somehow etc. (Presumably they tip off the police who bust the place but Thomas has a patsy ready and now he’s angry that Kyle cost him money?).

        There’s a number of directions it could go in, but just *more* and larger scope.

        • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

          That would certainly make for an interesting plot.

          Thomas might well be the weakest part of the story. My biggest problem with him was we had no window into what he was doing or why he was doing it.

          For example, you talk about his resources. If Thomas was a proper character then I could answer that in the story by making him obviously more Jeff Skilling than Sauron. He got up to a little insider trading and illegal use of magic (Thomas, not Skilling), but he’s not well positioned to blacken the sky or raise a dark army because that’s not the sort of world he lives in. The problem was, I still don’t know how to get him on screen earlier.

          Maybe if Charles or the Reg were a bigger part of the story? They actually interact with Thomas, so if Kyle were to catch their attention everyone could sit down in a boardroom and Thomas could do his friendly grandpa act at the end of act one. Maybe Kyle is suckered then, but he researches and finds out about the other murders…

          I dunno. It’s also possible there’s a good reason the bad guys of novels aren’t mostly ordinary businessmen and I should give him his very own Mt. Doom and a much longer assault on it. Metaphorically speaking.

        • Warren Peace says:

          I’d like ti second irrevenant’s ideas. 120k words is a novelette to me (I read the whole thing in one sitting). While there’s obviously a lot of room for improvement, this was still a very fun story, with enough clever bits to help readers overlook some of the weaker aspects. I look forward to seeing where your career takes you!

    • irrevenant says:

      Agree with pretty much everything Arrange says, except that I wasn’t that taken by Pact. It ended strongly, but it took massive faith in Wildbow to get me through the first couple of arcs. Largely because Pact didn’t do something which this serial did really well – properly introduce you to the characters in the beginning so you actually care what happens to them. It took a long while before I could care less if Blake lived or died and that was never true of Kyle.

  4. JoeWD says:

    What’s the best way to follow your writing?

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Depends on what you’re looking for. The tracking options are probably best at Wattpad. They offer email and smartphone app based notifications of all new updates/new stories. Whereas the rss feeds here are a little funky. The only thing you’d miss there that you’d get here are comments on the story or if I write something off the cuff for one of the reddit writing groups and toss a link in the comments here, but don’t post it as a new work it at Wattpad. However, I’d only do that if whatever I wrote for reddit was kinda weak.

  5. AvidFan says:

    🙂

  6. camlorn says:

    So. Overall very well done, lots of original ideas. Random thoughts:
    Thomas only kind of works as a villain. The motivation “Kill people because I don’t want to teach them” seems weak, given that there are other people who could do it. Why didn’t he just ask one of them? His plan seems rather elaborate: a quick e-mail and it’s off his plate. I think this should be worked in somewhere, though I’m not sure how; his mindset works for someone who is out to rule the world or something, but that’s not what’s happening. From a business perspective–even a shady business perspective–his actions don’t quite click.
    Second, I was waiting on Kyle to realize that he’s sitting on a revolutionary power source. Magic seems to be breaking conservation of energy. He’s got the ability to get really cheep light spells whenever he wants. Solar panel+light spell+efficiency of solar panel enhancer. Or just use something similar to flash to outright boil water. Maybe this is already being done. Or maybe I’m too much of a fiction metagamer. Nevertheless, he’s sitting on a power plant generator, as far as I can tell. AN unlimited power plant generator. You can get infinite energy out at a respectable rate by engineering a plant that casts the spell and applying it to the aforementioned.
    If you can then use magic to change the speed of light, something which so far seems possible, well…need I say more?

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thanks so much for your feedback.

      You’re not the first to mention the infinite energy thing, and I think I have a solution. When I first set up the non-scaler law I introduced an unexplained term into it that I called “merlin’s constant”. I’m thinking I should alter the story such that that term is experimentally derived for each spell, and scientists believe it has two parts. 1) how much the spell is actually changing the rules of physics, and 2) how much real world impact that change is having. That way magic is tied into thermodynamics.

      I could also say that magic is already being used for power when he’s brainstorming ideas for using his spell and as such this world has working fusion and power is “too cheap to meter”. So even if his spell is better than other approaches it’s kinda like cornering the market in gravel production. Profitable, but not rapidly or easily profitable.

      Finally, I need to slip a magical battery into Kyle’s pocket in “wizard casts superior darkness”. I think I gave him a bit too much juice there.

      Thomas is a much less tractable problem. If he was a more consistent part of the story I think I could make his motivation make more sense, but he’s just around so little!

      Anyway thanks again for your thoughts and for reading. 🙂

  7. Lobo says:

    This was a great story. I loved the martial art/magic aspects, as well as the magical office work! I guess the write what you know adage is pretty good.

    The only real criticism I’ve got is that the last couple of chapters felt a little careless. As if you were too excited to be getting to the end to write quite as well as you did earlier on. I don’t know if that’s a fair criticism, so sorry if it isn’t!

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thanks!

      Heh, that might be true! I didn’t really think about it at the time, but I might have rushed a bit because I knew I was getting close to the end. I’ve gotten some good suggestions up thread that would lead to expanding a bit.

  8. Liberticus says:

    I just finished reading the first volume. I liked it but had a longer break during the part where the martial arts came into the picture. Not quite sure why. Thomas had some strange motivations for being the bad guy but other people have mentioned that as well. All in all I enjoyed your story. Thank you.

    Now, onto the next volume!

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