Trials: Part Twenty Four

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A decent bit of time had passed. Paul honestly was having a hard time keeping track of how long it was, but he felt like he’d been there a while. However long he’d been there, not once had his blindness been brought up. He meditated as they said, and he’d definitely honed his powers, but he was still blind. While that was great, the whole reason he had come to this place was that he’d thought that it would cure his vision.

He recalled how skeptical Jude had been, and wondered if he was right all along. Perhaps there was no way for his sight to be restored.

No, he couldn’t believe that. He was in a magic monastery, filled with a bunch of monks with magic powers. There had to be a way.

He heard a knock on the door.

“Paul. I believe we need to talk.” Adara said.

“No kidding. I’ve been here for a while now, and nobody has even mentioned curing my blindness.”

“I’m aware, yes.” Adara stepped into the room, and closed the door behind her. “Have we not helped you, though? You have gained a great deal of control over your powers, have you not?”

“Yes, and I appreciate that-” Paul began, but Adara cut him off.

“And would that not be immensely helpful to your friends and their cause? You have seen what is to come, and you know that they will need you. Do you not agree?”

“I know all that, but-”

She cut him off again. “Then what is the problem? Is this not enough for you?”

“I didn’t even want these powers!” Paul shouted. “I just want to be able to see, to be able to live a normal life.”

“Well which do you want? A normal life, or to be able to see?”

“They’re the same thing to me!” Paul couldn’t understand what she was doing. She was clearly toying with him, but he couldn’t figure out why.

“The closest thing to a normal life you will be able to obtain would be to return to your friends as you are. Would it be much of a normal life even if you had your sight back? Your friends already have incredible powers, would you take that away so that you could live a normal life?”

“No!” Paul shook his head. A tear began to flow down his face. “I wouldn’t do that to them, they’re happy.”

“Then you don’t want a normal life? You want sight?”

“Yes!”

“And what price would you be willing to pay? You’ve already said you wouldn’t change your friends.”

“Anything but that…”

“I can offer you sight, if you’re willing to pay any price.”

“What do you want from me?”

“You would have to stay here at the monastery. You would devote your life to studying the secrets of magic, and once you have mastered that, then you will be able to heal your eyes.”

“My life?”

“Yes, all of it.”

“Would I be able to see my friends again?”

“I cannot promise that we would ever return to a time in which your friends live. You would need to be prepared to never see them again, and not offer any goodbyes.”

“What about Anastasia?”

“Would you force that on her? I do not believe she would want to stay. You said earlier you wouldn’t change your friends, is that still true?”

“Enough.” Paul wiped his tears. “You knew I would say no, didn’t you?”

“I did.” Adara approached him and sat down in front of him. “I always believe in offering the choice, however. I do believe your friends will need you and your powers if they will see the end of this.”

“I think I have to agree.” Paul sighed. “I guess I’m just blind. That’s me. I’m not special, and there’s no magic cure.”

“I think you’ll find this is less of an encumbrance than you imagined.” She rubbed his shoulders, and stood to her feet. “If you don’t change your mind about staying, be sure to leave the monastery by sundown, or else you will lose your choice.” She went towards the door, before pausing. “Oh, as a final challenge. Try to seek out the vision of your death. Goodbye, Paul.”

“Goodbye, Adara.” He waved until he heard the door shut, then fell back onto the floor.

After that exhausting exchange, he wasn’t sure he was up to trying to see his most traumatic vision. Then again, the way that she said it was cryptic enough that he felt like he needed to. He sat back up and recalled the vision to his mind. He concentrated on what he could remember. He shuddered as he imagined Vanessa slicing his chest open, but it wasn’t a vision. He wondered if he could even do it. He shook his head. He knew he had to.

He concentrated and found himself floating in the air above an abandoned outdoor basketball court. This was strange, because before he had always been hiding behind a shrub, and seeing things from his own point of view. He wondered if this was why Adara told him to do this.

He saw Vanessa and a young hispanic girl, that he recognized from visions of Jude, ran onto the court, before briefly looking back. They were saying something, and it looked like they were arguing, but Paul couldn’t understand. It sounded like he was underwater. Jude and Anastasia entered the court and everyone was still. The girl seemed to be positioning herself to de-escalate the conflict.

This was all wrong, the girl had never been there before, but she was here now. This was definitely the same event, everyone was wearing the same clothes and standing in the same places.

It seemed like the girl was actually managing to calm everyone down. Paul considered that maybe by resolving his conflict with himself, he had managed to prevent this catastrophe.

Vanessa suddenly lunged to the left, and threw a disc towards Jude. Jude saw it coming, and Paul saw a look of resignation on his face. He looked at Jude for a moment but nothing changed. Then Jude ran forwards, with a look of agony. Paul looked around, and saw the girl bleeding on the pavement.

“No!” Paul shouted with tears streaming down his face. He was back in the monastery.


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Trials: Part Twenty Three

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Jude paced around their living room. Broken glass by the windows, furniture askew, even their kitchen had been dug through. He contemplated his position. He knew they had microphones bugging the house, but wasn’t sure if they had cameras. He wasn’t even sure how small they could make cameras these days, so he couldn’t really trust it if he didn’t find any. They could go over to the neighbors, but Jude wanted to work some things out with Arte before they did that. She was basically an official member of ‘Team Dayspring’, and Jude needed someone to bounce ideas off of.

Jude felt Arte tap his shoulder. She was handing him an open notebook, face down, with a pen. Jude carefully looked at it, wary of cameras.

The house is bugged, so we should pass notes if we want to say anything we don’t want them to hear.

Jude held the notebook to his chest and nodded.

The girl next door is a super. I think she can help us.

“Well, I don’t intend to sleep in an open air house, quite honestly.” Jude said, as he passed Arte the notebook.

She read the note before replying and shutting it. “Yeah, I guess we should go see one of the neighbors, and ask if they have a spare bed. Wanna try the Rodriguez house?”

“Yeah, that sounds like a good choice.” Jude nodded. “Lets pack an overnight bag and head over there. Deven, make sure to pack your bedroll.”

Deven nodded. He had to sleep on a pad, since he’d ruin any normal mattress.

Jude went to pack a change of clothes, toiletries, and a couple of notebooks. He looked over at his clock, it was 10 PM. He wasn’t too worried about any robbers, since they’d be next door, and Daniels definitely had the place bugged. He probably had trackers on anything valuable too.

Jude went back downstairs to see Arte sitting on the floor next to Deven. She looked up from her phone. “Hey, don’t know if you saw this, but they saw Psyche in downtown Atlanta this morning. They’re saying she attacked the aquarium.”

Jude shook his head. This wasn’t right, if Vanessa was back she definitely would’ve contacted him, or at least her dad. More importantly, she most likely wouldn’t be doing terrorist things. He pulled out his phone, and dialed up Mr. Smith.

He waited for a moment and a groggy Mr. Smith answered the phone. “David Smith, who’s this?”

“Hey, Mr. Smith, it’s Jude. I was wondering if you had seen Vanessa in the past couple of days?”

“Is this about the aquarium? No, I haven’t seen her, and whoever that was is not my daughter.” He sighed. “If you look into this, let me know if I can help.”

“Alright. Our house has a bug problem and they’re gonna work on it tomorrow, so right now we’re staying with the neighbors. I’m sure the agency will have this Vanessa thing handled though.”

“Bug problem, I gotcha. Be sure to let the agency know that they have my full support in clearing my daughter’s name. Good night.”

“Good night.” Jude hung up the phone and sighed. “Well, I’m sure the agency has that covered.” He forced a smile and turned to Arte and Deven. “You ready?”

“Yup, sure thing.” She got to her feet and picked up her bag. Deven nodded and followed suit.

Jude led the way over to the neighbors. As they approached the door, Arte leaned over to Jude and whispered, “Turn your phone off when we get in.”

Jude nodded, and rang the doorbell. He really did feel bad about potentially waking up Mr. Rodriguez, but on the other hand this was certainly an atypical circumstance, so he felt like it was warranted. He waited for a moment, and Zoey answered the door.

“Hey are you guys alright? I heard a lot of crashing, and there was a flash of light. What happened?”

“Well it’s a long story that I’d love to tell you about later, but is your dad home?” Jude forced a smile. He really hated relying on the help of others, but he figured it was necessary right now.

“Nope, he’s at work. You can come in, though.” She opened the door all the way and gestured them inside.

“Thank you, could you maybe call your dad too? Just so he knows we’re here, and to see if he’s alright with it.”

Zoey leaned out the door, and looked over at their house. “Looking at the state of your house, I’m pretty sure my dad would kill me if I didn’t invite you in, so don’t worry too much about it. I’ll call him though.”

“Thank you.” Jude followed Zoey into the den, with Arte and Deven in tow.

“Alright, I’ll call him. You sit tight.” Zoey went off into the other room.

The furniture definitely seemed old and worn, but the place was definitely clean. Jude saw Deven move to take a seat on the couch.

“Oh, hey Deven. Why don’t we sit on the floor. We don’t wanna risk breaking these people’s couch.” Jude gestured to a spot on the rug, and sat down next to him.

Arte sat down next to Jude, and whispered, “Do you think her house is bugged?”

“I think we just have to hope it isn’t. Because we could probably be watched just about anywhere we request permission to go to. So if this place is bugged, I think we probably just can’t escape it.” He reached into his pocket and turned off his cell phone.

Jude heard footsteps, turned around, and saw Zoey had come back into the room. “Just like I thought, my dad said you could stay as long as you need. He’s leaving work right now. We don’t really have a spare bed, but my dad said you could sleep in mine and his.”

“Oh, no, please. We don’t wanna inconvenience you that much.” Arte replied.

“It’s up to you.” Zoey shrugged and took a seat on the couch. “At least one of you should sleep in a bed, though. My dad and I can share. It’s no biggie.”

Jude nudged Arte. “All yours. I’ll sleep on the floor with Deven.”

“So, since you’re here, do you have any cool superhero stories?” Zoey grinned like a middle schooler who had just met her favorite boy band.

Jude laughed. It had been a while since he’d talked with a fan, and he was imposing on them anyways, so indulging her with a story would be the least he could do. “Well, there was this one time…”

 


 

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Trials: Part Twenty Two

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Anastasia and Siobhan walked down a cobbled walkway on a sunny day. Anastasia had slept quite well the night before, so, by a mixture of rest and sunshine, she felt excellent. Everyone had been awfully vague about what this was about to entail, but she had a feeling she could do it. They approached a large stone building, with an immense wooden door. Siobhan went up to the door, and placed her hand on it. After a few moments, it slowly went open.

Anastasia followed Siobhan through the door, and into the building. It was one large room, filled with shelves, with a path in the middle. The light that streamed in from outside was slowly cut off, and it went completely dark for a moment, but then the whole room became illuminated. On the shelves, was a wide menagerie of, well… junk.

“Alright, now that the door is sealed, we may speak freely.” Siobhan began to walk down the path.

“So what is this place?” Anastasia looked around, trying to get a better sense of things.

“When the green light hit, I’m sure you already know that many people received wonderful powers.” She turned down one of the rows, and began to look over one of the shelves. “Now what you may not be aware of, is that humans were not the only things affected.”

“So is this stuff super-powered or something?”

Siobhan was silent for a moment, and finally pulled a pen from amongst the junk. “See for yourself.”

Anastasia inspected the pen, and saw it was one of those pens with multiple colors. If you pushed down on the corresponding color, the pen that popped out would write in that color. As best as she could tell though, it appeared completely mundane. That was, until she pushed the green one. As expected, the pen clicked, but she now noticed her skin was now green. She pushed the red one, and her skin became red. Once she unclicked it, her skin turned back to normal.

“Huh.” She nodded. That was definitely not the type of high caliber magic artifact she was expecting to be housed here, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Siobhan held out her hand, and Anastasia returned the pen. “You sound disappointed.” She laughed.

“No! That’s a fascinating… pen.”

She and Siobhan laughed for a moment.

“Well, as I’m sure you suspect, there are items here that are considerably more powerful.” She returned towards the center aisle. “We’ve carefully collected these items from around the world and brought them here. Most people in the monastery are not permitted to access the vault, but that does not mean that it is impossible that something has gone missing.”

Anastasia’s heart sank. She had a suspicion of what the task was. She stared around in awe at the amount of stuff. It would take an entire days work at least to inventory all of this.

Siobhan laughed again. “I think you have an idea of what our task is now. Yes, we have to inventory all of it.

“And let me guess, no touching any of the interesting stuff?”

“Expert intuition, Anastasia.” She pulled two clipboards from her bag, and handed one to Anastasia. “I’ll take this side, you take the other.”

Anastasia groaned, and began to get to work. She noticed that there was actually a sorting system, according to the clipboard. They seemed to be ordered chronologically, but she wasn’t quite sure on what basis. The items had dates attached to them, but they didn’t make much sense, given that some were thousands of years ago, and the green light was only a few years ago. This taken with David from the coffee shop, mentioning that he knew Adara in the 70’s definitely began to make sense, with sense being a relative term. There was some kind of time travel.

“Hey, Siobhan, I have a question.” She poked her head into the center aisle. “What’s up with these dates?”

“Sorry lass, but that is a secret. You don’t need to worry about sorting them, you just need to inventory them.” She called from somewhere on her side.

Anastasia had expected about as much, but she wasn’t quite ready to give up on this. “So when Paul and I were out getting coffee, Adara gave us a letter to deliver to a guy named David. He said Adara helped to cure his wife. Do you know anything about that?”

“Ah, yeah. David and Lena. They were a nice couple.” Siobhan stepped into the aisle where Anastasia was working. “I remember them well. Adara and I had just located an artifact, it had great healing power, but you could only use it so many times, and we had no idea how many were left. We ran into a crying man near the hospital, and he told us his story. Adara asked me what I thought we should do, and I told her we obviously had to give her the cure. She agreed, and so we did.” She ran off somewhere in the back of the room and came back a moment later. She held up a Pez dispenser, with a penguin head on top. “Here it is. Don’t push it back. No way to tell if there’s another use left without using it.”

“Wow, I guess anything could get powers.” She remarked, before recalling her purpose in asking about it. “So how did you get to the 70’s then? You look a little young to have been an adult back then.”

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out eventually.” Siobhan winked. “Now get back to work!”

In total, there were a ton of both mundane and weird things on her half of the room. It seemed like it was mostly things that were around at the time of the green light, given that everything that was older than that seemed to be appropriately worn, and newer things still seemed in good condition in general. There were a couple of things that she couldn’t even tell what they were, so she just checked off the box that seemed to describe it. In the end of a long days work, as expected, not a single artifact was missing.

 


 

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Trials: Part Twenty One

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Vanessa stood silently in the cave. Her heart was still racing. The guard briefly leaned forwards and felt the disc against his throat, before leaning back and putting his hands up.

“Vanessa, don’t kill him!” Ashley grabbed her arm.

Vanessa looked closer at the guard. “Take off your helmet.”

The guard complied, and pulled off the helmet. He had dark skin, and appeared surprisingly calm for a man who was just knocked on his ass, and had a weapon against his throat.

Vanessa gasped. “Darryl!”

This was definitely the best possible guard for them to run into, short of one they had no problems with killing. Judging by Ashley’s response, it’s not likely there would be a guard that she’d be okay with killing. While he was always nice to them, that didn’t necessarily constitute him being an ally here. It was best to remain cautious.

Darryl squinted for a moment. “Ashley? Vanessa?”

“Where’s your gun?” Vanessa gently moved the disc towards his throat. She wouldn’t mind working with him, but she had to be sure he was disarmed.

“Left side of my belt.”

“Ashley, grab it.” Vanessa couldn’t afford to take her eyes off of him.

Ashley reluctantly edged forwards and grabbed it. “Got it.” She stepped back, and held the gun at a distance from herself.

“Any other weapons?”

Darryl sighed. “I’m telling you this because I want you to trust me. I have a knife in both of my boots.”

“Ashley, give me the gun, and get the knives.”

Ashley shakily handed the gun to Vanessa, and groped around Darryl’s boots, eventually pulling out two knives. She once again stepped back.

“Now do you trust me?” Darryl looked up at her patiently.

“Why are you here? What supplies do you have on you?” Vanessa pointed the gun at him and left the disc suspended near his throat.

“I dropped you off with another guard. I tried to get the jump on him, but he hit me with a tranquilizer. I wanted to help you get out of here. I don’t have any supplies, he took my map and my water.”

“Alright. Do you know where this tunnel leads?” Vanessa didn’t lower the gun.

Ashley stepped up by Vanessa, and placed her hand on her arm. She didn’t say anything, but from what Vanessa could read in the instant, she was clearly worried, and thought Darryl was trustworthy.

Vanessa sighed. Ashley was making this hard, but she couldn’t keep freaking her out. She had a point, Darryl was cooperating. She lowered the gun, and pulled the disc back from Darryl’s throat. “You can sit up, but don’t stand.” She motioned for Ashley to get behind her.

Darryl groaned as he sat up and leaned against the wall. “It leads to the prison. I couldn’t tell which way I was supposed to go to get back, so I guessed. I assume that since I ran into you, I guessed wrong.”

“Alright. Why did you want to help us get out of here?”

Darryl shook his head. “I’ve been playing along with this for too long. I couldn’t do it anymore. I came here willingly as a guard. He told me they were gonna lock up dangerous supers, and that he needed good guys with powers to act as guards. By the time I knew there were tons of innocents in here, I realized I was basically a prisoner too. There’s no way I could fight Takeo and all the other guards, and I couldn’t just leave. He hadn’t sent anyone to the pit in quite some time, and when he did, it was two people I knew were good people. I knew this was my chance. Since you were both in the hall I was responsible for, Jones and I were the ones to drop you off at the pit. Then, like I said earlier, I tried to get the jump on him, but he got me first.”

“If you had a problem with it, why didn’t you do something sooner?” His story was too good to be true, and she didn’t want to jump to mind reading him. She wasn’t sure how Ashley would react if she found out that she could’ve been reading her mind all along. Even nice people can become hostile when they think you’ve been reading their mind. That was a secret best kept until absolutely necessary. On the other hand, Vanessa wasn’t sure what kind of evidence this guy could even offer her that she would actually trust, short of reading his mind.

Darryl looked off to the side for a moment, not saying anything.

“Well?” Vanessa took a firm grip on the gun.

“I was scared.” He replied, quietly shaking his head. “The boy is strong. I know he’s only a child, but he can shoot jets of flame, and knows how to fight. Even if I were able to take him, and I were to convince or fight all the guards, this prison is backed by powerful forces. I consider my cowardice to be shameful, and I seek to rectify this.”

“I don’t think it’s shameful. You’re a good man Darryl.” She pushed past Vanessa and sat down beside him.

Vanessa saw Darryl begin to move, and pointed the gun at him again. “Don’t touch her!”

Ashley gasped and jumped back. “Vanessa! He wasn’t gonna do anything!”

Darryl leaned back against the wall and slowly put his hands on his head. “If you cannot trust me. I understand.” He closed his eyes.

“Vanessa, please.” Ashley pleaded. “I think he’s telling the truth.”

Vanessa sighed, not lowering the gun. She couldn’t think of any other way, and she figured Ashley probably wouldn’t freak out. At least she hoped so. “Fine. I will trust you, on one condition. You have to let me read your mind.”

“Very well. Do what you must.” Darryl nodded, not moving otherwise.

Vanessa lowered the gun and motioned for Ashley to come over. “I’ll be defenseless while I do this, so keep an eye on him, and the surroundings.” She handed the gun to her.

Ashley nodded and stepped back.

Vanessa sat down in front of Darryl. “Give me your hands.”

Darryl slowly lowered his hands from his head and placed them in hers. They were easily twice as large as hers. Darryl was way too strong for her to have taken down with that kick. He had to have known it was her.

Vanessa took a deep breath and sighed. “Let’s begin.”

 


 

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Web Serial Tips: Don’t Go the Wrong Way!

Hey everyone! Blogging can be harder than it looks, and you can easily set yourself up for too much stress. I hope these tips will help keep you from going the wrong way on your journey! I know doing blog posts is mildly outside my wheelhouse, but I stumbled upon someone asking about it in a tweet, and decided to write up my wisdom from the 2ish years I’ve been doing this.

I would like to add the disclaimer that I am by no means a writing or social media star. I do this as a hobby and I reached my goal viewership (~5 people reading every entry) a while ago. My current wordpress follower count is about 60, not ~600 as indicated by the side bar which includes my twitter (@cjaworks). With that in mind, here are my tips.

Tip 1: Not a novel, a serial.

First let’s talk about what a serial is, and what a serial isn’t. A serial is just a story that has been formatted to be released in several small pieces. This hails originally from serialized detective stories from the 1800s, which were mailed out to readers individually or as parts of larger publications. A serial is not a story that got cut into a bunch of pieces haphazardly and released one by one. While you technically can chop up your full length novel into a bunch of pieces and upload them once a week to your blog, you really shouldn’t. You have to take at least a little effort to edit your story for a serialized format. You need to make sure you’re cutting off in appropriate places for long term pauses. This is a concern unique from novels, due to the time distance between the publishing of installments.

One way you can do this is to try to structure it so that each installment is something like an episode of a procedural TV show or an epic. An event occurs, which is the focus of the installment, and the event is wrapped up by the end of the part. It doesn’t have to be long. The event can be something like a hard conversation, one particular fight, or a question and an answer (for example, a character hears someone coming, and at the end of the installment, they figure out who it is). Additionally, this doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule. I have, more than once, had an event span multiple installments, but even with that, you can usually work out a resolution to a single facet of the event, or utilize a cliffhanger.

Tip 2: Write before you upload.

You absolutely need to finish and edit your entire story before you start uploading. This is not to say you can’t do further edits, or realize your ending sucks, and change it, but you *need* to have your story finished before you start. When I started uploading Origins (known just as Earth 2 at the time), I had about half of the story written and edited every post as I went. This was mildly stressful, but I managed. That was until I hit a slump and stopped writing for a while. I kept editing and uploading, and eventually I nearly ran out of backlog. While this did inspire me to hurry up and finish the story, it was considerably more stressful than writing the thing first. This is in contrast to how I’m running this season, where I have it fully written, and simply have to copy and paste an installment. I could even go ahead and schedule every post, but I’d have to manually update navigation links anyways and don’t have the most faith in wordpress’s scheduling capabilities. If you just write the whole thing first, both you and your audience will thank you.

Additionally, if you look in my table of contents under season one, you’ll see that the 3rd installment is not just called Part 3, but “Part 3: Rewrite”. This is because I was new in my writing journey, and had part 3 uploaded before anyone besides me had read it. It was not great. I had some things I was very unhappy with, so I released an updated version. Below are the links to both, but I’ll give a disclaimer that I’ve improved as a writer since then, so even the revised version isn’t exactly my best work.

Earth 2: Part 3

Earth 2: Part 3 (Re-Write)

Tip 3: Networking

I’m sure this is the thing that I am least qualified to talk about, but I’m going to do it anyways. There are a few serial unique things with marketing, so I’ll focus on those.

First, there is the original question posed in the tweet: “What platform do I pick?” I’m sure you can work out what my answer to that is. I went with wordpress for mainly the reason of already being vaguely familiar with the platform, from having a blog that I didn’t do anything with a few years ago. Wattpad is another option which I know of, but wordpress seemed less intimidating to me. Another option would be to use Reddit. Many writers have their own personal subreddit, you can upload to your page, and there is even a serials subreddit where people are encouraged to upload their serials. There are other options mentioned in the original tweet that I am unfamiliar with. You could also opt to go with multiple platforms, but I think you’re better off sticking with having a primary platform, and perhaps regularly uploading links to your primary on other platforms.

Then, no matter what platform you’ve picked, you need to first network within that platform. On wordpress, there are two primary ways to do this. First, you can tag your posts. I came into this with a mildly self righteous bias against hashtags, but I now use them on every post. Hashtags do a LOT of my marketing these days, and all I have to do is copy a template post that has them in it already. It is nearly free publicity. I try to keep it to about 5 hashtags for posts, and only tag the specific ones which are relevant to the post. For example, I sometimes use the #writeLGBTQ tag, but I only do that when my LGBTQ characters are actually in the writing I’m tagging. Then you have something which I don’t do often anymore (which I am aware I should), but I did a lot during my earlier days: WordPress reader. This is one of the reasons I like wordpress. It is where your hashtags go. You can follow specific bloggers or search by tags. This allows you to meet other bloggers, who might decide to check out your blog if they see you’ve liked and or followed. Note that this shouldn’t really be your only reason to read other peoples stuff, since I took a lot of design ideas from a blog I stumbled upon (which was actually great and you should read it).

Bonus tip: Use featured images in all of your posts. It makes them more appealing according to wordpress at least. It also lets you show off your other work if you draw or do photography. Even if you have to really stretch the connection, go for it. Look at that first sentence in my post, added afterwards so I could show off an original photo.

Plug to the great blog I found and read https://retroactivityserial.wordpress.com/

Next, I’d like to shout out the Web Fiction Guide. I put my blog in there towards the start of my career, and I still get clicks from my page on there. The people that run it were really friendly and helped me out when I had an issue submitting.

Last, I’ll briefly cover all other social media. I mostly network on twitter, which is really easy to integrate with your wordpress blog (presumably others as well). I send out a scheduled tweet every time I upload a new post, and add appropriate hashtags. An important thing to remember though: Don’t only tweet (or post on any other platforms) links to your blog. You certainly *can* do that, and you’ll probably get some clicks, but I’m reluctant to follow people who just tweet links to their work. Additionally, interacting with the community helps me find new people, some of whom read my stuff, and some of whom I learn things from. I used to network on reddit as well. You can answer writing prompts, post in critique threads, and find other good work on there, all of which can help point people towards your serial.

Tip 4: Consistency

My last tip is in counter to all of my networking tips. In all likelihood, you’re not going to get a ton of clicks, so don’t feel obligated to do a bunch of networking. I hardly bother with it at all, beyond the easy stuff. The biggest boon to growing your blog is to set a regular upload schedule and keep it. I upload every Friday at noon, barring technical errors. It doesn’t have to be weekly, just set something and stick to it. Consistency helps you stay disciplined in your writing, and helps give your viewership a steady increase. This will also help you in the future if you decide to monetize your content. If you’ve shown that you can be regular with your content, people will have more faith in you, and thusly be more willing to subscribe to your patreon/kofi/whatever.


 

That’s more or less all I’ve got, and it’s pretty late where I am. Just remember you’re doing this for a hobby, so don’t stress about it and be okay with it not going anywhere. I am so unimaginably stoked to have 63 followers, and that’s what I’ve gained over 2ish years of doing this. If you don’t know who I am, I do a serial, check the about page for more details, I think it’s pretty good.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re all well.

(Photo credit: Me, I took that. Look at it.)