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The End

November 19, 2013

Note:  I went ahead and started Pact.  Click the link to visit the next story.


Fade to black.  Roll credits.

Alright, that sounds pretty damn pretentious.  But Worm is over.  It’s been in motion for two and a half years, two updates a week.  Readers have joined, hopping on from forums, wiki-walking their way in from TV tropes, getting recommendations from other authors.  For most, for many, reading Worm became something of a routine.  As serials go, there’s been a lot of material released at a fast pace.

For me, well, I’m a little spooked at the idea of what happens when you’re at the helm of something like this and it stops.

This isn’t about me, though.  There’s room for talking about that later.  It’s about you, the reader, and the continuation of the reading experience, and it’s about Worm, and the continuation of that.

The Reading Experience

The Tuesday-Sat Schedule continues.  I went into this in the FAQ, but not many read that, and the plan has changed just a smidge.

For the coming few weeks, I’ll be previewing the works I’m thinking about writing.  I listed a wad in Worm’s FAQ, and I’ve pared down the list to the ones I feel most confident about.  Keeping in mind these are placeholder titles, the stories are:

Peer (Fantasy)

Body Boil (Biopunk)

Face (Thriller)

Pact (Horror/Modern Supernatural)

With 1-3 chapters previewed of each (I’m aiming for 2, but will go for 3 if pacing demands it, and will stop at 1 if the reaction is negative enough), I can expect to wrap up around the New Year.  If it’s required, I’ll take an update day to get the site for the new story set up.  For the most part, however, I want to keep to my schedule (acknowledging the family difficulties that make writing hardest around Christmas).  It’s just how I function best.

Stories will be previewed here, to keep Worm sacrosanct and unpolluted.  The next story will be set up on a different site altogether, once it gets underway.

Pay attention to this blog to see the previews.

Worm, Publication

So let me start out by saying I have no idea what happens in the coming few weeks.  This is subject to change.  This is a beast of a thing, really, considering Worm is ~22 conventional books in length and the degree of support/involvement from outside parties can really determine how this might go.

To put it succinctly, there are a few hurdles here.

Editing is the big one.  I’ve never done anything like this, so I hesitate to make promises.  This is all estimation.

I’m estimating that Worm will take two and a half years to edit.  That’s perhaps a little conservative.  I know how much free time I have, I know I want to keep writing instead of stopping to go back and fix stuff up (people who’ve read about why I started serializing in the first place may understand this), and I know from being in a writer’s circle roughly how long editing takes me.  I did editing for the first third of a circle-member’s book, and it’s surprising just how difficult it can be.  I’m a fast reader and a prolific writer, but editing is a different beast altogether.

Two years and six months, but that will change depending on the amount of free time I have.  I don’t want this to sound manipulative or greedy, because I don’t think I am manipulative or greedy like that…  I’m more interested in putting all of the cards on the table; the amount of donations I have received and will receive will affect how long it takes to get a published version of Worm out there, because it makes the difference in my being able to write and my having to go find/do work in another job (and consequently having less days to write).

The estimate presumes I can find roughly two days a week to go over old material, to read comments and refresh myself on what people thought, find typos I missed, restructure and rewrite.  I would be aiming for roughly an arc a month.  That’s on top of 2-3 days a week spent on the actual writing.

There are three major areas where I feel like I want to rewrite and restructure in a major way, and there are a few underlying problems I want to fix.

  • The Timeskip – I’m thinking I’ll rewrite it wholesale.  Events will remain the same, but Taylor’s story really demands more focus on this point in time.  The fundamental problem with the story arc was that we jumped ahead 1.5 years and it was rushed.  It was jarring due to the switch from a day-to-day focus to skipping months and weeks over the course of six or so chapters.  I’m thinking I’ll break it up into two new arcs.  One would likely consist of interludes (many of the same events of Taylor’s story, from the perspective of her teammates/superiors), to help the timeskip segue.  More involvement with her new team, and more focus on her and her changes (or lack of change).  This would mandate some time being set aside to put the new chapters together.
  • The Beginning – I was a different author when I started Worm, with less experience and knowledge.  Worm is widely seen as having an ‘ok’ start and a ‘great’ middle (and end?  Feedback is mixed on that).  I want to pick up the pace and address some of the issues people have had where they got turned off very early on.
  • The Bumps –  Writing a serial, you have good days and bad.  A few bad days in a row, and you get a piece of the story that you look back on and you cringe.  I won’t get too into this here, but there are chapters people have grumbled about, ones they didn’t think were as good as they could’ve been.  I’m hoping to redo these things.
  • Outside of the topic of individual chapters/arcs that didn’t ‘take’, I’m hoping to reconcile the tempo of the story.  Too much happens in too short a span of time, and I’d like to make it so that the story covers a wider span of time without breaking up the events or the tension.  If that makes the story a bit longer, maybe I can cut out redundant stuff to compensate.  If it allows for just a bit more time focused on Taylor’s time in Brockton Bay, just before she leaves, then that isn’t bad either – I’d like to explore that just a little bit more.

There’s a lot to do.  Worm is first-draft stuff, and thinking I can get away with only a second draft may be reckless.  I’d rather do it right than do it fast.

If there’s interest, I’d be open to play-by-plays; using this blog, perhaps, to reopen discussion on a particular arc, revisit it with fans and discuss the weak points and strong points, so I don’t lose sight of the core of it.  I can’t promise to show off the polished chapters as they go up, but if people want to get involved, I can show snippets to those individuals to get feedback on the rewrites.

Beyond the editing, there are other questions in terms of where to end books (which is sort of editing) and in terms of finances (which isn’t).  On the former front, I have ideas, but that’s a tricky thing to hammer out.  On the latter, it comes down to reader support, outside parties and possibly kickstarters to get stuff going.

There will, barring exceptional circumstance, be an ebook.

Print books are harder, in the order of tens of thousands of dollars to get stuff going.  But I had ten thousand readers at Worm’s peak , roughly, so perhaps that’s doable.

A special limited-edition run is, if enough interest is shown, very possible.

Worm, Follow-up Works

I’m hoping and planning to do a Worm sequel down the road.  I can’t say much more than that.  I want to take a break from it, so the original Worm can have an end, and so the sequel can have a beginning.  Too close together, and they start to blend into one another.

That said, it’s very possible that I could offer bonus material, side stories and chapters, depending on what happens with the next book(s) I write.  Feedback matters, here.

I can’t say much more than that at this point, because that’s about all I know.

Staying in Touch

With that, we’ve pretty much covered the bases.  Maybe you won’t like the genre or focus of the next work.  Maybe you were dissatisfied at the end, and you were just holding out until the last chapter to be able to say you finished it.  Hopefully that isn’t the case.

I’m spooked at the idea that some of my readers are going to walk away, and my next story won’t have quite the same number.  I accept it, though, and I can only do my best and hope that I keep getting support and recommendations.  Thank you, to my critics and fans alike, for sticking with the story this far.

If you do want to keep following along, then that starts with checking out the sample chapters.  Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you in the comment section.

If you don’t aim to keep following my work, but you remain interested in what happens with Worm, note the subject line below and email me at Wildbowpig [at] gmail [dot] com, filling in the symbol & punctuation mark appropriately.  (I have to write it that way to help confuse the bots that trawl WordPress for emails to spam).

Include the subject line ‘WormSequelNews’ (all one word) if you want to be notified when things are underway with the sequel.

Include the subject line ‘WormPublishNews’ (all one word) if you want to be emailed when the ebook/print books are out, for kickstarters or anything of the sort.

Include the subject line ‘WormNews’ (again, one word) for both.

I’ll also have any news and updates on this blog and in the comments of my new stories.

So.  Yeah.

End of an era, it feels like.

I can’t think of a graceful way to wrap this up, so let me say thank you.  Thank you for your support.  Thank you for reading.  I never could’ve done this without you.

From → N02

  1. vexste permalink

    Gotta say. It’s hard for a story to impress me. I have pretty damn high standards… I’m also pretty cheep and try to avoid “buying” things where necessary… but this story blew me away! I’ll admit… I only started at chapter 8 because me friend told me that, ” that’s the spot where it really gets going” but I’ve decided, if and when this get’s published…. I’m buying ALL of them. You’re the bomb Wildbow!

  2. Nicole Weaver permalink

    I just spent a month reading this story(i can read a novel a day under normal circumstances). I am blown away. It was amazing. i agree the timeskip was a surprise and took me a bit to catch up with it mentally, but wow. Just wow.
    Thank you so much.
    I am deeply impressed with what you have created here. I will definitely be reading more of your work and looking into ebook you mentioned.
    Thank you for giving her a chance at a happy ending. Its more than most of us get and seeing her friends missing her touched my heart.

  3. PisforParadox permalink

    Jesus freakin Christ, I finally finished your behemoth of a story. That was actually a very solid story, and I’m pleased that it was something I could really sink my teeth into. As a speed reader, its hard for me to find any series of long enough length to keep me entertained, but I have surrendered many a night to your series and I might look at your others… just as soon as I recover from that.

    good job, I hope you find great success in your endeavors and I do believe that you should attempt to wrangle that series into book form at some point in the far future. Too many people are likely intimidated by its web serial form (I know I was) and making it into books would really help coax out the more skittish readers.

  4. Rabblerouser permalink

    Stumbled upon this story from a random Reddit hyperlink just before Christmas, and its all I’ve been reading. What a great story, and such vivid characters. Top notch. I’ve recommended this to all my friends. I have a few books on backlog to read, but I will be returning.

  5. Wolfram1 permalink

    Well, just how do i say this?
    I feel like i can’t do u justice when trying to describe how much i enjoyed reading this story. Exciting, thrilling, emotional, … it all falls short.

    What i can say is that while i had problems with truly deciding to delve into this story, due to the simplistic and ofttimes overused Hero/Villein lables u managed to ensnare me with this story to the point where it kept me from sleeping (in a good way, since i can’t stop reading when i have a truly good book/web novel in my grasp) and let me live through a harmony of emotions. Sometimes i teared up and othertimes i felt the rush of excitement (sometimes even both at once).

    Anyway, i wanted to thank you.
    For the experience u provided and the emotions that involved alike. I would have loved to see her trancend to godhood and the like in the end, but i ofttimes dwell to much on thoughts of grandour involving the charakters i have taken a liking to. So i think it was great to end it this way.

    PS: read it all in 1 and 1/2 weeks, kind of proud of that, i know thats silly though ^^

  6. i enjoyed your story untill we got to cockroach i stopped there for about 3 months skimmed it then moved on from there to finish the story. I loved your story but some reason cockroach was a hard arc to read…

  7. amack86 permalink

    Wildbow… I’ve been reading novels and such for most of my life and lately I’ve been disgusted with the teen beet vampire trash and the such. Everything nowadays is high fantasy elvish crap or romanticized vampires who glitter in the freakin sun. It’s turned me off of what used to be a favored pass time and personal refuge. A friend introduced me to worm some time ago and I promised I’d read it… I picked it up expecting the same realm of trash I mentioned above, but after a few chapters I was caught. I haven’t been able to put it down and now that I’ve finished it… well I’m a little beside myself. I was enthralled. Seriously, I can honestly say that worm struck me in a way a novel hasn’t in quite some time. I was emotionally invested in some or the characters and am honestly heartbroken and pleased that I finished it in a bittersweet fashion. It reminded me why I enjoyed my books so much and really struck a cord with me. You really inspired me to start taking chances on my reading selections again and as a point of fact, to say it again, you really struck a cord. I hope you realize how important that truly is. Thank you for the amazing work and you’ve made a fan for life. I look forward to whatever you do next and fervently hope you do follow through with a sequel. Again thank you.

  8. cycloneblaze permalink

    Well that’s a week of my life I won’t get back. Exactly a week, looking at the time. Not to say it was wasted, not at all, but… Worm consumed me for a while. It’ll be hard to shake it off, what with my having just read *22 books*.

    Thank you, Wildbow.

  9. HoboGod permalink

    This story is… well, I can’t really find the words to describe just how AMAZING Worm was. Wildblow, you have outdone yourself here. So below are my thoughts about Worm, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Now for a few questions/things that bothered me. The Endbringers, what are they? This was never explained. Another thing that I noticed was during the Travelers ark, when they arrived in Bet, they didn’t immediately realize they were there because of the Simurgh, so does that mean there are copies of the Endbringers in other dimensions? And if not, why did that not immediately tip them off to the fact that they were in the wrong dimension. The time skip. You’re too good at making interesting/awesome/wonderful characters. The ending let a bit to be desired, the main problem that I had with it was that it left loose ends, though this is only tempered by the fact that you intend to write a squeal… in several years. I mean c’mon man, a cliffy with a mutli-year long wait time, Hitler’s not even that evil! Grue/Regent’s death, right in the feels man (this is more Satyrical than anything, character death is fine, kind of). Back tot he Travelers ark, it just feels kind of pointless in hindsight, just because it never really went anywhere, I mean, it was a great read (as always) but it never really contributed to the story overall. The fact that I can’t throw money at you because I’m poor. And finally, the fact that there currently isn’t more Worm literature.

    Now for the good. The characters are AMAZING. The story was amazing and creative. The one thing that really kept me reading was how Taylor and co. would get into situations that they couldn’t possibly escape from, and then they did! With no (bad/stupid) Dues Ex Machina. Just, holy shit man, this story easily earns the right to be called the best story I have ever read, I love this so much and I’m sad to see that it’s over.

    Now for the gray. The length; personally I like long stories because they can occupy my time for a while, but these tend to drag on and lose the readers interest; fortunately in Worm’s instance, you kept it interesting (and the dry bits weren’t too bad, and interesting stuff happened frequently enough to prevent me from losing interest). The character death, I get that it’s necessary in some instances, but it tears me up to see beloved characters die.

    So in conclusion this story was FUCKING AWESOME 100/10 would recommend to anyone that’s not a little kid. Wildblow I hope I can be just a fraction as good a writer as you are. And lastly, please, I beg of you, when the time is right, write a sequel; if not then please release a few chapters tying up the loose ends.

    -The HoboGod

    I didn’t proof read this.

  10. Darrian permalink

    I loved Worm. I’ve recommended it to others and I can’t wait for a sequel to it. Don’t stop writing.

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