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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. Finished the story. An amazing piece of worldbuilding, such depth!

    A few comments, hopefully constructive, from another writer (who needs to take his own advice)…

    1. It never seems to be made clear why Dinah is so important to Taylor, could do with a bit more explanation when that plotline first gets going.
    2. The first Migration chapter (17.1) would make a good preface, give the reader something to wonder about until they reach chapter 17?
    3. I’m sure you’re aware of a number of spelling and grammar errors and e.g. words missed out/added, etc. Good luck with editing a 1.7 million word story :-S
    4. …talking of which, think about cutting it down (I think you’ve mentioned this a few times yourself). Some ways you could do this would be: Not going into full detail about every single character’s back story, it’s good but you could use them as website content to draw readers in then publish the book separately; towards the middle of the story some of the characters go off on long and winding monologues which could easily be trimmed down or sliced into the rest of their dialogues; there is often too much information, you need to leave something up to the reader’s imagination or they could be watching a film (would make a great TV series, by the way).
    5. (To go back on what I just wrote) The scene where Jack is finally defeated could do with a bit more detail, seems a bit blurry around the edges. I had to read it a couple of times before I knew exactly what had happened to him.
    6. I’m afraid I wasn’t smart enough to write down examples but some of your metaphors seem a bit wonky and segue off into odd places.

    That’s it! Six points is not many for such a massive undertaking, you have a wonderful imagination and I’m glad I don’t live inside your head.

    One final thing. I was driving into work this morning listening to one of my favourite bands – Swervedriver – when this song came on:

    Lyrics are:

    Please take it away
    I don’t need your hiding today
    I’m holdin’ out for a new kind of hero
    Punk barrier town
    Your heart broken pogo up & down
    D.C – O.D. I wanna cyber-punk hero
    Grab a case and see
    Messed Chicano, Ape Sex, Ray D
    As the ashes snow I know I loved a real hero

    Hey Doyle drive us downtown
    Fuck the pigs and ruck it up & down
    Score Vato’s Gold I’ve been told
    It’s a rad beer aaah
    Bombs drop on your town
    You gotta learn to love ’em, frown & drown
    Caribbean seas draw so much nearer
    Death squads abound
    They’re just out to raze you to the ground
    As the ashes snow I know loved a real hero

    Please take it away
    I don’t need your ideals today
    I’m holdin’ out for a new kind of hero
    Punk barrier town
    Your heart broken, pogo up & down
    D.C. – O.D. I want a cyber-punk hero
    Grab a case and see
    Messed Chicano, Ape Sex, Ray D
    As the ashes snow I know I loved a real hero

    I think this song should be your theme tune!

    Good luck with your future writing, you deserve a place in the pantheon of epic writers.



  11. 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.

  12. Aax permalink

    OK, I’m gonna leave a very brief feedback here. It may contain spoilers for those who didn’t read the book, but hopefully people who read this have read it.
    There were two places in the book that I felt restless, almost stopped reading once. Both places are s9 arcs. The first one – the sheer LENGTH of it. It drags and drags on and on. On one hand, its really an integral thing to the story, on the other hand, I feel it lacks momentum. I also hated 8 interludes in a row. They are each very good, don’t get me wrong. But this is too large of a gap in Taylor’s story. It feels almost like fillers.
    The second arc with a bunch of s9 clones was pretty boring too. It is essentially a bunch of skirmishes with different heroes some of which the reader is barely familiar with.
    One minor note is that s9 arcs are spooky. They are supposed to be, but its like injecting “saw” moments into a marvel movie. The genre shift from action/adventure to straight horror and then back feels odd. I just thought I’d say this.
    I do feel the story overall would do better with more romance. You have nailed dragon/defiant, and parian/foil is a good relief too, considering those two are pretty secondary. I do think that Taylor/grue thing was forced and unnatural, even weird. The way it plays out feels almost like grue taking advantage over Taylor’s guilt, using her for sex and comfort while not giving a shit about her in the end. Maybe its planned that way, but very unfulfilling.
    The way grue breaks seems too forced. He basically swaps from being 2-3rd most important character in the story to being in the last rows, somewhere near biter or kid win. In a span of a few chapters. He barely acts or talks at all after that, and his most important scene is screwing Taylor. Odd.
    The part between s9 and Taylor giving herself in seems rushed. I would love to have good warlordly times to last longer. It almost feels like skitter didn’t have a time needed to develop a rep she’s credited for.
    The part about probation with the wards and butterflies seems a setback, not fulfilling. Here you have Skitter the warlord kicking ass against the scariest motherfuckers in the world, s9, dragon, Alexandria… And then you drop her back into kinder garden with butterflies and stuff. Admittedly, she’s back to being cool in the behemoth arc, but this gap with wards seems plain boring after the pace, suspense and danger of prior arcs. Hope that helps you edit!

    That said, I’m into writing myself, and I can only hope too be as good as you in the future. Keep it up! And best of luck to you.

    P.s. sorry the typos – smartphone.

    • Maite permalink

      The last thing Worm needs is more romance. The lack of such a cliché feature is one thing I found incredibly refreshing. If anything, I’d say it needs less (though I’d have a hard time pointing to any elements that could really be cut).

  13. This series was suggested to me by a friend that had read it while it was being written. He had picked it back up, knew I was looking for my next book (s) to devour and placed it before me. I will be eternally grateful to him for having done so.
    I love a good series as I tend to fully delve into the worlds I am reading about, especially when they are as richly written as this was. I grow attached to characters and identify little bits of myself and others within their experiences. Throughout the series I was impressed with how you were able to stay true to each character’s individuality with conceivable thought/emotion progression both unique to them and to their respective peers/enemies dynamics. Praise having been said, a few constructive points/opinions:
    1) A few have mentioned the battle with the s9 clones and while it can use some streamlining, I personally really liked this segment. For me it was a true underscore to highlight how the pressure & bullshit just Never Lets Up or Stops (which to me is integral in reflecting how the burden carried is helping shape the choices made, by humanity as a whole and by capes in a larger magnitude).
    2) We want to love Grue, you made him that way. You hint at it and his later behavior shows it, Grue is a selfish asshole. However, the end reflection deserves to be expanded a bit. Another commenter mentioned how he just vanishes per se and this would be true to his core, however a little more detail of him getting to that point (either directly through him or inferred by others) would help to clarify it. As it is now, it is a bit “muddy”.
    3) The Endbringers -still unclear to me exactly what they are? It was hinted that they were a projection of/by someone, similar to Siberian and then it was left alone. Then there is a baby, who’s killed (an endbringer? a mate for Scion? an offsprings of Scion and his partner from the garden?) Simaherge takes back off to the sky while the others are “dormant”…so many unclear things happening with them that I feel I should understand more and yet I do not.
    I have a few stories that I will return to again, and again, and again. Those can normally be counted on one hand. Thank you for making me now have to use both hands in representation. I look forward to exploring more of your work.

  14. This was one hell of a ride. If not my favorite book, then definitely top 3.

    Damn good job, I think there were only a handful of chapters I wasn’t enjoying myself, and that’s something you can be proud of as an author.

  15. Tai permalink

    Holllyyyyyyyyyyy crap, amazing story, inspiring work, changed my views. magnificent!
    Thanks wildbow

  16. Kyle permalink

    Thank you for this. Thank you so much. I loved it. I’ve read everything. My parents had a literal library. This is one of the best things that I have ever come across. Never stop. You’re amazing.

  17. That was… absolutely amazing. It took me a whole summer to read this serial, and the average novel takes me a week or less.

    Few things:
    1) The timeskip was a little confusing, and I feel like we didnt have the opportunity to get to know the “hero” characters as well.
    2) I would totally buy this in print, even if I had to buy 22 or even 25-30 books.
    3) My own superhero story has been stuck in a rut for the better part of a year. I’m really struggling with making believable characters, particularly villians. I’m also afraid to pick more generic superpowers. Do you have any tips/suggestions for an aspiring young writer?

  18. Skierus permalink

    Truly enjoyed this story. it ate up all my free time for the past week or two and the days have blurred but i truly felt connected to the characters. at some points the interludes would manage to anger me due to taking me away from the characters i fell in love with in the middle of the action. hahahaha this world sucked me in and i couldnt escape till i finished the story, The ending felt foreshadowed well the giving up everything for power to save the world was, i mean. im quite happy with how you ended the story hope there is or will be a somewhat calm follow up series based on taylors day to day life after the story. it doesnt need to be action filled i just think the topic of an ex…. villain hero S-class threat and being a inter-dimensional refugee at the same time fitting into society would be interesting

  19. Chris G permalink

    This was truly an amazing read. Thank you so much! Someone posted a link on a John Ringo post, and it caught my eye. I stopped reading everything else except Worm for a few weeks until I read it all because I was so engrossed. I wish I wasn’t so late to the party, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it. It’s bittersweet to reach the end- I want there to be more, but “all good things…” If there ever is a sequel, or more fleshing out, I’d love to read it.

    I wonder if a show could ever be made. I’ll post it at Legion M and see what folks think. It may be overly ambitious for a minor studio, and I’d hate to see a good story get ruined, but maybe someday someone can do it justice on the screen. If not, I can only hope more and more people find it and enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks again!

  20. Lukas C.P-S permalink

    It’s been so long. I really do hope there is or will be a printed version, ’cause I’m ready to throw my money at it.

  21. Ashwednesdaybeast permalink

    Just finished at a slow pace (tried to drag it out as long as possible) and holy shit! I love Worm! Definitely one of my favorite fictitious works of all time. Although my memory is kinda poor, I’ll try and fill in some areas I thought could be improved, and what I really liked about the story.
    -Class S threat backgrounds: I feel like none of them were covered in enough detail. S9 members, endbringer origins, ash beast, the sleeper, etc. I was so hyped on all of those!
    -Overusing certain sayings. I might be alone here, but occasionally a “saying” would get overused in dialogue and that bugged me. I also thought the constant metaphors were misplaced occasionally.
    -while I was overwhelmed (in the best way) during the final scion confrontation, I couldn’t help but feel the scenery jumped around. I just felt that there were times where you jumped from action to action, with a teeny bit of foreshadowing the action.
    -the “warlord” era for Taylor was kinda lackluster. I felt more could have been accomplished.
    -Dragon’s POV scenes were beautifully written, but felt confusing.
    -I felt some characters met such a simple demise, and their vast importance in the story was summed up in a minor death sequence.
    Hopefully I didn’t come off like a cry baby…because honestly these details feel so minor to the big picture: where you shined.
    -Every character felt important! I fell in love with 90% of the characters in the story! My favorite scenes are all interludes even.
    -The build up. I actually found the beginning of the story incredibly intriguing.
    -Tinkers. I love that you were able to make every tinker seem so unique, and all of their tech seemed so realistic.
    -Overall knowledge. It seems as though you extensively studied every area that was addressed in your story, from hacking Dragon to genetic make up of Case 53’s…as thoigh everything had a physical manual in the real world.
    -The world. You built the perfect worlds for these characters. Nuff said.
    Worm will go down as one of the greatest fictional works in my library. I hope that it becomes a published reality for you. I will buy buy buy!
    -Suggestion: Please do a Slaughterhouse 9 series detailing them from start to finish. Really digging into their background, even through the final moments worh Jack and the Number man. I adore their story lines and want more! I’m especially interested in hatchet face. I also think you might be able to tie their story into things you couldn’t cover (previous endbringer attacks, the sleeper, narwhal seeing action).
    Hope all of the feedback helps. I’m onto Pact now, so please keep pushing out this tremendous amount of stellar work.

  22. Scotty permalink

    6 months after stumbling onto this story by chance I have finally finished. Quite possibly the best story I’ve ever read! If its published I’ll be buying it. Thank you!
    Western Aus

  23. I just wanted to say thanks. I’m not sure if you got my email, butI started the story about 2 weeks ago after seeing a Quora post mentioning the awesome powers that you came up with for the story and decided to try it out. Since then, I’ve been reading constantly, at any time that I got, forgoing homework, video games, and some of my social life just to finish your amazing story. Sure there were some things that I was confused about and didn’t like, and I did sometimes feel that it was too exhausting to read because of the pacing, but all-in-all, Worm was one of the best stories I have ever read. So I wanted to thank you and wish you the best of luck in coming up with more creative stories for me to binge read!

  24. Connor permalink

    Great story. A few notes:

    1. You should keep an eye out for phrases that you overuse – this is a sign of immature writing. Examples would be characters calling things “copacetic” (I think you think that this word is more commonly used than it really is! Most people would not be saying this), Imp doing things “sagely” (most commonly nodding sagely), people “getting a bead on” something (this one is used WAY too much!), etc. Study your writing and I’m sure you will see more. I encourage you to work on trimming out some of these – it will surely clean up your writing a bit and make it seem much more mature.

    2. By and large, I feel like you are one of the most eminently clear writers I have ever had the pleasure to read. Almost all of your chapters do a good job of making it exceptionally clear what is happening. That’s why it’s so particularly jarring when Teacher’s portion of Teneral is quite confusing toward the end. Specifically, from the moment where he uses the teleportation device and leaves with Ingenue and Satyr, it feels very, very unclear and I honestly have no idea what happened. What was the result of Lung’s actions? What did the Simurgh do? These questions and many more were left unanswered by this very muddled end of an otherwise great chapter.

    3. Final point. If you intend to publish this, I highly recommend taking an editorial eye over the last 10 arcs. I wish it did not have to be such a large number, but unfortunately the number of typos seen in these chapters is mind-boggling, in comparison to the preceding 20 arcs (which seemed much, much more flawless). Things like characters’ names not being capitalized (Teacher was a big one) and titles not being capitalized (“dr. babytalk” should really be “Dr. Babytalk”); many, many cases of missing end punctuation (especially places where a period would be missing before the quotation mark in dialogue at the end of a paragraph); and quite a few other types of typos became ubiquitous toward the end of the work. These need to be tidied up before you would really be able to publish this in any official medium.

    Despite these criticisms, I think it warrants saying that Worm is a preeminent work of literature. Your capacity for worldbuilding is unparalleled among at least 98% of the writers whose work I have ever read. Another commenter noted that everything – from tinker tech to the physiological makeup of Case 53s – seems grounded in reality. I would expand on this and say that it all seems so tantalizingly plausible – the world of Worm seems so realistic and so familiar to me now that I almost want to convince myself that we were among the myriad earths parallel to Bet, so that I could believe it’s actually real.

    Mr. McCrae, I applaud you from the depths of my heart. You’ve created a work of art that I very much hope continues to draw in readers. Worm is many things – gripping, darkly twisted, bittersweet, tragic AND comedic, heartwarming and heartstopping, and most of all a thrilling epic from beginning (or, slightly more apt, about 2% of the way in) to end. Please never give up on writing. You have a gift that a precious few can claim to possess, and the world is so much better for it.

  25. Eyching permalink

    I can’t say I’m as sold on this story as many others here seem to be, but as I did finish it, and it certainly was something special. Although you should be done with that editing by now, following your time plan, I still want to ask you to please fix the physics for any final version. It made me almost quit at several occasions, especially Armsmaster’s stuff. Or just skip trying to explain how the devices work and calling all light beams “laser” (I think Purity is said to have a laser at some point and there aren’t really white lasers, nor should non-lethal lasers knock people of their feet), that would be an alternative as well.

  26. Tina Biondo permalink

    My son put me on to your website and I have to say I’m incredibly impressed with your work. I enjoyed the time and concepts you wove into the world of Worm, and your insights into the workings of the teenage powers is incredibly insightful. Thank you for giving me a look at the the innate wonder of how power can be used for the greater good and also the risk of absolute power corrupting absolutely.

  27. Stephanie permalink

    Thank you for an amazing story!
    I had picked up a YA superhero novel but after finishing it was really really disappointed with the lack of background, character development and quality writing.
    So I turned to Worm, which my college professor of all people was recommending. It was fantastic. The entire reasonings, the backstory, the characters. I was in love from beginning to end.
    Again, thanks.

  28. Averaen permalink

    Thanks for this amazing piece of work. Looking forward to starting Pact after my emotions recover a bit.

  29. Cayden permalink

    Than you so much for Worm. I’ve been able to related to characters in ways I never thought I could and honestly it has changed my perspective on life (as cliche as that sounds!). I don’t know the words to properly describe how much I love this series and how much it truly means to me, so thank you so much!

  30. uhhsorryimlate permalink

    is a part 2 going to happen?

  31. DieCed permalink

    worm has accompanied my trips going to school and home from school for a while now. the parts of worm that i really loved were when we were able to see other characters view in taylor. it just added a whole new side to her character that we don’t see from her own thoughts.

  32. Oranje permalink

    I just finished reading this, spent about two weeks doing it, what a ride, thank you Wildbow (i donated something for keeping me occupied) the only real issue was with the time jump forward, but reading this, you know that already.
    I hope you can make a living through this, because you deserve to!

  33. Keen permalink

    I just want to say I stumbled upon your novels, via How to Avoid Death on a Daily basis saying he never beats you in any of the top fictions, and boy am I glad he mentioned you. Worm is by far the best Web serial novel I have ever read, and the amount of emotion I felt over this series and now after finishing it can only be described as heavy. From the beginnings of her journey to the end Skitter was one of the most emotionally developed characters I’ve ever seen in any book. I cried for her at the end, because of how it all went down and reading the epilogue I was just hoping she would still be alive. Thank you for giving her that last moment. Even now writing this my heart aches knowing I won’t be able to read anymore of this journey, as I would assume your sequel would be placed in the future not focusing on these characters. Please if you ever get to writing the sequel, make some cameos for the old crew here, and if you ever get to publishing this book I’ll make sure to buy the series, as you deserve it for this masterpiece. This series has moved me more then anything I’ve ever read, and even now writing this I’m choking up. It’s hard to think I’ll find anything online that would compare to this journey, where I felt as though I sat by the MC as they struggled to make their path and ideas known throughout so many hardships. I truly wish this story would of gone on for 3x the length, as I feel I could of read so many more adventures from our dynamic group of Undersides.

    Thank you so very much for bringing this story into being Wildbow.

  34. This fucking story ;u;
    I loved the ending; I’ll get that right out of the way. It concludes the story firmly and points to new beginnings. It’s hopeful, it’s fun, it’s believable and it’s NICE. Just, nice to the characters.
    And the entire story built up to it. The hope was the entire point and this was so much suffused with it, from the beginning.
    Actually at the beginning I had some doubts? I was worried this would be one of those ‘innocent kid gets fucked over by life and keeps getting darker until the tragic end’ stories. Taylor had a pretty rough beginning. But… it didn’t happen. Instead, cooperation and avoiding killing were worthwhile things from the start? Her friends didn’t think less of her for caring about people. Even Regent went along. I mean FOR FUCK’S SAKE LATER IN THE STORY THERE’S A MOMENT WHERE TAYLOR TELLS FUCKING SIMURGH TO NOT HURT CIVILIANS AND IT WORKS. Like HOLY FUCK. If that doesn’t say VOLUMES about the kind of story this is, I don’t know what does.
    And it was so SATISFACTORILY long. God knows I want to read a sequel, but this was a complete story. What it started with, Taylor’s bullying – look, this kind of thing just strikes a chord with me, based on personal experiences. And the story went beyond it, then came back and addressed it, then moved beyond again, and then fucking doubled back and hammered the point home until it dissolved completely. Sophia wasn’t an antagonist at the end, and that was… I guess I’m just the same kind of person Taylor is, when it comes to picking friends and enemies and forgiving, and this was so much validation for this approach, and it was so. fucking. well-done.
    Just the technical aspects??? The multiple POVs? The shifts in voice alongside Taylor’s mental state? FUCKING A+++++++++++. I’m something of a writer myself? I obsess over those technical details, steal tricks and take lessons as I read, and this? Was SO worth learning from.
    And the way Taylor’s arc slowly built her up to be more and more important? The amount or agency she has, throughout? Just. Everything was so SATISFYING. I bought into every part of her being the most important person in the world, at the end (because she wasn’t even that, exactly, she just brought herself into being the catalyst, and everyone else did their part)
    oh and I love that message and theme too! Everyone doing their part. Cooperation. This is a story about cooperation that hammers it into our heads by making it seem so incredibly obivous and intuitive that cooperation is always superior. Like… that’s a fact. About our world. Survival of the fittest brought the social species to the top.
    (B T W I loved personally Simurgh from the point where she was shown to cooperate with Taylor and her crew and like… IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT WE GET A CHAPTER WITH HER POV. GOD BLESS)
    There are so fucking many things I want to praise here. Rachel’s arc. Lisa’s admission that she finds herself caring about people, little by little. Literally everything about Regent. Aisha. TAYLOR’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HER DAD AND THE FACT HE SURVIVED AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.
    (btw I held out hope that Taylor was alive during the epilogue before it was confirmed because I picked up on how unconfirmed her dad’s death was and expected him to turn out alive, and her being dead just wouldn’t mesh with it. AND BINGO. That was masterful <3)
    I guess the one thing I kind of didn't like was Taylor's romantic arc with Grue? I just didn't see chemistry there beyond 'she was a girl, he was a boy, it was obvious'. Hell, he even told her he saw her as a little sister at one point. TWO PEOPLE CAN BE CLOSE FRIENDS AND PARTNERS AND ROCKS FOR EACH OTHER WITHOUT IT BEING ROMANTIC OR SEXUAL FYI. And yes, that includes cuddling and falling asleep together. Nothing about it is inherently romantic or sexual.
    …anyway, the necessary aro ace bitching aside, this was fucking amazing. All the side characters, all the background characters, EVERYONE. The scale of this story, this isn't something that's easy to pull off??? and yet it worked completely and just. Unf.
    so yeah. fucking best

  35. Just finished reading through in 12 days! Very epic story, and I was completely enthralled up until the final 2-3 arcs. I think the end was screwy. I didn’t get how the other entity died, first off, and while I enjoyed Scion being the first entity, the way he got turned and everything after that was a shocking departure from the previous story. That being said, I did enjoy the story overall. I’m pretty good at spotting grammar, punctuation and spelling errors, and saw very, very few.

    Also, I’m a self-published author and there are print on demand services so you can have softcover for literally zero investment. It’s also an Amazon company; CreateSpace. So you can do both Kindle and print, if you choose. Best wishes, and I’m looking forward to reading your next series!

  36. For me to list the superlatives that describe how I feel after finishing this epic would be gilding the lily.

    Since I began reading this tale, it became an obsession to get to the end of it. Not because it bored me, quite the opposite. It superceded ALL my other “to read” stories and books, to the point of taking over my days and nights.

    What this all boils down to is: Freaking well done! As a writer myself, admittedly a small time one, I have some idea of what it takes to invest oneself in a project like this one. Your hard work and dedication show in every word, in every chapter and interlude, and I enjoyed every damn word you wrote.

    Thank you for a story I could NOT stop reading.

    Catherine Linda Michel

  37. Frescopino permalink

    I… Have really no words. Up to the last moment, you kept me guessing, feeling… Crying… You foreshadowed every single detail. Now, I don’t know how much is due to the edits you did, but it was impressive nonetheless, ever the simple structure of the story was, and I’m sure that was there since the beginning. I’ll maybe get a week of rest, take it all in and enjoy some of the game’s company over on Reddit and other places, then I’ll start reading Pact. And after that, it’ll be time for Twig. With enough luck, I’ll be there when Worm two starts. Otherwise, I’ll follow it along anyway.
    Truly a tale worth remembering this was. And rereading…

  38. Lonmalice permalink

    Love this story! This was my third time reading it😊 Noticed your mentioned a sequel. Anything happening in that departement?

  39. I found Worm way back towards the end of 2015 after Sandara (on DeviantArt) did some fanart for it, and I’m been reading it on and off for the last year and a half now, finishing it only tonight. I must say, this is probably the best story that I have **ever** read, and I consider myself a fairly avid reader.
    Your character development of not just Taylor but all the characters, especially Imp, Tattletail, Regent, Bitch, even the characters that were more “off to the sides” such as Dragon, Defiant and Miss Militia, is absolutely phenomenal. I don’t think I have ever read a story that had such a level of depth to the characters, and I can say for sure that they’ve all taken a special place in my heart after all this time I’ve been reading (with the complete exception of Shadow Stalker/Sophia, of course). Every time I read I was, sometimes quite literally, on the edge of my seat. The storyline was cram packed full of action but you wrote it in a way that didn’t seem like it was too much too quickly, and I commend you for that – I imagine that would be something exceedingly difficult to do. I will even admit that at one point I skipped half an interlude because I was so eager to get back to what was going on with Taylor!
    This is just such an exception novel here and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to read into your universe. I would love to be able to do some art of my favourite characters at some point so I have something that can remind me of the magnificant story I read here – it’s definitely something I will come back to in the future, and I’ve already recommended it to a few of my friends.
    Again, great job with this story. I was a little iffy about the ending despite being in denial for Taylor’s death the entire day prior to reading the last chapter, but I think that a sequel would do amazing things to further expand on what happened and why. I’m rooting for Taylor to get her powers back.
    Thank you for writing this novel and putting it up here for people to read, I honestly can’t put to words how much I loved reading this serial.

  40. Anonymous permalink

    This book is a masterpiece and I can respect your outlook on it and your opinions on it wildbow. Thank you for these chapters with interesting characters and beautifully insane antagonists. I know the interludes were necessary to the plot, but sometimes I just wanted to hurt you for putting so many in between the main story (especially with the slaughterhouse nine plot arc). Still this was one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever read and for that I thank you and wish you good fortune in your future endeavors.

  41. Jester permalink

    Just finished Worm and it was amazing. This was recommended by someone to me and I really appreciate that she’d introduce me to this awesome piece. Really looking forward to a sequel.

  42. Shawn permalink

    Thank you for writing this.

  43. F1ERCEFR0G permalink

    Wow. Just, wow. You did an amazing job here, wildbow. Kudos to you. I normally read maybe a book a day, this took three weeks, to a month for me to finish. I appreciate you.

  44. Kranth permalink

    Stumbled on this from a reddit suggestion…
    Spreading the word, and warning of 22books!

    Took me just under 3 weeks to read it all, and I loved it, keep writing, and if I ever see this in dead tree version, I already have a shelf picked out!

  45. 5007574in3d permalink

    Wow. I just spent three months bingeing Worm. I’m sorry I wasn’t here while the story was being written, but at the same time, I’m glad I didn’t have to wait a few days for a cliffhanger to be resolved. And there were quite a few cliffhangers that would have driven me mad.

    Anyway, I look forward to starting on one of your other stories. And for news about this one.

  46. aurikdomi permalink

    I have read through your entire story twice now without commenting, because I wanted to think on how I could tell you your writing is simply sublime without sounding like everyone else who liked it. sure it’s a first draft but that’s an issue with the words and grammar more than the story itself. Your writing is fantastic wildbow and I look forward to reading your other work and buying a hard copy of this if it ever comes out. PLEASE DO A KICKSTARTER if you are low on funds and need the help getting it published.

  47. Squiddney D permalink

    I started reading this the beginning of June! Just a little bit every day. And now here I am, the beginning of September, almost 2 in the morning, and I just finished it… I don’t know if I can deal with all this… it was very poignant in my opinion :,( INCREDIBLE story and one heck of a wild ride from start to finish. It feels like we’ve all come so far… the world changes, things are different, life goes on. Bittersweet I suppose.

  48. Lord Evil permalink

    When I read that Taylor was shot by tt, I immediately knew she’d make a reappearance in the C6 epilogue. Not bad writing by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an easy deduction. Then I get there, I find out… After everything that happened, the amount of raw trauma Taylor went through, she is tossed aside with a missing arm and no powers.

    So? She finally ran. She was forced to by her best friend, who decided her “use” was over. The friend who decided the fault lay on Dinah, and not any failing of her own. After overcoming the greatest bully Taylor possibly could, one who was in the process of ending the world, she becomes a broken tool. And she accepts that; asks for it even.

    She didn’t go back to really being “Taylor.” While everyone on Earth Bet is living their lives and rebuilding, she’s a cripple and – yes, still – a monster -packaged into a fake life. I didn’t know what to expect from this story’s ending, but I had expected just about anything except this. Why is the message that the bullies WON? That only the person with the purest of motive was hopelessly damned; cast out to find solace in lives that aren’t her’s? That her best friend in the end mirrored her best friend in the beginning?

    I can accept that society saw her as a threat, that things were bad, that her friends didn’t know if she should be trusted. But I feel like you wrote yourself into a corner and, rather than find a tougher solution, I feel like you capitulated. Like the last few chapters where the grammar and spelling got worse, where you seemed perpetually in a bad mood in the comments, were because you, on some level, knew there was a repetition, but you still refused to solve the puzzle. A solution Taylor, if not Tattletale, surely WOULD have sought. They both would have, to be frank. Perhaps Taylor would have acted like she did in the final chapter before she got her powers, but her experiences as a monster would have changed that. You can’t go back. I would know.

    Your story is well written. And I’m just one guy who was enthralled by your work. But maybe there is a real Simurgh out there because me seeing THIS ending on THIS story… It broke something. I feel tired, far too tired, of capitulations to status quo time and time again, as though even the most intelligent and witty among us should surrender when the facade becomes “good enough.”

    I have a lot of questions that need answering. Have for a long time. Today, I got one answer. And I don’t like it.

    • After condensing my thoughts, trying to understand why that last bit hurt so much more than the previous 30 chapters, and why it felt like something broke in my mind… I have another answer.

      I go around reading superhero novels because when I was young, for all I tried to fit in and make sense of the world, I was bullied much like Taylor. Unlike Taylor, I never once gave in to the bullying. I, powerless and lacking a parent, faced down several weapon-wielding gang members without a weapon of my own. And I won. Shortly thereafter, and extremely ironically, I was nearly killed by the uncaring attitude of someone who would not be touched by society’s checks and balances. I suffered for 8 years for reasons completely unrelated to myself and barely related to my actions. That flippancy made it worse than a direct attack; I had won against force, lost to mere dismissal.

      For 25 years I’ve thought to channel my anguish into making lives better. Even though I suffered, and so conjured up many negative names like “Lord Evil,” I still did what I could believe was the greater good.

      Two years ago, after nearly a decade of studying quantum physics, I came up with a revolutionary theory. And for the first time in my life, I just sat there looking at my accomplishment. I felt like I should be doing something. Anything. I couldn’t. Six months passed. I encrypted it, hid it on an external drive, and carefully wiped the original copy. Since then, I’ve sat around, not doing much, except reading superhero novels. Sometimes I wondered what made me stop writing letters to elected officials, hanging out with friends, sharing the fruits of my research.

      Then I read this. A story where one little girl tries to save the world and gets fucked over every way to Sunday. It’s a great story; excellent even. Not every story needs a good ending or a positive message. I enjoy when a muse can elicit a solid theme even when the message is painful. I was fine with everything said along the way, even though the story made me laugh and cry. Sometimes, both at the same time. Maybe, especially, because it could touch the emotions of someone like myself.

      What I didn’t realize was that the final chapter would distort everything. That a story about the universe aligning to punish the do-gooder would end with literally everyone denying the one person who deserved forgiveness, hiding from the truth to protect their innocence. A story where the bad would subsist because of inertia, while the most stubbornly good force in existence was tormented simply because their method of conveyance was uniquely vulnerable. Because they needed help. Perhaps I was also a little annoyed that I found myself suddenly reading the story of Jesus Fucking Taylor Herbert after 30 volumes of everything but. Crucify my ass.

      The idea that one must become a monster to beat a monster is true. But to top it off with the notion that the good little monster should accept that they are treated worse than the active atrocities? That is what pushed me over the edge. Not because it harms the story, no, but because it was written from the viewpoint of a person living in our era. Written by an author who gleaned that message from the society around them. This late in my life, I suddenly see the blind spot. That despicable ignorance, that crushing self-interest. This is what our society has become. Or… Perhaps what it always was.

      I am… Sorry, for being angry, earlier, dear author. Reality can be painful when a person finally sees. I believe, I can still be a good little monster. But today is apparently the last day I have cared what is good.

  49. Benjamin Goldberg permalink

    Holy crap. This was one hell of a ride, and I enjoyed every inch of the twisting, turning track!

    A little feedback, just stuff that went through my head on reading it.

    1) At some times, the interludes seem to overshadow the main story, even during key points. I’m not saying this is bad, it’s just different than other ways I’ve seen interludes used. Most times I see them, they’re sort of ‘bookends’ between the peaks of the story, used more to fill a lull, rather than the sort of Stan Lee cameo where we go from a cliffhanger to a quiet aside where we see the results from the cliffhanger play out on a TV in the corner booth.

    2) As you mentioned, the timeskip was awkward. I wish I had suggestions on how else to do it. All I can think of is that it might have been slightly less awkward if you didn’t put it mid-chapter.

    That’s about it. What an awesome book though! My roommate and I are already talking about how to convert it into a pen-and-paper RPG (personal use only, we’re not dicks like that, although if you’re interested in seeing what we come up with, feel free to get in touch). Good luck with publishing! I can’t wait to own it in paperback and on Blu-Ray!

  50. Bitan Nag permalink

    I’m blown away. Definitely the best web novel(s?) I’ve read so far, and it will quite possibly stay in the top 5. It was nothing short of an experience. Thank you, Wildbow. I can’t speak for others, but you’ve got me as a viewer (and customer) for your work, current and future. Good luck!

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