Hi everyone. Sorry the place is kind of sparse right now. I just moved in, and I'll get it spruced up here as I go along.
I expect that most people here right now are coming from Thunderstruck, so I'm going to talk about that. For those of you who don't know, Thunderstruck is a web comic that I've been self-publishing since May 31, 2004. I just ended it today, and I'm betting there are some readers who won't be happy with me about that.
The last strip of the comic pretty much gives you my reasons for bringing Thunderstruck to its abrupt close. Here's a little more about why I chose to end the way I did.
There was a strong pull to wrap the story up in some way instead of severing the plotline in the middle. As I examined this option, I realized that there was no way to do this in a satisfying fashion. Everything I considered started to feel cheap, rushed, and uninteresting. If I crammed the ending into a small space just so I could have something that felt like a conclusion, it would've been lousy.
I considered publishing a kind of outline of where I thought the story would go. That was even worse. First of all, my outlines are only general guidelines, and I know just how much I deviate from them when it gets down to the actual writing. Secondly, outlines are just boring. I know some of you may be frustrated by not knowing how things turn out or what the secrets are, but I don't think an outline would've brought any real satisfaction.
I then considered at least getting to the end of the chapter, just to get a better closing point. Since all the chapters end in cliffhangers, that's not saying much, but it would've at least been a cleaner breaking spot. The problem with that was that I knew I was going to end it. Thunderstruck demanded a great deal of time, energy, and passion, and that last ingredient is the key. I couldn't devote myself in the way that any story deserves, especially a demanding one like this, if my heart wasn't in it.
And there's the other trap. If I kept writing until the end of the chapter, the pull to carry on after that would start to creep up on me. I'd fall back into my routine -- demanding, yet comfortable -- and might lose the momentum to do what I know is the right thing.
I know the ending is sudden. But it's time.
Thunderstruck has always been a labor of love. It is very hard to let it go. It's been a part of my life and my identity for over five years now. I know I'm going to miss writing it, and miss interacting with all of you who have read and enjoyed it.
I've learned a lot from writing Thunderstruck. And I plan to put that knowledge to good use.