Moving On…

Done Worm?  Checking in and wondering what’s going on?

Pact, my second web serial, has drawn to a close, sitting at about 950,000 words.  You can see my thoughts on it here.

I’ve now moved on to the writing of Twig, with the first chapter released just fourteen hours ago.  Those who read the sample story Boil between the writing of Worm and Pact may see familiar elements – critiques of Boil often said they liked the world but weren’t grabbed by the character, who was perhaps a little similar to Taylor.  In Twig, I’ve aimed to keep what worked and rework what didn’t, and early reception seems positive.

The editing on Worm continues, and my original estimations seem to be pretty on target.  It’s slow going, generally harder than writing is on its own, but I’m making headway. Unlike the writing of a serial, there isn’t a defined finish line, but I’ve been cleaning up the language and tightening things up in regular sweeps of the work, and making notes on the major aspects of Worm that I just want to redo altogether, ideally keeping all the good and rewriting the rougher or outright bad stuff.

For those who haven’t seen my sentiments and thoughts elsewhere, it’s probably going to be a self-published venture, though I’m leaving the door open for other opportunities.  No less than 15 individual startups and small publishers have reached out to me in the past year, but it’s a bit of a minefield, and while some have piqued my interest, I’ve committed to nothing.  To assuage the inevitable worries – I fully intend to talk to lawyers and other professionals before jumping on board with anything.

My preference is to avoid making promises I might not end up keeping, so any dates or times are entirely up in the air, but I’d like to think that by the close of Twig, you’ll be hearing some noise from me about moving onto the next phase of things with a Worm ebook series, complete with some rewritten sections and new additions, and also possibly starting (or raising funds for) a print run.

Thanks for your continued support.

36 thoughts on “Moving On…

  1. Thanks for the update, Wildbow. I already said how I felt about Twig’s start, but like many others, I’m liking the setting you are crafting, which seems to be already pretty well thought out.

    I think you are right in being open to all possibilities regarding publishing, but I believe your work is worthy of being distributed by an established publisher.

    • Precisely. The hardest part of getting something conventionally published through a major house is getting their attention and cooperation. Worm has legions of fans already, and the fact that you’ve been approached by smaller publishers is, itself, very attractive. Pitch these facts to a literary agent, have them carry it forward to the big houses, and soon enough I may find myself unpacking boxes of Worm in my bookstore.

      If, of course, you feel that avenue is what’s right for you. At the end of the day, what’s most vital is that you be true to yourself and your story.

        • I’m assuming it would be in multiple volumes! Come on, Worm is twenty books at minimum.

          That might be an argument for the self-publishing route, though. There aren’t a lot of series that size which are planned as such from the outset. A publisher may not know what to do with it.

  2. That’s great news! I have a thing about unfinished works, so I haven’t even read the whole first chapter of Pact at this point. Of course, now I plan to… as soon as these pesky math classes are over. Wait, I’m a Math major, so they’ll never REALLY end 0o.

    Whatever, I’ll get around to it. Overall, I loved Worm, and I’m sure Pact will be a good read as well. Thanks for letting us take this journey with you. I feel like: in years to come I’ll be bragging about being there towards the beginning of your print publishing. Seeing the start of actual books is crazy good for a bibliophile such as myself.

    • Precisely my thoughs regarding being a pre-publication reader. But I do wish I’d heard about Wildbow way back in 2011. Worm was already finished and Pact already more than half done when I was presented Wildbow’s work.

      • Wow, I had to search my email to check, it really has been that long. Nearly a year and a half since Worm finished…

        Hey, all that matters is that you’re here now. It really is an experience to see all the bend and bumps in the road of progress, isn’t it? There will probably be a piece of me that will regret not reading along with everyone else for Pact… Oh well: boogie on.

        • Yeah, it is an experience. In particular, the reactions, speculations and debates that spawn from each update.

  3. Ah man. I completey missed Pact. kept putting off starting it unitl I had more time and now… Oh well I’ll be better about this new one and I still intend to read pact.

    Question are you going to keep track of what you end up changing? One of the things I liked the most about another webserial (John dies at the End) was that I could look at both versions and see what was changed between them.

  4. Congrats Wildbow. I’d buy your book for Worm. The best parts (though sometimes tiring even if they were interesting) were the interludes where you told the stories of other characters, especially like the Travellers’ arc. I hope those aren’t removed in the books. 🙂
    Some of them are kind of tiring to read and tough to follow, though, especially without the comments section like we have here that would dissect and predict each and every movement. 😀 It was a fun run, both in Worm and Pact (though Pact was considerably shorter and had an open ending, which I absolutely hate but don’t mind here).

    I wish you the best of luck.

  5. so before he updates and obliterates the original version(like the witness/evil tattletale interlude) anybody manage to archive worm?

    • Several folks already have. There’s even a few who made ebook versions for their own personal use, but thankfully aren’t posting them willy-nilly and ruining publication chance because of Wildbow’s request that they don’t.

      Simplest way to get your own backup would be to go and file – save page as – each story page as a webpage/document thing. Its a standard feature in most all browsers.

  6. It was serendipity that I stumbled upon Worm on March 3rd, having just finished the final arc minutes ago, feeling heartbroken and lost to have devoured such a rich world, only to see a ray of hope; the author updates us that Worm’s editing process has been and continues to be well underway only a day ago.

    It was truly enjoyable to see Taylor (as well as the author) grow and mature over 20something novels worth of material. I am leery of picking up Pact or Twig for I am currently in the honeymoon phase with the author and am worried I won’t be as fond over his next works. I’m sure I’ll break down soon.

    I am very grateful that this was shared with the world and I wait on bated breath for the next novel in this universe, however long that takes to arrive.

    • There’s some conflicting opinion over whether Pact or Worm is better. Personally I think Worm is simply an outstanding work of art (minor issues aside, such as the timeskip/slaughterhouse 9k arc); Pact is really amazing, but it’s hard to compare.

      • Overall I’d say Worm was the better work, Wildbow himself admitted that there were some problems with Pact. Pact is still excellent though, and while its early segments didn’t measure up to Worm, its later chapters were just above and beyond. If Twig is written as well as the second half of Pact, it’ll surpass the (unedited) Worm easily.

  7. I’m glad you’re still continuing to edit Worm, and I’m excited to see how it’ll turn out in the end! I’m considering doing a third-read through now… It’s so goood ❤

  8. It is my fondest wish that your works get the attention they deserve, and that you become a household name, Wildbow. To me Worm is without any exaggeration, hands down, by far the best piece of writing I’ve ever read(and I’ve read a lot). I actually got a little teary-eyed when I saw this post, because I knew there would be more to come. I hope to see more wonderful things from you soon.

    By the way, have you considered allowing a couple of bonus interludes? Nothing happening after the epilogue of course, just maybe something from the perspectives of the peripheral characters from Taylor’s Undersider days. I’ve been curious about Night and Fog’s relationship, and Leet’s feelings about his limited powers.

    Now then, I’ve been waiting for Pact to end so I could read the whole thing at once, so…

    “To Paaaaaaaaact!”

    *sprints away, shrieking with joy*

  9. For the publishing, some sites like Outskirts Publishing and Lulu offer good services. Outskirts, however, doesn’t let you keep the rights.

    For this reason, and because it appears to be free, Lulu seems to be the best deal. Now, this is just what I’ve found out in my research. There may be better options.

    • The nice thing about both services is that they handle the distribution for you. I suppose all self-publishing companies do that, though.

    • By just keep plugging, I meant carrying on with it. belated realisation, it could be taken as me plugging me.. So apologies for not catching that context to begin with (facepalms at self)

  10. I would totally buy all the eBooks and reread Worm in all its polished glory. Worm has a lot of rough edges, but it’s a diamond underneath.

  11. You’ve certainly set yourself up with a monumental task. How long is Worm again? It’s over 3 million words right? Like, it’s crazy to think of editing that while at the same time writing a whole other story. I don’t have the headspace for that myself, I can barely stay focused on keeping a single story going for just a 100k.

    I would definitely partake in a purchase of cleaned up Worm. There are some rough spots. And then there are some spots that make me want to avoid re-reading the whole thing altogether! I guess the ending is just too crushing for me. You invest so much time into a story, only for Skitter to not quite get what I think she deserved… But can you even make significant changes to Worm? It feels like you’d surrender your integrity as an author, to do that. I mean, there’s no way I couldn’t resist giving Worm an alternate ending, or hell, an alternate Part 2 all together! Doesn’t seem right to tell you to do that, so I don’t even know how I’d edit this monstrosity without butchering it to hell. But that’s neither here nor there, your story’s definitely got a lot of potential for money making even in its current state! It’s damn good and makes me wish there was more.

    Best wishes.

  12. I really want to see a paper back version of this series, I’d like to introduce it that way to some friends. I’m sure a literary agent could help you find a good publisher, which would probably give worm more publicity then if it were self-published.

    Ultimately, I’d like to see Worm as a graphic novel (like maximum ride) and then an anime-like show on television. Have you considered hiring an artist to create a comic book? Mcrilly has an amazing art style and I’d love to see how he’d draw the series worm.

  13. Good to know. Took me around a year of off/on reading, but I finished Worm. Pact is up next… I’ll catch up eventually!
    I’m glad you’re going back through Worm and editing it; I noticed a fair number of minor errors that slipped through the cracks. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Taylor’s story in print.

  14. I would pay 200+ dollars for a set of worm books if they were ever published. I need them to feel whole after dumping like 100+ hours of time into this story. By far the best ive read since hitchhikers guide.

  15. Glad to know that the editing of Worm is still ongoing. I really enjoyed it, and I came back today thinking about starting a second reading.

    If I may give a personal opinion, as long you are editing, the only flaw I saw in worm is that its stakes always seems to “go up”, all peaks and no valleys, to give my poor mind a rest from stress 😉
    Maybe there were slower parts that I didn’t realize, because I read it like there was no tomorrow, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Other than that, it was one of the most entertaining novels I’ve read, and that includes most sci-fi from the 50’s to the 80’s, Tolkien, G.R.R.M., and then some.

    Thanks for the ride, Wildbow!

  16. I can’t wholly remember which arc (specifically) I disliked, but the one where Skitter joins the Wards and fights the Enbringers is too quickly paced, in my opinion, when compared to the other arcs (Drone? Crushed?) I know the intent of the arc is to jump forward 2 years – but it feels super rushed. Perhaps if the entire arc was written with interludes? Use the prison warden or another prisoner, the wards, perhaps even a villain that butterfly-Weaver defeats, etc. It would mask the timecuts.

  17. Finally finished. I enjoyed Worm a lot. So much so, in fact, that it started affecting the way I thought and dreamt. (Seriously, my dreams during the last arc were bizzare, as I was thinking the same way I thought taylor was).

    Gonna start Pact now.

  18. As I spoke to people about your story, I put it up the same iconic pedestal (for me) as LMS. If this ever were to be published, I will buy it. This took me a little less than a week to read, day in day out reading. And I would instantly do it again. I can only hope to be contacted if you publish, but I will find it anyway. Great story, once again, and thanks for the ride.

  19. Does anyone else get to to end of worm and feel like it’s like hearing the Simurgh’s song? Like as amazing and heartwrenchingly beautiful each readthrough is, you also leave with more and more reasons to put humanity down? For its own good? XD

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