Halloween 2016 IF,  Interactive Fiction

Halloween 2016 IF – Author’s Notes

Thank you, once again, so much for playing in this little Halloween event. I hope both players and readers enjoyed it—I know I had a wonderful time!

I want to give a huge shoutout to everyone who played! My biggest fear when I started this was that nobody would comment and it would flop before it even started, and you all stepped in and instead, under your direction, this became something incredible—28,000 words of it, in fact! An extra special shoutout goes to Vikarmic, who did the impossible and commented to every single day.

In thanks, a little giveaway! Vikarmic, if you can leave me the email address associated with your kindle and the name of a story you want to read, I’d love to send you something! I also put all the other commenters in a hat and drew one at random—the lucky winner is Dranachronisms. So, Dranachronisms, if you have a kindle, please let me know the email for it and an ebook you’ve been wanting to read so I can fire something your way (or otherwise drop me a way to get you an ebook <3). I can’t get something for everyone, but I want to say how I’m so grateful for every single person who played, and want to thank you all so, so much.

If you enjoyed Septimus and Sweet, you will always be able to read it again from my Extras page.  If you’d like to support my work in general, I hope you’ll consider checking out my Novels and Short Stories to see if there’s anything you’d like to buy, and following me on Twitter and Tumblr to keep up to date on my work as it comes out. As well, if you read and like my other works, please consider giving it a good rating and/or reviewing on Goodreads! I can’t stress how helpful a good rating is in drawing in new readership and supporting me. 

Finally, what you’re all here for— Q&A! Feel free to ask me anything you want about the story, what my writing process was, things people may have suspected but not had confirmed, whatever. Wonder what would have happened if you’d done X instead of Y? Ask it here! I mean, for starters, I had a totally different story planned if people had Sep go “fuck this eldritch bullshit” and drive away, lol. Also: Is this sort of thing something people would like to see me do again someday?

So: Ask me whatever you’d like and, once again, thank you and happy Halloween!

[Instructions | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 |  Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 | Day 25 | Conclusion | Author’s Notes]


  • Vikarmic

    This was so amazing, how could I not! <33 THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR RUNNING and I am definitely interested if you do another one.

    I do have a ton of what-if questions so I'm gonna bullet-point the ones I can think of to start.

    * Starting with the easy one: what would've happened if Septimus had gone "fuck this eldritch bullshit" and left? Or if he'd decided "uh, I've only been with this guy for three months and this is hella creepy, Sep out" at some point?

    * Relatedly, what if he'd convinced or forced Sweet to leave before 3 AM? Whether by persuasion or…knocking him out…

    * What if Seven had sacrificed the heart, either to himself or to horrordad?

    * Where would Seven have ended up (heh) if he'd gone up instead of through?

    * Could Septimus have used the heart/necklace in a way other than sacrificing it? Could he have called on the eldritch horror Seven decided not to kill somehow?

    * Did we miss anything you had planned in the house itself?

    * How bad would it have been if Septimus had followed Sweet down the first or second time?

    I…I think that's all for now but I reserve the right to ask followups. |D

    • meredithakatz

      Thank you!! I really had a wonderful time and I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      * If Septimus left, the game would have cut to a few days later when Sweet came to the movie theatre. Or at least, his boyfriend would still have his memories to try to pretend to be him, but it wouldn’t be his boyfriend any more. And the story would have been the slow creeping horror of realizing that Some Shit Went Down And Sweet Was Gone And What Could Sep Do?

      * Sweet couldn’t leave the house before 6 am on Nov 1. Physically, he couldn’t. He would start to unravel if he tried. He may have attempted it before. So if Sep tried to force him he would have encountered that.

      * Seven things were basically an interactive memory; what had happened, happened. Septimus was altering the memory, not the past. The necklace was the closest thing in horrordad to what we might call mercy, perhaps? Though that’s not really an accurate term either. It was a promise of safety to Miranda in return for her bearing his child as a vessel (she left it in the house so she’d always know where it was if she had to come back, since she didn’t need it anywhere else), and because of what horrordad is, that promise was a fragment of himself symbolized into reality. At any rate, the necklace was deciding whether to go with Sep or break or do something else altogether based on what it ‘saw’. If he sacrificed the heart to horrordad, the necklace would have had a malevolent effect on Sep. If he’d eaten the heart, it would have rejected him (violently). Of course, that means that Seven didn’t necessarily actually kill Five on the altar either–the only thing that you can be sure of is that whatever Seven did didn’t fully awake Horrordad, like it had been intended to. Also, depending on what happened in the memory, Sweet might not even have been at Sep’s side when he woke up.

      * If Seven went up, he’d have interacted with their eldritch kin and learned more about the actual heart he was carrying, which would have brought in parallels to Sweet that he could have used to inform his understanding.

      * The other half breed’s heart wasn’t really there, it was only in a memory, so Sep couldn’t use the necklace to call on it. Depending on what Septimus/you had made Seven do, the necklace could have been used in a variety of ways because it would have been more or less malevolent or cooperative. Sacrificing it to horrordad wasn’t the best way, though. Horrordad reabsorbed it as only a sacrifice and it lost what it had symbolized.

      * I didn’t preplan too much in the house since I didn’t know when in the story you’d explore certain things. There was an attic but there was no reason to go up there. I did assume that you guys would go into the basement after Sweet sooner than you did.

      * If Septimus had followed Sweet down the first or second time the story would have gone in a different direction with an eldritch realm to explore (because there would have been time to fully flesh that out). Maybe someday I’ll make an Inklewriter story out of this that has branching paths like that.

      Feel free to ask anything more you want, in story or out of it!

      • Lyssie

        What *would* have been the best way to use the necklace, if sacrificing to horrordad wasn’t it?

        Was there anything in particular you hoped to do with the story that we didn’t do? Anything we happily surprised you with?

      • meredithakatz

        I don’t know why it’s not letting me reply directly to Lyssie but hopefully this’ll fall in line anyway!

        The necklace could have been given to Sweet at any time, and if Septimus had told Horrordad he wasn’t giving it to him, he would have dropped into Sweet’s area with the necklace still on (falling was scary but would have brought him there too bc Sweet was also deeper in, if Septimus had refused to make a deal with Horrordad). It wasn’t exactly advertised in any way though since Sep got barely any information about it and Horrordad was being partially misleading about Sep’s situation.

        Hm, saying I hoped for anything would sort of be misleading how I was doing things, like, I basically came up with the core idea and *timeline* and then just reacted to whatever you guys did, adding and cutting extra options based on what would be needed to build the story in a complete way by the end (I didn’t want to put so much in your path it’d be halfway done by Oct 31, but didn’t want to finish in 10 days either!). Because it had to be so reactive to what you were doing and to rebuilding the story beats every time a new day happened I sort of didn’t have any attachment to particular directions. It could have been cool to see you guys among more eldritch either via the stars or the tear ducts or going to the basement super early, or discovering Sweet’s affliction before you as players were firmly entrenched into love-and-support mode, but I wasn’t rooting for any of that.

      • meredithakatz

        Oh, I didn’t answer the last part. The happiest surprise for me was the heart exchange! I loved getting to do that. #aesthetic.

        Also I discovered why — I only had replies set to 3 levels deep. It’s up to 10 now (max) so further direct replies should work for everyone.

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