2022 Halloween Interactive Fiction – Instructions
It’s time! It’s time! My yearly Halloween Interactive Fiction begins tomorrow! Spooky, queer, and a whole lot of fun.
How it works:
- On October 1, I’ll put up the first section of a story.
- By no later than 4 pm PST the next day, you will leave a comment to the post with a suggestion to help the protagonist. Generally, this will be an action or something for them to consider. (i.e. a post goes up on Oct 1 —> You have until 4 pm PST on Oct 2 to comment). You can always +1 other people’s ideas if you like it!
- The next section of the story will get posted between approximately 5-9 pm PST on the next day.
- We repeat this every day through October! Please only leave suggestions on the most recent post — if we’ve already moved on, I won’t be able to fold the suggestion in.
- The story will climax on Halloween, and then I’ll put up a wrap-up post to chat about the story!
Aim suggestions at the protagonist — you can’t tell the villain to surrender, but you can tell the protagonist, “Beg the villain to surrender.” If suggestions contradict each other I’ll pick either the one most people have suggested or the one the character is most likely to do.
This game only works if people participate, so please don’t be shy! That said, don’t feel that you have to comment or follow along every day: it’s OK to hop in and out as you like. If you don’t want to have to remember to come back every day, you can put your email in to “Get Email Updates” in the page footer, and you’ll receive an email every time the blog is updated with a new post. (You can always unsubscribe if it ends up not working for you!)
For a visual idea of how this works, take a look through the Halloween IF archives.
This year’s story:
It’s set in a brand new, high fantasy world (so think of elves, dragons etc as existing in this setting). We will be following a professor of Conjuration at a high fantasy university. He’s a normal guy, really — classes to teach, research to do, a husband to miss. (I mention a husband, but it’s an open relationship, so if you want to pursue someone else as well, that is totally fine). Expect:
- Interdepartmental rivalry
- I don’t want to have to work on my monograph so the university can increase its budget, I have my own research to do
- Eldritch horrors beyond all comprehension and demonic incursions unfortunately well within comprehension
- WHY do people keep coming to talk to me during office hours; don’t they know this is technically my free time?
So … normal university stuff! Just… a bit spooky. We’ll see how much that amps up 🙂
In addition, there’s one little mechanic I’m adding: because the professor and his husband aren’t currently living together, you also have the “Call Your Husband” option. Doing this can be just to chat, or for a goal (“Call your husband to ask about x”). The magic telephone ritual takes time, though, so expect at least a few hours to pass when you do this.
To get us kicked off, comment here with some character names I could use. This is a fantasy world, so as well as real names like Ivan or Akiko, you are welcome to make up fantastic names. If you really hope for an academic named GROCKGNAR THE DESTROYER that’s cool, we can do that.
The Fine Print
I reserve all rights to this work. If I eventually get this published in any form that requires me to take this version down, I will send copies of this online version, with comments left intact, to everyone who contributed suggestions, if I am reasonably able to get in contact with them.
Enmity of the Dark Phlogiston
Enm for short
Octothorpe the Dead Spaniard. “No, no. I’m not an ex-Iberian; it’s a color name! You know, like ‘Gandalf the Grey’. Except all the good colors were taken.”
Alas but I can’t use the colour “Dead Spaniard” because this is a fantasy world so the reference to Spain can’t exist here — but that doesn’t mean Octothorpe can’t exist, and I’ll make something happen!
Jacinta Maria Fernandez
Feather St. Saint