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Interactive Fiction 2022
Hello, friends! It’s almost time for our yearly Choose Your Own Adventure! It feels like we just finished last year’s … (eyes the blog’s the lack of updates. It’s been one heck of a year, folks.)
Anyway! Every October, I do a section of a story here on the Soft Cryptid Blog, and you the reader can comment to add suggestions for the protagonist, which helps determine the direction of the story. The rules post will go up tomorrow right here, and we’ll start Oct 1.
This year, we’re following a professor at a high fantasy university, investigating arcane mysteries and dealing with an academic rival. Fortunately, he has the advice of his exceedingly mysterious husband to help guide him (do not even WORRY about what is up with his husband it is TOTALLY fine! 🙂 ). Plus, they have an open relationship, so if you want to pursue the rival or whatever, that choice is certainly one you can make.
Interested? Stop by every day in October right here. You can also receive a notification whenever the blog is updated by entering your email into “Get Email Updates” in the footer, so you don’t miss a post!
Want to prepare by reading any of the interactive stories we did previous years? You can find them all right over here: https://www.softcryptid.com/interactive-fiction/.
Halloween I.F – “That Which Lingers” – Wrap-Up and Q&A
So, back in September, I’d been complaining to Meredith about a lack of fantasy novels with polyamorous protagonists, which was what I was really in the mood to read. I’d even had a dream about a cute trio, one of whom was a vampire, who were doing some smooching, and I wanted that to exist so I could read it…!
Well. Well. One thing led to the other, and around the time we took a day-trip up to Whistler, I’d come up with a vague outline of some ideas for this story. Many of the initial ideas were spun up as we wandered around the ski village, including, yes, taking the gondola up to the top of the peak. Spoilers: there were no vampires there. It was foggy and we just turned back around again.
This is starting to read like the introduction to a recipe blog. Anyway, the point is, you unfortunately have the power to manifest dreams into reality, it just takes a lot of time and effort. I really did originally plan for this just to be a much shorter story captured within October (maybe 20K to 30K at most) but it quickly developed a life of its own, and I figured, I was already committed to this, why not just let it be the story it wants to be?
My cats (and both of us, I suppose) have suffered from a series of late bedtimes, and I’m looking forward to a restful December, but I’m happy to have written this and happy that so many of you came along the way to encourage me to keep going and to give me some fantastic ideas for how you wanted to steer the story along the way. This is the longest piece of writing I’ve ever completed (by far), and I’m very happy with the characters and the story I was able to tell! I have lots more in mind for future adventures with this crew, just… not right now.
In the meantime, one more huge THANK YOU to my lovely readers, and of course the most maximum thank you to Meredith for letting me play in the Uncanny Valley world that she created, and for her endless and unwavering support and brilliance ♥
Now, ask me questions! About the story, about the writing process, about the characters! There are some things I will decline to answer, of course, if I plan on circling back to them later, but AMA is open! (In lieu of questions if you don’t have anything to ask, feel free to share a favourite character or line or thing you’d love to see more of in the future!)
Halloween I.F Update ♥
Hey everyone! Just a quick lil update from me! I’ve been having some stuff popping up with work and health that’s been making it a little hard to always get parts out sometimes as regularly as I’d like, so I wanted to give heads up on what to expect as we head into the next stretch!
- I, personally, am loving this and having a grand time, and will 100% be finishing it off, and I hope you are enjoying it too!
- There is a high certainty that I might actually go past October 31st and wrap up in early-mid November, just to hit all the beats I want to along the way without super rushing, and also…
- … so that if I have to take a day off occasionally I’m not losing that time, just pacing it out a bit ♥
Some posts will still go up a little later in the night (though I’m trying to walk those back) just because it turns out I’m actually a bit of a late night writer (who knew?), so please don’t worry about cutoff times in terms of getting your comments in. The earlier the better (e.g. I appreciate having comments in earlier in the day so I can start thinking about your ideas earlier and knowing where the story is going) but if you’re like, oh shit, I forgot, and it’s 7PM, feel free to drop something in anyway.
Your comments and suggestions really help keep me motivated and encouraged, so a big grateful shoutout to y’all for helping me write the longest thing I’ve ever written and the thing I’ve been enjoying most.
Thanks for reading! Have a cute picrew of Webb as thanks xoxo
2021 Halloween Interactive Fiction Kickoff!
For the last five years (!!) Meredith has run an interactive Halloween-themed choose-your-own-adventure storytelling event throughout the month of October. This year, she’s taking a well-deserved break! But: Aveline is taking the spooky queer reins and will do their best to Not Fuck It Up.
So! Starting October 1st, 2021, I’ll be posting a daily short section of a Halloween story and ask you, dear readers, to leave comments suggesting the next steps. What should our intrepid protagonist do? What bad decisions should they make? Who should they flirt with? It’s up to—well, it’s up to me, but you get to have significant input in shaping the story.
You don’t have to comment or follow along every day: it’s OK to hop back in and out (though please do comment as much as you’re able because that definitely helps with the interactive part of interactive fiction!) I’ll incorporate as many of the suggestions or ideas as it makes sense to: majority influences, but doesn’t necessarily rule.
You can get notified when there are new sections a couple ways:
- “Subscribe to Updates” via the form in the right side of our homepage (here)
- Follow me on Twitter (here)
You can also take a look through the archives to read Meredith’s excellent stories from previous years and to get a visual idea of how this works!
This Year’s Story
This story is set in the Uncanny Valley universe (as with 2017 and 2019), though familiarity with any previous stories or settings is NOT required.
Some decades prior, rifts opened up across the world that enabled magic, mayhem, and monsters to seep into the mundane world: fey, vampires, werewolves, witches, dread horrors, you name it. Most of the strangeness is contained to the areas clustered around these rifts—literal uncanny valleys where communities have sprung up and run by their own rules.
Our lovely protagonist is nonbinary, pansexual, polyamorous, and the literary equivalent of a grumpy NPC who’s unwillingly found themself thrust into an adventure with a bunch of people that are just so unnecessarily fucking extra.
What can you expect? Well, my working taglines include:
- Vampire Fuck Mansion (and all I got was this lousy t-shirt)
- We Can’t Stop Here, This Is Bat Country Club
- Opening Up a Boy With The Cold Ones
- And some questionable songcalls
So, you know, it’s gonna be a perfectly safe time!
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.
New sections will go up between 5-9PM PST. Cutoff time for suggestions is 4PM PST.
EXCITED AND EQUALLY NERVOUS! Let’s go! To get us kicked off, comment here with your favourite cryptid, monster, or spooky creature. For science.
October is just five days away, and with it will be Meredith’s yearly Spooky Serial Interactive Fiction! Past stories are at that link if you want to peruse, but it’s basically a live choose your own adventure game — Meredith writes a part, and you leave a comment suggesting what the protagonist should do. The next day, she’ll write the next section of the story based on your comments, and it will continue like this, reaching its climax by the end of October! (For more info about how she runs this, check out this Twitter thread.)
Keep an eye out for the instructions going up on Sept 30, and check back every day throughout October for new story to engage with. Enter your email in the “Subscribe to Updates” section of the sidebar to be alerted to new story sections as they go up so you don’t miss a thing!
Otherwise looking for spooky stories to set the Halloween mood early?
- Empty Vessels: A psychic young man knows he has to overcome his anxieties to protect the local monsters from something terrifying lurking in the night. Along the way, he finds romance in unlikely places, between the ghost that keeps him company and the deer-antlered man running the mysterious antique shop. Monster kissing, flirty horned boys, mindscapes, and creepy dolls. (Rainbow Awards 2018-2019 Runner-Up Best Gay Book.)
- Only Human: When an excitable human nerd gets hit with a necromantic curse, he finds himself getting close to his doctor’s receptionist, a kindly frankensteinian zombie with body issues. It’ll definitely take some communication to make this unusual relationship work. Coffee shop dates, curses, would-be mystery writers, and fans loving fans! Sweet and steamy.
I’m looking forward to playing with you all this year too!