Alexander Wales

is creating a web serial

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Wales Watcher
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PDF, ePub, and mobi hardcopies of Glimwarden and Shadows of the Limelight to read on the device of your choice.
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Early Birds
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Early access to new chapters of Worth the Candle, 24 hours in advance, plus access to a channel on my Discord for discussion. Chapters will be posted publicly as normal the next day.
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You will have my eternal gratitude, a place in my court when I ascend to kinghood, and, at the very least, a footnote in my eventual biography.
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What are you writing?
Currently, a web serial called Worth the Candle, under the cthulhuraejepsen pseudonym.

What have you written?
I wrote Shadows of the Limelight in 2015 (complete), and Glimwarden in 2016 (incomplete, on indefinite hiatus), along with a handful of shorter works and/or fanfiction (The Metropolitan Man being the most well-known). You can find most of my fanfic works here, plus all the works written under the cthulhuraejepsen pseudonym here, which isn't quite inclusive of everything, but should be close enough. Thanks for reading!

I also co-host the podcast Rationally Writing with Daystar Eld, which is a podcast about writing and fiction with a particular focus on the element of thought.

So what's this story you're writing about?
Worth the Candle is about Juniper Smith, a teenage boy from Kansas who gets sucked into another world that closely resembles the ones that he made as a Dungeon Master for his friends. Part of the entertainment of reading it is in the exploration, so I won't say too much more, but in contrast to what's typical to the genre, there's not all that much in the way of power fantasy, and there's quite a lot of backstory for Juniper, which happens within the text largely as flashbacks to D&D gaming sessions (which I've been told are one of the highlights). Mixed in with the personal stuff are princesses, elves, and zombies.

What's the schedule going to be like?
Worth the Candle has no set schedule, which has been working so well for me that I really don't want to mess with it. Chapters are of variable length, so far between 3,000 and 11,000 words, and I usually wait until I have enough material that I'm not ending on a horrible cliffhanger, but that's not always how the mood strikes me, or what I think is best for the story and/or reading experience. Sometimes (usually?) chapters will be posted two or three at a time. In terms of words per day, the best month was something like 3,000 words per day, while the worst was 1,000 words per day, with the current average over the span of the story being roughly 1,800 per day. (I don't really set goals for myself, which I think has been creatively healthy, and that's what I'm most concerned with.)

When does it end?
I don't know. Back at 100K words, I though it would end at 600K or 800K. Now, at nearly 400K (as of this writing), ending this within the next 200K words seems like it would leave far too much dangling for me to be satisfied, so it will be more toward 800K, meaning that it's about halfway done ... unless it goes long, which it might. Depending on how fast I write, that might mean anywhere between six months and a year.

What sorts of perks are there?
Patrons at the $1 (minimum) level get access to DRM-free hard copies of most of what I've written in epub, mobi, and PDF formats. Currently, this means that you'll get the completed serial Shadows of the Limelight, the novella The Case of the Sleeping Beauties, and all chapters of Glimwarden that are available. Worth the Candle is hosted on Archive of Our Own, which means that you just need to click the "Download" button in the upper-right corner to get it in a format of your choice, though be warned that the character sheet portions don't come out quite right (these are a minority of the story, I'm still planning to fix that, but it's a pain and will probably wait until I have writer's block).

At $5, you get access to chapters of Worth the Candle a day early. I have a Discord, which I'm on at night, and will be stopping in to visit whenever I'm writing, or when I have a break during the day. Maybe I'll be the only person that ever visits the Discord, but hopefully not. The Discord is open to all, but the Early Bird channel will be restricted to people at (or above) that tier.

Goals are mostly for things that I've already put work into and just need to finish, or which already exist as notes and/or write-ups that are for internal use. I already write at about my maximum speed, which means that goals are somewhat limited to things I can do without having to take labor away from the main story, which is presumably the reason anyone is here in the first place. If existing goals are met, I'll probably include other "behind the scenes" or cutting-room floor type stuff, which might include some omakes of scenes that were written and tossed out (so long as they still meet my quality standards).

Why a pseudonym?
I've been using the Alexander Wales pseudonym since I was in ninth grade, enough that the pseudonym is as much "me" as my real name. When you comment a lot online, and write a fair amount, and moderate a few places, that pseudonym starts to carry both weight and baggage. People read the things that you've written in the context of the other things that you've written, and bring in their preconceptions of whatever this new thing is going to be.

The cthulhuraejepsen pseudonym was created so that I could participate in the every-other-week /r/rational challenges and not have an unfair advantage because I run them (with rewards to myself going back into the pot, rather than given to an alt). After I'd gone through the work of setting up all the accounts for it, it became a pseudonym where I could put stuff that I thought of as being B-roll writing. I'd originally intended Worth the Candle as a thing that was going to be just for me, a weird and personal story that played exactly to my tastes and interests, but I think I overestimated how much the premise would turn people away, and instead of a dozen readers, it probably has a few thousand. (Thanks!)

Eventually, I found myself saying "no, don't give me money" one too many times, and given that money can be exchanged for goods and services, that started to seem kind of stupid. Back when I started this, I thought that I would shoot for getting it professionally published, but after the first two "books" it became clear that the structure wasn't really amenable to that, and it had grown way beyond the original designs.

What if I don't like Patreon or just want to donate a lump sum?
The About section on my website has a tip jar at the bottom of the page. And thanks!
$1,334 of $1,500 per month
If I reach $1500 a month, a complete list of exclusions will be written and released. Following the worldbuilding doc being released, this was one of the most requested things that there wasn't room/time for. There are roughly sixty exclusion zones in Worth the Candle, each of which would get three to five paragraphs going over their location, salient features, the excluded magic/effect, and whatever else I think is neat about them.
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