I can’t believe it was a simpler time for politics back in 2012. It felt like there was really something boiling under the lid, something about to spill over and really harm the country. Of course, that feeling ended up proving true in 2016, when the forces under the surface of the prior election cycle became the ultimate symbol of chaos and division for the United States.
The GOP presidential primaries that year were a battle for the soul of the party, where Tea Party demagogues like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum dueled against the big business establishment of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and against the libertarian populism of Ron Paul. A holy war was being waged, and the eventual result, four years later, was that all three of these factions would collide into the socially conservative, big business populist known as, uh, that one guy who became President in 2016.
Nerds of a certain age are highly likely to have seen Super Mario Bros Z. If you liked video games and had internet access between the years of 2006 and 2009, you either watched Super Mario Bros Z, or at the very least heard about it. There is very little on this Earth that exemplifies the late 00s more than a Newgrounds flash animation crossover of Mario and Sonic filled with anime fight scenes and chugga chugga guitar tracks.
isn’t an 00s Retrospective series; this is about the 10s. And the
only relationship with the 10s Super Mario Bros. Z has is that this
was the decade wherein the whole project perished, and the world was
taught a lesson on the folly of fan fiction passion projects.
Super Mario Bros. Z always faced the problem that its entire existence was owed to one man working for free. Alvin Earthworm, the quite talented series creator, did the writing, the direction, the animation, and even most of the custom spritework all by himself, with no chance of compensation. Solo or near-solo efforts on larger projects can work out well (see Stardew Valley and Undertale, whose creators are multi-millionaires now), but for a fan project? It can be a dicey proposition.
I’ve been writing web fiction since the time I joined my first internet forum (Nintendo City.com) at the end of 2005. In some form or another, whether that be sprite comics, fan fiction, short stories, video game reviews, ironic audio dramas, web serials, I’ve been writing for fifteen years and almost all of that was on the internet (sadly you can still find most of it, too).
For all of that, then, it is interesting to me that the first time I really found a community around writing web fiction was only in 2019. And it is interesting to me that that community is both dying and thriving at the same time.
and welcome to my guide on writing cute romance storylines. After my
work in stories like Hands
Held in the Snow
(among many others), I’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice on
how to write about love and couples in ways that make readers feel
warm and fuzzy on the inside, as well as get them hyped up to start
shipping your characters together. There’s a whole lot of advice I’d
like to give, so I decided to make an entire article on the subject!
guide can be for a small subplot in a bigger work just as much as a
full romance story It’s
all just my own methods and thought process, so a whole lot of the
details in here will be specific to how I approach storytelling.
There’s obviously no one superior method to how to make your
romantic storylines adorable.
But while these are just my thoughts and opinions, not some steadfast rules to adhere to, I think they’ll be helpful to anyone who’s looking for how to enhance their romance. It may be a useful read even if you aren’t interested in romance writing, at least because I will explain some of my favorite story techniques and why I like to use them.
Fan projects usually fail. They’re usually not very well thought-out, being too ambitious or too unfocused. They invite way too many people onto the project, with way too many people who don’t actually have any inclination to contribute beyond “ideas” or whatever. I’ve personally been a part of multiple projects that have failed in exactly this way, including ones where I was one of the people who dropped off quickly as an “ideas” person.
Because of all of that, I continue to be extremely proud of what the Homestuck fandom was able to accomplish at its peak, especially in the fan music community, and there’s no better representative of that than Sburb OST, the coolest fan album to have ever been made.
If you haven’t read Homestuck, this will make like 20% sense at best, but Sburb OST is the fan-made soundtrack to the Sburb “video game,” to a generic fit-all Sburb session. It tried to take listeners through a typical Sburb session and all its aspects. It makes genericized versions of the Homestuck leitmotifs, and introduces entirely new ones, all of which pop up throughout the album. The song art even takes us through a sort of story that features the same characters (stand-ins for the musicians I believe).
It’s really ambitious, and better yet, it actually exists. It was actually completed, mastered, and released. There was a bit of drama throughout production, and it took over two years to complete, but it actually came out, and that’s what matters.