Sometimes I forget that, before the Quinlan Circle, I ran a web fiction website for almost an entire year: Home Clipart Animal Deer: Where Literature Goes to Die.
And, certainly one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had.
Home Clipart Animal Deer
My friend and I (and then another friend a while later) posted 5-7 days a week with whatever random stupid stuff we had at our disposal. But it wasn’t just some haphazard experience. There was a posting schedule and everything, one we met for at least the first six months of the site’s existence.
We posted satirical Election 2016 stories, before that election proved itself too insane for even the greatest of satire. We posted Clipart Stories based on the images and filenames of some of the crappiest public domain images out there, with stories whose content fit that ethos very well. We published strange fan fictions, movie reviews, descriptions of bands that never existed, and an incomplete web serial that I rarely ever mention, thanks mostly to that whole not being finished thing.
And… nothing really came of it.
The site’s garish, clipart-infused design probably turned a lot of people off (though toned down since the original site died and was replaced with a wordpress.com blog). The esoteric Project Wonderful ads rarely attracted anyone. The jumble of content made it difficult for people to stick with whatever they loved, I guess. Whatever the reasons were, basically nobody read Home Clipart Animal Deer.
The Stats Were… Hmmm
In fact… Yep, I just checked—the site NEVER got a comment from anyone I did not know personally, and those were very rare to begin with. Those aren’t exactly the numbers you want when you’re making a giant writing site with two (later three) people involved all writing multiple items a week.
The whole grand experiment was probably a massive failure… And yet it was kinda nice, too, in a way. We had fun making dumb stories, and they’ll stick around for the rest of time for anyone who wants to read them. Sure, the site is filled with broken images and dead links, but for anyone who cares enough to dive this deep into the Thedude3445 Archives, I imagine they’ll be okay with it.
Was it a big failure? Yes. Was it a waste of time? Hell no!
Liked this post? Read about my very first “real” short story I wrote all the way back in 2010.
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