ATL is over, and I won’t write it again for a while. (Please fill out the reader survey.)
A tougher decision than I’ve ever had to make as an author. I love this series, and I love Morgan Harding, and I know there are some dedicated readers out there for the series. It was barely 1/4 of the way done, too.
But.. ATL can’t continue in its current state. As much as I love it, there’s just some really big problems that need to be fixed.
Number one, readership plummeted to near-zero. Thanks to long hiatuses and inconsistent posting, most of the readers as of December 2019, when Season 1 finished, disappeared long before now. I don’t blame them, because there’s a huge world of the internet out there with tons of stories to read besides this one.
Number two, the early parts have aged poorly. My writing has gotten better, my understanding of web serials has improved. But a lot of early ATL, namely The Social Media Killer and Trials of the Cybermancer, are badly paced, have a lot of clunky writing, and don’t do a good job of hooking new readers. Without new readers, and having lost the old ones, there’s no way to move forward.
Number three, there’s just a lot of parts of the story I want to redo. Too many slice-of-life silly filler arcs, not enough interesting mysteries or deeper exploration of the weird sci-fi world. I made it a joke that Morgan doesn’t get in a single fight from the third arc to the sixth, but in retrospect it was a symptom that the story was, as a serial, kinda dang boring.
My original plan, which you can find in older blog posts, was to keep writing ATL Season 2, slowly, while also getting ATL Season 1 professionally edited, released as ebooks, and then sync it all up to the quality and pacing I want.
But… No. Doing that would have brought in very few new readers, and would have been a process far too messy for me. I always have too many ongoing projects; turning ATL into two separate simultaneous projects is just stupid.
Instead, a rewrite needs to be a lot bigger than some copyedits. It needs some bigger changes that will take me a long time to finish. Morgan Harding needs to shine.
And I don’t know how long that will take, because of some changes coming in my near future, but I really hope that ATL readers will be excited for what’s to come. I think the story has the potential to be something kinda amazing. It just needs some tender loving care applied to it. ATL will never be *popular*, but I at least want to give it a fighting chance, you know?
I plan to rewrite the story starting… About a year from now, realistically. The first ebook-sized story could come out in 2022, but 2023 feels like a safer bet. In the meantime, I have tons of other work coming out in 2021 to tide readers over, but the world’s definitely gonna feel lonely without Morgan romping around in it.
We’ll just have to be patient for them.
To help me rewrite ATL, I’ve created a reader survey, just like I did with Bowsette. Please fill out the new survey, even if you haven’t caught up in the story so far: http://tinyurl.com/atl-reader-survey
I apologize if I caught people by surprise with this announcement. It’s been in the works for a while, but I wanted to wait until the absurdly long Dog Days in Hotlanta was finally over. Thanks for reading my silly sci-fi story.