Hiya, followers. I’m sure many of you (read: three of you, less than one percent) are wondering where Episode Four of the Phil Phorce is, and when it will appear. For those who don’t know what the Phil Phorce is, it’s a periodical I started about a year ago to try out different techniques in a way that can be publicly critiqued. About twenty thousand words long, each episode is the size of a novella. It’s been almost four months since I posted the last scene of the last one, and about a month since I finished writing the next one. Perhaps I’ve been lazy and haven’t wanted to post it– perhaps I’m afraid to post it.
Inevitably, I learn something amazing about writing just after I finish writing each episode. This time I had two such instances– one came in the middle of writing the episode, so I rewrote it. The second instance came yesterday, when I finished Orson Scott Card’s Character’s and Viewpoint, and astoundingly useful book about pretty much everything. After reading that book, I wanted to change everything I ever wrote. Knowing what I do now, I get the feeling that posting something “outdated” on my blog will be embarrassing, since it isn’t actually how I write these days. I’ve improved, and I want you guys to see that– but I don’t want to spend my life rewriting, learning, then rewriting again, especially with something like this. Considering how silly the whole idea is anyway, I don’t know why I should be embarrassed at all.
People don’t read them. My statistics plummet every day I post a scene of the Phil Phorce. Those here for the “factual” posts are disappointed. Since they get posted in clumps, however, people see a lot of fiction on my blog and follow it for that. When the episode ends, I’m back to writing the next one and those here for fiction are disappointed for the next few months. During these episodes, the entire theme of the blog changes. For better or for worse, I don’t know. The theme of this blog is strange, I think. I write a lot about writing, but it isn’t a blog specifically meant for writing. Sure, I don’t mind posting the occasional short story, but something like this is huge in comparison. Short stories are encapsulated in their own posts. The Phil Phorce spans approximately ten posts per episode, requiring readers to read every post as it comes out. If someone wants the writing posts, they see the fiction posts and don’t stay. If someone wants the fiction posts, they see writing posts and don’t stay. Perhaps I’m blowing this way out of perspective, but fact one: my stats plummet during the Phil Phorce; fact two: I have seen people who only comment on one episode of the Phil Phorce and leave once I stop the fiction.
When I post Phil Phorce episodes, that’s almost all I post. Because I no longer feel the need to write posts regularly, I just post Phil Phorce scenes at regular intervals. Even readers of the episodes say that endless fiction is not what they want to see. (What, you don’t want my amateur fiction spamming your email inbox? What is wrong with you?)
I always feel like I have more fun with this than any of you do. Sometimes I also feel that I never get any helpful critiques, which is what it exists for. But perhaps I’m too awesome. Nope. One is never so awesome that he doesn’t have any critics.
Perhaps you all know that the Phil Phorce is actually a mind-control device.
Many, many, many times I have considered creating a new blog for the Phil Phorce only. In fact, I already have one set up under Quirk’s name, though I’m not going to divulge the URL yet. (Those of you who know it, please don’t tell. I will mark your comments as spam and send my minions to make sure your pencil case is always empty, your paper is always substandard, and your computer keyboard’s E key falls off.) The problem there is that the Phil Phorce is never truly linked to me and what I learn on this blog.
I considered having a poll for whether to move the Phil Phorce or not. But I won’t. It’s staying here, whether my stats drop or not. All I can say is… please don’t do that. If you don’t like it, tell me. That counts as a critique, and I’ll be grateful.
If you want to know whether or not I actually think about this a lot, check out this post: https://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/2299/
I was going to put a poll in that one too. I didn’t because I decided the same thing as I have just now: that if anyone had opinions, they would comment in order to tell me– I don’t have to go into extra effort to see who thinks what.
I’m going to begin posting Episode Four of the Phil Phorce soon. Very soon. But I promise that I will write some factual posts along with the fiction, as well as quicken my blogging schedule again. Watch me: I’ll post two interesting posts per fiction posts. And if you don’t like it, you’d better tell me.
I think this episode is better than any before it, both in story and in style. It’s going to be awesome.