Are you sure it's not just ONE really big Naught?
At first Amie can't be sure, they appear to be one shadowy blobby mess.
"How many are there?" whispers Elizabeth behind her.
"I don't know," she whispers back. "They keep moving around."
"I'm going to shine my light in there," says Edwards.
"All right," says Amie. The naughts appear to be ignoring them, and besides, she plans to wedge the door shut with the fire extinguisher if they start to move.
"Seven?" whispers Amie. "Maybe eight? It's hard to tell with some of them. I can't see any prisoners. The hand-walky guy from before isn't here…"
"Why are they all clustered around that garbage bin?" whispers Castillo.
From inside the room, a voice, tinny and muffled, says "Hello? I see your light! Hello!? Is someone there?"
At the sound of the voice, a ripple quivers through the naughts and they send up a low moan.
Oh, I'm curious Zach, you've been talking recently about how you wrote the story and how it compares to playing Calvinball. But I'm wondering how much of the future plotline do you have planned? Or are you just totally winging it right now?
This is a good question.
I am still, undeniably, playing Calvinball, but, for literally the last two years, I have been focused on paying off all the narrative setup I did in the first year. There has been a lot of it. While I have introduced new elements into the story in the last two years, they have all been in service of paying down or reinforcing things that I introduced in the first year.
So the way I write nowadays is that I steer more then plan. I know there are certain things I need to deal with and so I push towards those things, but how we get there is still a very interactive process between you the readers/suggesters and me as the writer.
I have been contemplating taking a more heavy handed approach to the story as we head towards the end. It is a lot easier to avoid the disappointing problems with Calvinball when you have more space to work with. Writing one day at a time like this means that I can steer, but I cannot maneuver. If I stumble or do the wrong thing or dive down a rabbit-hole, I have to laboriously course correct as we move forwards, rather than catch it before it becomes a problem.
I have the space to do this, this comic costs me only my own time, of which I am currently blessed with quite a lot, but I cannot assume this will always be the case. I would like to wrap this up while I am still able to do it. Later this summer, I might take several weeks of holiday from my day job to work on this full time with the intent of planning and writing the rest of the story.
I don't really want to do this. I really like the interactivity. Most of the parts of this comic that I am really proud of have come from that collaboration. I don't want to turn it off, but I might have to in order to get us to an ending that we can all be happy with.
I haven't decided yet. Tell me what you all think.