August 3rd, 2018

oh, right, yeah, the thing where you try to watch Xira cast....... that we definitely never did..... riiiight......

Okay gang! Sorry for the lateness on this one but now I have AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

After this update, the update schedule for Runewriters is changing in a kind of big way -- I'm gonna try moving to "scene" updates! This means that instead of getting out one page a week, I wait until I've finished 4-5 pages and post them all at once as one "scene."

The main reason for this is that, to be honest, I can't quiiiiiite manage weekly updates right now. I thought over it a lot, and I think constant short hiatuses or skipping updates every couple of weeks aren't great solutions for you guys or for my mental health; I think updating in scenes is gonna be the best way to make sure you guys are still getting satisfying updates!!

If you like this plan, then thank my dear friend and constant encouragement Steph!! She's the one who suggested it!!

BUT if you kinda prefer seeing the pages as they're finished and don't want to wait, I've got an option for ya -- I'm gonna try posting pages early, as I finish each one, on patreon for $1 backers!!

This is super new to me so we'll see how it goes!! I'm excited to try and I hope this will be a good solution for everyone! :D

NOW MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS: when you get an update of four pages at once, would you rather see them posted as individual pages that you click through, like normal? Or would you rather have them all as one long post, like this two page update? I've been giving it some thought but I'm interested to hear you guys' preferences!

OKAY I THINK THAT'S EVERYTHING!! Feel free to ask if you have any questions! If you want to be alerted to the next update, you can see a link to the Runewriters Discord, Twitter, Tumblr, Deviantart, and ComicRocket right above this post -- updates will be posted in all of those places!! thanks as always for the patience and support you've all shown so far while I work this out!! I really truly could not ask for better folks reading this comic, and I'm extremely grateful for you all! ;u;

Comment by Fan since TNH

I'd prefer to have several pages put up at once that I click through like normal. Thanks for all you keep on doing!

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posted at 3:27pm on August 3rd, 2018

Reply by Critter

I agree. I actually missed the second part of the previous 2 part update since I wasn't expecting it.
(Love this)

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posted at 6:55pm on August 3rd, 2018

Reply by Dreams

I would also prefer this method, perhaps with a link at the bottom that links to the first page of the batch. :)

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posted at 11:42am on August 4th, 2018

Reply by Rachel's Mom

I prefer the idea of individual pages, but would suggest the link Dreams refers to be at the top of the update rather than the bottom, so it is immediately visible for clicking.

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posted at 12:25pm on August 4th, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

Ooooo the "first page of this update" button is a good idea!! Though I'll admit I want to try to avoid adding too many things I have to update manually.... I'll have to look into how possible that'd be :O!!

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posted at 3:56am on August 10th, 2018

Reply by Asterai

Same.

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posted at 5:55pm on August 5th, 2018

Comment by Chnapy

I think n-pages updates work better than n simultaneous updates because it removes the chance that someone would see the last page of the new batch first instead of the first newly-posted one.

You could probably remove that risk for the most part with some appropriate site design (Cucumber Quest for example does it well, what with its main page linking to the first page of the most recent update and displaying the update's length when it's more than one page in length). But if that's not an option for you at the moment (and it does make the site just a little bit more clunky) I think n-page updates are the better option.

Also, your comic is great and so are you! I hope this new schedule fits you, it makes me sad that so many comic artists have to work unsustainable and unhealthy schedules to keep up with the pace readers expect.

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posted at 5:41pm on August 3rd, 2018

Reply by eoforyth

Yes, Harpy Gee does the same thing. Sometimes there are three or more pages, but it always starts at the firdt page of the update - the author makes a comment below to say keep clicking.

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posted at 10:00am on August 4th, 2018

Comment by Nath

I like the update idea a lot! Putting chunks up at a time makes reading through certain scenes real smooth, gets rid of (some) cliffhangers, and it's especially good for like... scenes with a lot of action that would be wayyy too drawn out and tired if you're just doing 1 or 2 pages a week. Fight scenes especially get tiring when it feels like they've been dragged on for 5 years.

As far as HOW they look... I don't mind either way! Getting long pages is exciting, but I think it works best for what I mentioned above - scenes with a lot of action! Makes things extra smooth because you don't have to "take a break" in order to click over.

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posted at 6:41pm on August 3rd, 2018

Comment by Mythee

Great plan! 8D

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posted at 7:07pm on August 3rd, 2018

Comment by pidge

i also prefer having the singular long post, because if something big happens in the update we'll get spoiled by seeing the last page first

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posted at 8:45pm on August 3rd, 2018

Comment by MarlynnOfMany

One big update would be best for reading it all when it comes out, and not forgetting to click forward. It would just be awkward for archive purposes. I don't suppose it's possible to have the big updates, but keep the archives one page at a time?

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posted at 9:36pm on August 3rd, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

It'd be technically possible, but it would make comments weird!

I could set it up so that the archive is normal, and then the "most recent" page is an additional long page that disappears when it's no longer the most recent. But then if anyone commented on the long page, their comment would disappear, too.

It might be possible to manually reassign comments??? I'll look into that actually...... but yeah, that's the main drawback to that I think!!

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posted at 9:53pm on August 3rd, 2018

Comment by Sahara

I prefer it as severak pages listed at a time that I can click through. But I get to the comic via my RSS feed, and so I can see which update page is the oldest one and visit the right one first.

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posted at 11:46pm on August 3rd, 2018

Comment by Moose

If you link to the first page of the group and not the most recent or the homepage on Tumblr, I'd prefer each page separate. I come from the Update!! Link on Tumblr each week, and also worry about spoilers or missing a page if it was going to dump us on the homepage and then we have to click backwards to figure out where to start reading.

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posted at 8:01am on August 4th, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

This is definitely how I plan to handle it if we end up with each-page-on-its-own-page updates (as opposed to Single Long Page updates) -- the tumblr and twitter and discord links would go to the first new page of the batch, rather than the homepage!

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posted at 3:53am on August 10th, 2018

Comment by Fal

I think one big page with everything is better and would keep us from being spoiled.
Alternatively if it's not too much work you could set up a special "last update" page that points to the first page of the most recent update; that way people could bookmark it and not get spoiled either.

I'm reassured that it seems like Xira won't inadvertently spill any secrets through the mindlink (I mean, I know he doesn't have any and all his actions motives and thoughts are always transparent as high-quality glass), but now I'm curious: how would it work if -someone else- were to try to contact him at the same time? Like several phones on the same line (everyone hears everything), like several chat channels (completely separate) or like people calling, one your cell and the other the landline (if you're not careful, some of what you say could spill over on the other line)?
But, well, I'm sure it won't happen. Xira has been so long-term-thinking and organised and all till now.

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posted at 8:10am on August 4th, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

omg I love this completely accurate and not-at-all shade-throwing description of Xira xD

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posted at 3:57am on August 10th, 2018

Comment by eoforyth

I'd miss the weekly updates, but regular updates farther apart and an author who isn't running themselves ragged works for me, too :)

I read comics in both formats, and there are benefits to both stylisticly (although I lean toward the single page and click through).

What I have noticrd that there is a drop off in comment content, as there's often too many of those little things we like to notice to single them out, and our questions/theories and the like are often already answered.

If you drop 4-5 pages on us and we click through, there will usually be some who will comment on a page before reading the next :)

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posted at 10:16am on August 4th, 2018

Comment by AlpineBob

perhaps when you have an X page scene ready you could post one page a day for X days. That gives readers time to enjoy/comment/speculate about the current page before the next one drops, but still is close enough together to be a scene.
Or post multiple pages with a link to the start of the scene, as others suggest.
I'm not personally a fan of the long single post, even though one of my faves, Lackadaisy, does so.
Hmm, so does The Wormworld Saga.
OK, so, whatever works for you.
I'll be reading them on Patreon anyway, if you post them there...

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posted at 3:24am on August 5th, 2018

Comment by Mythee

Manually resigning comments seems like a big hassle; why not just leave the comments on the last page of the multi update in the archives?

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posted at 1:50pm on August 5th, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

OH, the mention of reassigning comments was in response to the person who suggested having a Single Long Page Update to sit on the front page, but all the normal pages in the archive.

This is technically possible for me to do! Using the same system that keeps filler art from ending up in the archive, I could put up each individual page, and then a Long Page as the most recent that doesn't get archived. The problem with that idea, is that any comments on the Long Page would disappear when the Long Page did.

so it is technically possible to have individual pages, with a long page on the home page that disappears and doesn't get archived, and then have me go through by hand and reassign comments to a page that DID get archived, but uh, I'm unsure that's the most ideal solution xD

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posted at 4:01am on August 10th, 2018

Reply by Mythee

Ohh, thanks for explainin! Hmm, is there no way to automatically append all comments made on the not-archived longpage to the final page of the individually separate pages that remain in the archive? If you could batch-transfer them manually, that would also be better than having to sort them.

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posted at 1:27am on August 12th, 2018

Comment by Chrysalis

Maybe update with each comic page on a separate web page, as usual, but follow them up with some sort of update image (a thumbnail, a sketch, a single panel, etc.) that's shown by itself on the home page, with a link to the beginning of the update?

That way,
A. there's no need to split up pages later,
B. people can still leave comments on each individual page, and
C. there's no risk of people seeing the last page first and getting spoilers for previous pages in the update.

(Apologies if this has been suggested already, there are a ton of comments and I don't have time to read them all now!)

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posted at 5:05pm on August 7th, 2018

Comment by rainycity1

I also would prefer one web page per comic page. I just click at the top to get back to the last page that I saw the previous time.

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posted at 3:35pm on August 8th, 2018

Comment by Debbie

I agree with many others, one web page per comic page would be best. This would provide less of a jarring sudden change for readers in the future. You can let readers know how many pages were in each update and maybe sort out some kind of RSS notification so people know when a page has posted?

I also wonder if, rather than updating by 'scene', you shouldn't just take a break now and make something of a buffer? Then set the finished pages to update once a week, or fortnight if need be, while there are still pages yet unposted. That way you can work at your own pace to add to the buffer and only have to worry if it runs out.

Also I would be surprised if people don't understand the necessity for a non-guaranteed update schedule. "Updates Tuesdays - but not every Tuesday" isn't all that rare!

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posted at 5:56pm on August 8th, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

If you look at the menu on top, all the way to the right, Runewriters does have an RSS feed already! :D So if you want to be notified that way, it's an option! You can also follow the RW twitter, tumblr, deviantart, or join the discord if you prefer social media for that sort of thing!

---

The thing with the idea of taking a break is that the break would be a temporary fix that would need to be enacted over and over and over, because the issue isn't being behind, it's that I cannot make pages quickly enough. We've actually tried this a few times, and it has always ended with me getting less done than I needed to and once again struggling to keep up! It isn't sustainable.

Like, for sake of a hypothetical, let's say it takes me 2 weeks to finish one page. Then I could take four weeks off, finish 2 pages, finish a single page in the time it takes to run through that buffer, and then need to take a 1 month break again. I know you guys have always been very cool and understanding of these kinds of breaks, but it's really frustrating to work this way.

It is an option I considered! "Updates Tuesday but not every Tuesday" is also an option I considered! But I think what will be best for the comic is not having single pages eeked out between such long stretches, somewhat out of my control. Working week to week is fun if I'm on pace, but when I'm not, and am forced to skip weeks in random spots throughout the story, that sucks! I think if the breaks are gonna be there either way, I like the idea of choosing where the best place for a break is gonna be.

And ultimately, if we try this out and it turns out to be very bad, we'll try something else! But I do want to give this a try first! ;u;

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posted at 3:51am on August 10th, 2018

Reply by Debbie

Hi, and thanks for the reply!

Just want to respond to the point about making a temporary fix that doesn't work for you in the long run. I'm not sure I properly communicated what I was trying to say, there!

Obviously if trying to set up a buffer doesn't work, then hey - that's not what works for you. But I wasn't suggesting that you use it like a temporary fix in the manner of a band-aid. Rather, you've said that your workflow doesn't really match with the weekly format and trying to get a page posted every Tuesday isn't helping you focus either. So obviously you don't want to set up a solution that still has you working at the same rate and pattern but just looks a bit different from the outside!

It just seemed to me that what you suggested doing already is effectively the same as adding pages to a buffer -- you're completing a scene, and then uploading it when done, and then completing another one. So I was thinking maybe it'd make just as much sense to upload said pages into an automated system (which would also potentially be easier for you in terms of having to explain, update, and handle timing) that released them at a rate which does match what turns out to be the rate you comfortably work at (say once a fortnight or twice a month). Or even better, just stick to the "updates happen on Tuesdays when they happen" model *and* pre-upload scenes when they are ready? That way you could upload when each "scene" was completed with a message saying "here's the next scene!" but the pages could still post at a drip of one-per-week or one-per-fortnight so the readers had more updates overall and a more sequential experience. There would still be some potential downtime between scenes that way but it would be much shorter as each upload you did make would provide several weeks' new content.

It is entirely up to you of course and from your response this doesn't address your desire to have full control over on which weeks the breaks happen - although you'd still be able to ensure they came up between scenes, at least, and not at random points! But I wanted to provide an alternative idea if it helps everyone (INCLUDING you). If it doesn't then that's fair enough :)

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posted at 9:28am on August 11th, 2018

Reply by Shazzbaa

My system is automated, actually! Half of chapter 4 was set up this way, to release a page a week even though most of it had been completed ahead of time during the long hiatus

My main concern in terms of switching to a "Tuesdays when its ready" or "update at the rate you produce" model is how the story will read if it's posted that way. Webcomics are a weird medium where the pacing of the story is affected by the rate of posting -- a story that updates one page a week reads differently from a story that updates one page every other week. The longer the wait, the more satisfying the update needs to be -- pages can have less content in them when the wait between updates is shorter.

Some creators choose to focus on how the story will read in book form and prioritise the "binge readers," knowing that there's nothing you can do about the fact that sometimes updates will make things slow; some creators prioritise the "update readers" and try to make the pacing work when read as a serial. I'm tend towards the latter, so this is all stuff I put a lot of thought into!

Someone a little earlier in the comments suggested the idea of posting scenes, but like, one page a day or something, instead of in big chunks and that's definitely an option I'm considering as well! Ultimately I want to find the thing that not only works the best for all of us, but the thing that works the best for the story as well. ;u;

And thank you very much for your thoughts, and for your understanding!!! I'm so grateful for all of you being so cool about this! ;u;

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posted at 5:01pm on August 12th, 2018

Comment by Shazzbaa

Thanks so much for all the feedback so far you guys!! Feel free to keep adding thoughts, but I just wanna let you know I'm reading all of these and taking all your thoughts into consideration!!

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posted at 4:03am on August 10th, 2018

Comment by Ikwig

Well, I definitely prefer to click through as normal.

I don't really do the social media thing, but I'm back on this page every weekday to do my voting, so I don't think I'll miss any updates! :)

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posted at 3:49pm on August 10th, 2018

Comment by Woof

Congrats on exploring whatever update cycle works best for you!

Never feel forced into a "most places do X" rule for, like, anything in life whenever possible, but especially for webcomics. It's such a privilege to enjoy your artwork and storytelling for free.

I actually already come here on a short-burst basis already. There's something specific to the humor and pacing that I prefer experiencing in multi-page runs. I'm on the edge of my seat for how a scene's going to end, so if I pause enough before visiting, then maybe I'll hit a scene change. So if that's how the updates start coming, I'm all in favor!

My format vote's for one big page. Page-by-page is mandatory for paper, but the web as a medium lends itself to the infinite scroll. Seems well suited for the update cycle, one scene on one page.

Whichever way you go, thank you for telling this amazing story!

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posted at 11:10am on August 19th, 2018

Comment by rosalie

I wish real world lipreading worked as well as it does in the comic world. Though that thought spell is pretty awesome.

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posted at 4:28pm on August 20th, 2018

Comment by InkFire

A little concerned. I know there was the hurricane thing - is everything alright? It's been 3 months since the last update. Hoping our favorite Shazz is still alive and kicking.

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posted at 11:33pm on November 2nd, 2018

Comment by https://onmogul.com/soikeoinfo

Some really interesting details you have written.Helped me a lot, just what I
was searching for :D.

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posted at 8:39am on November 7th, 2018

Comment by ya boi

"Okay, lemme- *rune noises*"
that is just such a memeable quote, and i love it.

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posted at 6:53pm on November 12th, 2018




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