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“I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don't really exist if you don't.”

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2016 was so last year · 5:21pm Jan 1st, 2017

Well, hi.

Not having done any of this in a while, I suppose I'll get straight to it. Consider this a State of the Writer thing except not because I haven't written anything (of relevance to pony anyways).


I am, remarkably, not ded. 2016 was a gap year for me that I took to look for work post-graduation. So far I have found none. Well, I've been doing a lot of part time stuff and haven't been hurting for money, so I am definitely better off than I could have been.

More specifically, I've been tutoring high school students. It was my first ever sort of paid work and has become the bulk of my working experience. I've taught IELTS (English competency scale), literature-ish English, Math and Science to aacademically struggling Australian kids and, while the lack of proper registration with the government is slightly concerning, the parents and students themselves are very happy with me. Pretty successful venture, though I hope the companies see it for the demonstration of initiative, communication and entrepreneurship I'm selling it as rather than a weird lack of ability to get into industry or, worse, lack of desire.

Failing to get a job, I may do a Masters by research. This will 90% lock me into the academic route since a Masters in engineering is good for little else except qualifying you to do a PhD in engineering, which qualifies you to be a lecturer. Given my now-background in education, I'm fine with it, but I'll have to see if I get a grant first, let alone make the arduous climb up to that point.


You know that part where I said I hadn't written anything? Turns out it only feels that way, because statistically this was my best year yet. No, 2015 had been the slow year. 2016 was the one with all the other fics.

Starting from Scald in November 2015, the direction of stories took a turn for canon. Fork Everything et al were all reactions to episodes that had room for more exploration. Just The Usual was the peak of it all, and remains my highest-viewed fic on Fimfiction (the highest-viewed fic of all time remains Caughlin on FF.net).

You can see a noticeable relaxing of standards, or at least form, in the new wave of Casca fics. Compared to PtVAJ!, these are more nicely encapsulated in their oneshot forms, play much more with canon characters, and are attempts at that wretchedly arcane energy called humour. Less of trying to tell a thing and more of trying to tell a story, which is a good lesson to have learned. Because while we'd all like to hold our fanfiction to higher standards and to expect improvement, it's written for people who read fanfiction, and there are certain expectations (read: sales) that are absent from this side of the writing process that free up form, intent, approach.

If I do get around to working on fics again, it will be an attempt at returning to past form plot-wise. Longer, more elaborate, just more structured and clever really. 10,000 Bits, likely the next fic to be released on account of it actually existing in draft form, is an action-drama-adventure about a gang of misfits. Fate/Hay Night is silly crossover powerlevel fantasy. And that Touhou crossover... well, it will be what it will be.

I've also been working on a Minecraft fanfiction with which to wet my toes in the Amazon self-publishing world. More on that at 11.

I've also got a fresh idea for an original novel that wasn't the previous original novel I was working on. The last one was a YA thing about teens with powers. This one is about hitmen who kill to bump people up the organ donor list and a cult that grants peoples' wishes but only to the extent that they dismember themselves. Mhm. Bit more literary, yes. I'm tempted to work on that instead just so that when people ask "You write? What are you writing?" I don't have to reply with "A Minecraft fanfiction"... but then it'll end up stalling out at the 20k mark like all my other damn attempts. Geez.

That much being said, the fact that I have had the capacity for such an idea is encouraging. Rather than my imagination drying up as I become part of society, it's become a sort of slow trickle that I can pool up. The novel was originally two short stories, for example, and then I realized that it might as well become one great conspiracy thing.


Still here, still writing. Life hard but then again when hasn't it been?

And also

I hope I don't regret this, but...

As has been the case in previous years, I have usually offered to critique others' work around this period. I'm going to do the same now. Because I do love that you followed me from my work and I feel that I want to give you a bit more than a couple of months of radio silence.

If you'd like me to review your work, comment with a link down below and a summary. Some rules as follows:

1) First 4 entries, rest by discretion (if I like the sound of it enough to dig in, if I have the time and energy to...). No guarantee as to when it'll be don, but you'll get a PM when I'm about to post.

2) You allow me to post this review to my blog as well as to your comment box. I'm not mean... but I need things to post every now and then and I don't let good text go to waste. :x

3) Technical (grammar) edits for at most the first three pages. If there's anything systemic I'll have found it by then. Soft cap of 8k words, 3 chapters, or really anything I feel would be fair and useful. Usually I focus on smoothing out the "new reader experience" with the idea that if you've hooked them with a good opener, they'll be more forgiving of anything else you do.

4) You understand that I can be a bit of a blunt bastard when it comes to reviewing (see my last attempt for an idea of what I offer. It's not you, it's me.

And that's it! This is Casca, wishing you a good 2017.

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Comments ( 5 )

Glad to hear you're doing well :)

Author Interviewer

Why doesn't ctrl-f find "caughlin"? D:

It's good to hear you're doing all right, doubly so that you're still writing. A masters in an engineering discipline is still nice resume padding, isn't it? I've got one, but I can't say my job really relates... but I can say I've got a nice job. It probably isn't as beneficial to society as what you've been up to, though.

Wishing you a happy new year, and good luck :heart:

Thank you! Good to see you still around!

This is spooky because there's at least one mention of it in there.

Hey, thanks! Usually the investment in a Masters is the hope for the doors it opens. Coming from an Asian background where academic achievement is achievement, I've been told to seriously consider Masters as a way to pave my future climb. However, Australian (where I'd most ideally like to work) sensibilities don't think very much of it at all... not that it matters if I get in though :P since I find teaching satisfying (though wouldn't settle for anything less than a professorship if I had to make a career out of it).

Author Interviewer

maybe I just suck :|

also you suck because you're not writing Caughlin D:

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