The Mark… and Beyond

I couldn't think of a photo to go with this post, so here's a bunny with a pancake on its head.

I want to thank everyone who came out and participated in The Mark. Even though it didn’t go the way we wanted, I hope everyone had a great time. If you want to relive the adventure (and the failure — HA!) you can go to the “Vote Your Adventure” link on the top bar and select “The Mark” or any of the adventures we’ve shared thus far.

When The Mark wrapped up, a couple of people asked me if I was “over” the whole idea of writing Vote Your Adventure stories. My first reaction was “ARGH, NO!” I hope you didn’t get the idea that I was fed up or angry. Part of the excitement of writing these stories is having no control over what happens. You guys really keep me on my toes! Even though we really didn’t set out to do any of the things I had hoped during this last story, the ending really made me giggle. So the short answer is: No. I am not tired of writing Vote Your Adventure stories.

The long answer is a little more complicated. I’m not “over” writing the stories, I’m over the world that our stories have been in. This is why my blog has remained so silent — I was trying to make a decision about it. I love that you guys are so into the stories and the post-apocalyptic demon-infested world, but it’s time for me to turn over a new creative leaf. We’re going to have more Vote Your Adventure stories, I promise. They’ll just be in new worlds and the next one won’t start until next year.

Moving back to the opposite coast has put me in a completely different mindset. I’m thinking about the concept of new. It just hasn’t felt right to continue working on the same projects that I have been for the last couple of years. I’m giving myself permission to set aside the writing projects that I’ve wrestled with for the last couple of years and start new.

Yes, my necromancer book, The Fourth Channel, is going away. It might not ever be released and I’m okay with that. Sorry.

I’ve started a couple of new projects. The first one is straight up science fiction in a future where corporations rule humanity. Jerica Ariden, Universal Prosperity Federation Marshal, is framed for a murder she didn’t commit. As she’s pursued by her coworkers, her newly assigned partner, and a dangerous crime boss, she must find the murderer and clear her name — all while dragging around the dumbest criminal in the universe.

The other project is a series of stories and novels that support the world of my Sunday night GURPS game. Okay, I haven’t played since I moved, but I hope to get back into it soon. For the uninitiated, GURPS is tabletop roleplaying game. You know, where everyone makes up a character and one person guides you through a scenario. It’s like our VYA stories, but in real time. My friend who runs my Sunday night game has created his own world, a medieval place called Albea that’s filled with humans and elves and daemons and cannibals — and whatever else he can think of. I’ve been wanting to write some stories that will really flesh out the lore and history of this world. I don’t have anything to share yet but I hope to very soon. If I can get enough done then maybe we’ll even run a Vote Your Adventure scenario in this world. So stay tuned for that.

Blog posts coming up:

Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard! The Editor and I sat down and put these two captains head-to-head to find out who is the best Enterprise captain. Which one was dubbed “kind of a dick”? Which one has the best tricorder flip move? Which one was docked points because they should have blasted Troy out of the airlock because she’s so freaking annoying? Find out!


Gaming Reviews for Girls: SKYRIM! My pen pals asked me what the heck Skyrim is? Their boyfriends/husbands play that “gun shooting gaming thingy” (non-gamer speak for Call of Duty 3) but they don’t know Skyrim. I will review Skyrim for girls who don’t even know what “RPG” and “FPS” means.

Stay updated! Subscribe to my blog using the RSS button on the sidebar or on Twitter.

Published by Jen Kirchner

I write funny things.

7 thoughts on “The Mark… and Beyond

  1. I’d be sad to never get to read your book but I think it is important that you write what you are passionate about. If you don’t love it then we, the readers, may pick up on that. I’d rather read a book that YOU love then one that makes you go “meh”. That begin said, I’d really love to get to read The Fourth Channel, even in unedited or unfinished form. Your VYOAs really make me think I’d enjoy it!


  2. Thanks, Mirwyn! I think some of the issue I’m facing is that my Vote Your Adventure series doesn’t truly reflect my writing. A lot of people have gotten the misconception that I write horror. And I do not. At all. I like things to get intense, but that’s because I enjoy adventure.

    The Fourth Channel will always be near and dear to my heart however, I’m starting to think the opening of the book will take even more gutting than I originally thought. I’ve worked on this book a long time and I’ve decided enough is enough, you know? I want to move on and write something that I can share with the people I love. Maybe someday I’ll fix it up and share, but right now I’m looking ahead at stories I know I can finish and give you.


  3. I agree with Mirwyn (at this point it’s nearly a reflex, but in this case our opinions really do coincide and I’m not just trying to move on past what color the drapes should be). As someone who’s struggled mightily over what to write and finishing something that just didn’t want to get written, I understand your reasons and support them 1000%. Writing, in the end, is all about you, the author. We readers get to enjoy the fruits of your long labor and sweat and yes, tears, but the work you put into it has to be something you find fun and enjoyable and engaging, or else, as Mirwyn said, it comes through in the writing itself.

    As to the Fourth Channel…this is my opinion only, not advice, not remarkable insight, and not worth a crap, since I’m an idiot and anyone who listens to what I say is bound to be doing the wrong thing. But here goes anyway. I think there are two paths you can go. One is to put it away and let it sit there while you work on other projects. Maybe you get back to it, maybe you never do since the pressure of wanting it to be perfect never goes away and its faults magnify in your mind. The other option is to take a deep breath, say Hell With It, and unleash it on an unsuspecting world. It’s not perfect, maybe you aren’t perfectly happy with it, but it’s done. Finished. The weight of it is off your mind. It’ll probably be your worst novel ever, but most first novels are. Maybe over time, with it done and published and out, you can look back on it and say, you know, it isn’t nearly as flawed as I think it is. For me, I look at my first book and say, “Damn that’s an ugly baby.” But it is my baby, and I love every one of its twelve toes and three lazy eyes even as I wish it looked more like, well, human.

    Just a thought, and not worth the time you took to read it. You know what’s best for you. I know you are an excellent writer. I don’t think of you as a horror writer, but a writer who can do horror and humor and cool complex characters involved in an engaging storyline. So I’ll be totally happy to read whatever it is you feel like writing. Especially Kirk vs. Pickard, because Kirk is the Awesomest and will noogie that bald-headed twerp, and the Skyrim post is bound to be awesome.

    Oh, and I haven’t forgotten the whole Posse Anthology thing. This needs to happen someday. Just sayin’.


    1. Your opinion means a lot to me; it isn’t crap. And I know that you’re right. I really do want to release something and I believe in The Fourth Channel. After I officially said I wasn’t going to release the book, the regret set in. Not at first but, a day or two later, there it was.

      My fear is exactly as you say — that the book is an ugly three-eyed, twelve-toed baby and if people read it, they will never want to read another one of my books again. I have big fears about releasing something that isn’t perfect, which is unrealistic. I do know that. I don’t know if I’m ever going to want to stop fixing it, which is a problem. I’ve started looking at it in the same way as people who are addicted to plastic surgery — they get a nip here and a tuck there and a few botox injections. Maybe it improves a person’s outward appearance for a while. But if they keep going, they start looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein, the scary cat-face lady.

      For all of my book’s warts, I don’t want it to look like the literary equivalent.

      At some point, I have to give up making changes and fixes. Yet, I’m afraid to pour more time into this thing because I feel like I’m missing out on more projects. On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder: if I’m having such a hard time saying “enough fixes!” to this book, will I ever?

      I don’t know what to do. I just don’t want to release this book and end up horribly embarrassed because my book is crappy.


      1. I definitely empathize with that feeling. And there probably is a middle ground in my “two ways” theory, one that involves pursuing what you want to pursue, and then finidng somewhere in the middle of it an insight into how you feel about TFC or a way to approach the things you feel are wrong, and then bingo! Your baby is ready for an Anne Geddes photoshoot.

        How I knew her name off the top of my head is a mystery to me.

        Anyway, you’ll figure it out, and we’ll be here to cheer you on and give you support and read whatever it is you decide to write!


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