Friday, December 30, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 18

Sometimes, when I write a caption, I start with an idea and look for a picture to illustrate it.  But just as often--maybe more often, actually--I find an interesting image or sequence of video that suggests an idea to me, and I build up a story around the image.  Subject Twenty-Four is an example of the latter.

I came up with the idea for Subject Twenty-Four as I was catching up on the final few episodes of last season of Arrow over the summer.  The idea of a character being held captive in, and escaping from, what appeared from the outside to be a quaint suburban neighborhood seemed interesting.  That eventually evolved into the idea of the Doctor's compound and his body-swapping experiment.

The second half of this series evolved from the fact that Thea--Willa Holland's character in Arrow--is a costumed vigilante.  The image above was, in fact, one of the first I found for this series, and I structured much of the latter half of the series around it.  The fact that Thea's boyfriend dies while she's being held captive--that would be a spoiler alert if I hadn't already used an image of his death, albeit with his face off-camera--brought the first and second halves of the story together nicely.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I think it would be really hard to switch bodies with someone, simply because there would be tons and tons of facts you would have to learn about that new person's life.  Granted, Andrew here is in an unusually difficult position... but I think that, even if Megan had been carrying a driver's license, he would have a hard time learning people's names, learning how to do her job, learning her social security number and e-mail password and father's dog's mother's maiden name, pretending he knows what people are talking about when they're laughing about that embarrassing story from Megan's childhood... there's so much that would go into learning how to live another person's life, even apart from adapting to, say, a new gender.

Even I have struggled with that... because, while there's a lot about my life that's similar to the way it was before my transformation, there's a lot that's different.  Fortunately, I'm getting pretty good at faking my way through a conversation if I have to.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 16

This is essentially the caption equivalent of a training montage.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Beat the Heat 27

As you've probably figured out if you've stuck with this series, one of the central dynamics in Beat the Heat is that Cameron and Luis are switching places.  Luis, once an open-minded optimist, hates being a woman, while Cameron, who used to be sullen and withdrawn and originally resented his transformation, is falling in love with his life as Cassie.

I think I made that transition too fast.  I'm improvising this series; while I know how this series is going to end, I'm making a lot of it up as I go.  That makes the pacing difficult, since I can't match the characters' evolution to particular story beats.

This is still a fun experiment for me... but it's not quite turning out the way I wanted it to.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Magic

Diary - Christmas

This has to be the most embarrassing caption I've put up so far.

I found this outfit packed away in a box in my garage a few months ago.  Goodness knows why I have it.  This is a bit more risque, and a lot cheesier, than most of the pictures I've put up of myself. But ehn, you've all been good boys and girls and others, so you deserve a little something.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Much Ado About Something, to be clear, Eric is a teenage boy pretending to be a teenage girl pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man who's in love with a man who's in love with a woman who's in love with a woman who she thinks is a man.

Dizzy yet?

There's lots and lots and lots of gender-bending in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Women weren't allowed to appear on stage in Elizabethan England, so all female roles were played by young male actors.  There was a certain absurdity in having a male actor pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man. least, that's why scholars think there was so much crossdressing in Elizabethan plays.  But maybe there was more to it than that. :)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 15

Part 16 of Subject Twenty-Four will go up on December 26th; This series is a bit too gloomy for Christmas Day.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 14

There must be a whole backstory behind the Doctor's neighborhood/compound that explains who built it, why they built it so far from the city, why it was abandoned, and how the Doctor was able to buy out the entire place.

...but you won't get it here.  Just assume that some real estate company decided there was a market for a neighborhood way way out in the countryside; when they found out there was no such market, they were desperate to sell the houses off at any price, and the Doctor came in and swooped them up with donations from his followers.

I doubt anyone really cares.  I just needed a way to explain how no one noticed this whole action movie taking place in a suburban neighborhood.  Elaborating on how the neighborhood came to be would be a big, boring, needless distraction from the plot, character development, and gender-changing shenanigans.  Sometimes plot holes are better left unfilled.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Office Politics

This, of course, contradicts the ending of Final Girl, in which the characters who die are just booted back safely to reality.  The Magic Remote, as far as I can tell, is more a trope than a universe, which means the rules are somewhat flexible.  Personally, as a storyteller, I prefer this set of rules; the stakes are higher if characters who use the Magic Remote can permanently die.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 12

I don't like violence, and I don't like guns, so it's surprising to me that I've written as violent a series as this.

I'm taking Matt through a character arc here; this series is more about Matt's inner transformation than his outer transformation.  This caption marks the midpoint of this series; we still have a long way to go.  It won't be an easy road.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 10

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

For my new readers...

Welcome, new readers!

Viola over at World of TG has just added my blog to the site (thanks, Viola!), which means I have a lot of new readers.  Like, a lot a lot.  So I think it's worth taking a moment to let you guys know about some of the more unique aspects of my blog.

First and most important thing to know is that, over the summer, for reasons I have yet to figure out, I was transformed into a woman.  That's me over on the right. Readers of this blog are the only people who know this; everyone else in my life believes that I've always been female.  Which, for a semi-closeted transwoman, has been... amazing doesn't cover it.  It's been the best thing that's ever happened to me.  From time to time I write captions talking about my new life.  So if you see a caption marked "Diary" with a picture of me and a funny handwritteny font, know that that's not a fictional caption; that's me talking about my own life.  You can see my first diary caption here.

I post at least once a day, in the late afternoon or early evening Eastern Time; occasionally, I'll post a caption in the morning or early afternoon as well.  I write a lot of long series, which I release one caption at a time alongside my standalone caps.  I alternate daily between series and standalones.  I keep track of my series in The Library... though I'm terrible about keeping it updated.

I don't take requests, and I'm terrible at responding to e-mails and comments.  I love feedback, but I can't promise you I'll respond in a timely manner, or at all.  I apologize for that.  I have some physical and mental health problems that limit my capacity to do, you know, stuff.  I do read and appreciate everything you guys send me, though, and I keep your comments in mind as I move forward.

I have two original universes.  The first is Chrono Corps, about an secret intragovernmental agency that sends agents back in time in the bodies of other people in order to better the world, research the past, and protect history from rogue time travellers.  I've written up a list of rules for the Chrono Corps universe here.

My other original universe is Legends of the Dark Tower, about players of a fantasy MMORPG of the same name who get trapped in the game world as their characters, or occasionally as random NPCs, as a result of a mysterious new patch.  You can find my LotDT captions here.

Those are the most important things to know.  if you have any questions, please ask.  I may, possibly, eventually, perhaps, hopefully, someday get back to you.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Goodbye, Old Friend

This set of caps grew a great deal as I was writing it.  I'd originally intended this to be a brief caption about a guy saying goodbye to his dying body after he gets trapped in a woman's body.  But the story kept growing as I worked backwards to explain how he'd gotten into that situation.

Sometimes stories get away from me.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

No Regrets

I really worry about myself, sometimes, when I write captions like this.  Like, where do these kinds of captions come from?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 4

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Diary - More on Thanksgiving

Though I don't drink alcohol; while everyone else was getting drunk, I was sipping a soft drink.  So I guess I didn't enjoy it was much as everyone else...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On Solitude

Beat the Heat 25

It's interesting to be writing a series called Beat the Heat when it's actually pretty cold outside.  I was kind of shortsighted when I titled this series, wasn't I?

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four Part 3

Gimp, the program I use to make my captions, crashed when I was halfway through writing a caption yesterday.  I had been writing the text directly in Gimp.  I hadn't saved.  I was not happy.

It's the first time Gimp has ever crashed on me.  I need to be more careful in the future.

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Subject Twenty-Four 1

Always good to start a new series off with a bang.

Subject Twenty-Four is, coincidentally, a 24-part series that will run through mid-Januaryish; it's not my longest series, but since I've reduced the pace at which I'm releasing series, it will take the longest to upload (except for Beat the Heat, I suppose).  So get cozy, kids.  I think it's a fun, exciting series, though, so hopefully it will keep everyone entertained. :)

(By the way, as a literature major with a less-than-impressive work history, I'm speaking from experience here...)

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Not a Bimbo

My least favorite trope in the TG fiction community is the "bimbo" trope.  I hate it.  Hate it.  Haaaaaate it.  The feminist in me cringes at the awful assumptions about women that underlie the whole concept of "bimbos".  The idea that a male character would become less intelligent because he's turned into a woman is deeply insulting.

So here's my deconstruction of the trope.

Diary - Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Refuge 5

This wraps up Refuge.  I hope you all enjoyed it... and that, in the end, it all made sense.

I had two goals for this series.  One, I wanted to explore one of the ways someone might misuse the Chrono Corps technology.  I feel like I basically hit my intended marks in this respect.

I also wanted to try writing a series in which the exposition is slowly revealed over the course of the entire series instead of being front-loaded in the first caption.  I wanted people to want to read on not to learn what happened next, but why Carter had fled the future and what his plan was.  I didn't want the entire story to be clear until the end.  I'd be curious to know whether I succeeded in that or not.

My next series is my twist on a standard TG plot: that of the mad scientist who kidnaps a pair of people and swaps their bodies.  It's a longer and more action-packed series than Rebirth and Refuge, and I'm pretty pleased with it.  I hope you guys will be, too.  Look for the first chapter of Subject Twenty-Four this Friday! :)

You can follow this and my other series on my series page.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ramble On

MMORPGs are typically structured around what's known as the "holy trinity", a set of well-defined class roles that are easy to understand and complement each other well.  There are "DPS" (damage-per-second) classes that can inflict a great deal of damage over short periods of time; there are "tanks", who can absorb significant amounts of damage and can attract enemies' attention to themselves and away from flimsier classes; and there are healers, who heal the other two classes.

Personally, though, I tend to be drawn to classes that are outside the holy trinity, like hybrid classes that mix two or more of the traditional roles, or "crowd control" classes that specialize in keeping enemies from being able to act in combat.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult for group to understand these out-of-the-box sorts of classes, and for developers to design content that accommodates them.  So it's not uncommon for such classes to be passed over in favor of holy trinity classes.