What’s a “serial”?

A serial is a story published in parts.  My story commonly takes close to a month to finish a chapter.  When you look at the title of each post, you can see which part it is you are reading, i.e. “Chapter 2.1, Chapter 2.2, etc…”

So how much does it cost to read your story?

Nothing.  Not a cent, not a dime, not a dollar.  This is a FREE online serial available for you to read.  You are free to donate money, however.  I’m a college student in a floundering financial aid system.  Money takes the stress away.  No stress means I’m happy.  Me being happy means updates on time, and likely a little extra.

When did you start writing Eikasia?

I’d been bouncing the idea around for a while before I put pen to paper, but I officially started the story on September 13th, 2008.

Is Illise Montoya your real name?

Nope!  It’s my pseudonym.  Feel free to laugh at it.  …Um, are you done yet?  …….No?

How can I read your story starting from Chapter (#)?

In the sidebar, you’ll see a red link that says “Table of Contents”.  Click on it, and select the chapter you want.  This will list that chapter in its entirety.  Additionally, at the bottom of every post is a link to the previous or next post so that you can continue reading at a part-by-part basis.

Cool!  So that means, since you’re posting your story online for free, I can do what I want with it?

Ah…not quite.  No.  HELL no.  Under Creative Commons, you are free to copy, distribute, and transmit my work–but you have to attribute it to me, Illise Montoya.  To do this properly, you must have my name somewhere clearly on the work, along with an easy to locate link to this website using the url: http://eighthcirclestudios.com/eikasia/  You aren’t allowed to change my work, do any derivative works based on my story, take credit for my work, or use my story for commercial purposes without my EXPRESSED permission.  If you see someone else doing this, please let me know.  Use the contact form on this website if you have any specific questions.

For more information, you can also go here.

What is “eikasia”?  It’s never mentioned in your writing.

And it probably never will be.  “Eikasia” is a mode of reasoning defined by the Greek philosopher Plato.  In the basest of terms, one can call it “picture thinking”.  Plato suggested that all thought derives from eikasia.  More elaborately, he explained that it was our inability to perceive whether a perception is an image of something else. It is eikasia, then, that prevents us from seeing a reflection in the mirror as anything else but reality.  It’s a concept that scholars have written whole books on, so don’t take my explanation to be the ultimate answer or definition.  There are varying theories and debates on the subject, like the role eikasia plays in the thought process and its affect on society.

What’s up with those “Break Time” stories you do? They’re weird!

The Break Time series usually only makes its appearance in Eikasia’s Top Web Fiction incentive page (see sidebar for the TWF voting button) but there have been times during the Eikasia saga where I felt the need to take a break. In the first three years since this project began, this usually only happened a few times a year around expected seasons–the holidays and such. But from the summer of 2011 onwards, I’ve been experiencing many new and challenging things, so my creative rhythm has been disrupted. So to help myself stay in touch with the story during these “writing blocks,” I do these strange shorts.

They’re basically just one-shots featuring the Eikasia cast in an abstract living space within my own head. Sometimes, I write a BT purely as an exercise to explore who the characters are; other times, I use it to comment on things or events I witness in real life; most of the time, I take it as an opportunity to write my characters doing something they couldn’t otherwise do within the limits of the Eikasia setting–Like Elmiryn playing video games, or Nyx listening to the Violent Femmes. The Break Time stories usually don’t have any bearing on the main storyline, so you can skip these if you’d like.

When do you update?

Every Sunday…unless something happens that makes it otherwise.  Give me a break, you’re getting this for free!

How can I know when you update?

So that you don’t waste your Sunday visiting my site every five minutes to see if I finally posted the next installment, you can do two things:  First, you can subscribe to my RSS feed, which offers email subscription.  Second, you can follow my Twitter account.  A note about the latter option–My twitter is 1/2 Eikasia related, 1/2 goofy nonsense.  If you’d rather not deal with my tweeting about how much I love Team Fortress 2 or why I can’t stand crying babies in a movie theater, then maybe you should just stick with option 1…

You can also become a fan of Eikasia on Facebook.  I post links to updates there too.

Hey!  I want a better reason for why you didn’t update on time!  Your last twitter update just says, “I suck.”

And you can find one on my creator blog–“Ninth Suture”–along with chapter previews, artwork, story notes, and general musings related in some way or other to my writing.  Ninth Suture tends to be a little more focused on just talking about my work, unlike my Twitter account.  In the future, it’ll also be the place where I discuss my other projects (TBA) so be forewarned…

You’re a terrible writer.

First, that isn’t a question.  Second, you’re a terrible reader.  So there!

Only Chapter 1 is in its third draft.  Part 1 (as of 1/25/11) is in its second draft.  Mostly everything else is in its first draft. If you scroll down the New Readers page, you’ll see there’s a table of contents.  There, I note which chapters I’ve fully edited and which ones I haven’t.

If you want to see those nasty grammar problems and typos vanish, just politely point it out to me.  You’ll notice some readers have already been kind enough to help me out.  I try to look over my work before posting, but mistakes are bound to happen and that can include continuity errors.  Try and find delight in seeing the creative process happen before you, there’s no real use in jeering at the inevitable.

What’s “Eighth Circle Studios”?

Just some domain name. Nothing special.

So are you going to publish Eikasia in book format?

If I can find a publisher willing to take up second publishing rights, or if there’s enough interest to justify self-publishing costs.  The chapters of my story are grouped into titled parts, for instance, Chapters 1-8 are from “Part 1: Tributaries”.  Every complete part (depending on length and the nature of the story) will be grouped into a finished book.  When it’s professionally edited and polished, Eikasia will be made available for purchase.  The likely scenario is that, not only will this final product contain the edited story in its entirety, but it will also contain bonus scenes/chapters with high-quality chapter artwork.  Self-publishing seems more likely, but dead-tree format is not an impossibility.  You can bet that I’ll let you all know if/when this happens.

Who did the artwork in some of the chapters?

I did.  I’m not an art major, but I did a lot of doodling when I was in public school.  This has given me certain limited skills, which I sometimes try to use to illustrate my ideas for Eikasia.  You can find more concept sketches and digital art on Ninth Suture…you can also find exclusive artwork on Eikasia’s Facebook page!

If you’re curious too, you can see my DeviantArt, but I hardly ever update it anymore.