So I’ve been touching up the Eikasia website here and there in the hopes of making it less of a headache, but more than that, to bring the focus onto the writing, and less on my pet projects and histrionics. Current changes include:
- The removal of the drop-down menus.
- The removal of certain site directory badges and links.
- Placing email subscription and twitter updates in a more prominent spot.
- Made the “Get Up To Speed” category less obnoxious.
- Adding an anchor link to the table of contents in the sidebar.
- A more succinct author’s note on the “New Readers” page.
- And the removal of the navigation tips (rendered obsolete with the removal of the drop-down menus)
- New vote banner to replace the plain and ugly one I had
- Reintroducing the meta login.
I was hoping to tweak the CSS so that the color for the sidebar was separate from the posts, which would leave me free to change one without the other getting screwed. My intention was to make the sidebar text softer to keep the primary focus on the story–thus hopefully making it less of a distraction for you beloved readers. I’ve also been hoping to find a new way of working with Ninth Suture, a blog which was meant to be a lot more. Right now, it’s confusing to navigate, and the older posts didn’t transfer over well from my blogger site. I might end up finding a new theme for it, but it could just be a matter of fixing up tags and categories, so we’ll see. An archive couldn’t hurt, either.
When I think about SEO (search engine optimization) I wince, because I know I’m not doing all that I can to increase my visibility on the web. Upon first acquiring my domain, my only thought was in making my site function–not broadcasting it to the world. As the website reaches its final stages of maturity, that has started to change, and I’m finding I have quite a bit of work to do in that regard. Someday I’ll finally get into those web design and web administration classes I’ve been meaning to take. Someday!
But aside from simplification, SEO, and muting my silly whimsies, another thing I’ve been trying to do was increase reader participation. I’d like to hear from my readers. I wanna know what you guys think, and I’d like you guys to see that you aren’t the only ones into Eikasia. That was why I reintroduced the meta login–so that you can start making profiles on the website. I’ve been tooling around with recent comments and top commentator widgets. But the real doozy is that I’ve decided to start a new forum. For ages I held off, thinking that an empty forum cannot be any more unattractive to visitors. Only how the hell else is a forum supposed to start?
To dangle the proverbial carrot in front of everyone’s faces, I decided I’d make a separate bonus point pool for the forum site. 100 points to the goal, a common effort, same as the original point pool, but think about it: new forum, means lots of new users. You think I’m not going to award you for signing up? Here’s the breakdown so far:
- Every new registered user earns +10 points
- Every new forum topic earns +5 points
- Every new reply earns +3 points
I’m new to forum management, so the forum will be pretty simple and straightforward. I decided to go with SMF instead of phpBB. There’ll be an Eikasia board, where I’ll make a new topic for every update, and you can post anything else story-related. There’ll also be a general chat, as it seems obligatory. If activity increases, or a lot interest is generated for a particular topic, I could make another one. The above conditions may change, and I may even raise or lower the point cap depending on how things go. But y’know, if you look at the point pool and the ways to earn points on the forum, you’ll see how quick this could net you guys another bonus update. (Not that I’m not swamped already!) When the forum is available, I’ll announce it.
Oh hey, enough about boring administrative crap. Now to discuss the more recent events of Eikasia (that being Chapter 22).
To my chagrin, I caught a continuity error. (not on the scale of the Graziano goof–which I still need to edit–but stupid all the same) The problem was with Nyx’s power, and whether or not Tristi could see her after she entered the Somnium. My initial ruling? No, Tristi could not see nor interact with Nyx. What I ended up doing? Tristi could not only see Nyx, but interact with her as well! Doh!! So I went back and changed that little detail. I believe that is still okay, as I never went into detail about whether or not Argos could see Nyx in the Somnium–and no offense to the dear fellow, but he’s just a dog.
The other thing I noticed only after doing it, was in the way I handled Elmiryn’s foray into the weird and wonderful world of La-La-Land. Namely, her out of body experience at the dwarven settlement, and her ‘travels’ during that period. I realized, to my horror, that it felt a great deal like telling and not showing–that damn mantra that haunts us writers in our sleep. Show don’t fucking tell. Ah god. Well, I felt like putting myself through a wall, to be true. But as I thought about it, I realized how this could become an exception. I could, of course, lessen the offense by inserting some actual snippets of Elmiryn’s experience, but I think I’m going to leave her talk with Quincy alone. The reason I feel I can kinda sorta get away with doing a little more “telling” then usual is to keep the air of mystery about Elmiryn’s true experience. An attentive reader wouldn’t need Quincy to point out the issues in Elmiryn’s account, and I’d like to toy around with this more as their adventures in this strange Other World progresses. If that truly seems like a failure, my slow but steady edits shall eventually correct this.
Speaking of edits, I’m currently going to start on Chapter 14. Chapters 1-13 (including any bonus updates in between) are in their second draft!
And since we’re on the topic of progress, I’ve started the next bonus update, The Abaddonic. Last poll, I had to play tiebreaker, one of the choices readers picked was this Tobias side story:
A vast and powerful evil has begun to spread across the Santian Kingdom, giving rise to a plague of ghouls and poltergeists. Three braves are the first to answer the call for help. How Earth, Wind, and Flame met.
Look forward to it soon! Next, Eikasia 23.1 is at some 600 words. I’ve gotta say, the ending to the last chapter got me pretty stoked.
Till next time!
EDIT: I’m announcing it! The forum is now online and available. I’m still tweaking it here and there, but the site is functional and ready for you guys to use. That said, the Forum Point Pool has started!