The Perks of Immortality - Stopping
Hey everyone, it has been a bit hard to write this, but I will no longer be updating this series.
I’ve had a lot of awesome readers and commenters on the story and I didn’t want to continue to leave you in limbo.
Explaining why I’m stopping has been the hardest thing, and I don’t really have a good answer. However, the best answer might just be that I lost interest in my own story. I’ve certainly had lots of personal distractions that got in the way of writing more, but when I first started out I would find any spare time that I could to crank out more content. Lately, I’ve barely been able to get out 2000 words a month.
I would like to try writing another series at some point. This is the farthest I’ve gotten with any particular story, and the encouragement I got from readers and reviews helped me get as far as I did. I might try doing an outline at the start, just setting up a more consistent schedule for myself to write. Or just go back to shorter stories for a while until I feel ready to try something big again. Or try something experimental where I write lots of plot and very little fluff (like Tree of Aeons).
Obviously the story is not complete, and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to deliver any kind of satisfying end to the readers that stuck with the story. I had vague ideas about where to take the story and had written an outline once or twice, but none of them really felt right. If anyone has any questions about what was going on in the story, or where I had planned to take things then I’m happy to answer.
FAQ SECTION (I’ll fill this out as questions come in):
Nature of the universe – there was an understandably large amount of confusion and speculation about the nature of the universe in this story. I gave hints and slightly contradictory statements from different characters. I also didn’t have a solid and consistent way of thinking about it for a long time, so obviously the story came out a little jumbled as well. There are some things that were generally true in my mind:
1. Kegan was from a ‘meta’ universe. In this meta universe it was possible to create sub-universes if you had enough energy and computing power.
2. Kegan was a pioneer in trying to create and live in a sub-universe. He gained personal power as a calorie mage, and then split his brain and personality into different parts to manage the computing requirements. The ‘spirits’ that Kegan encountered were just split off parts of his brain and personality.
3. There were tens of thousands of the sub-universes to start with. Spending power to alter the sub-universes took away from the power supply to run those sub-universes. He spent a series of full restarts trying to make this system mostly stable.
4. After he got it stable he was just going to live out and enjoy his immortality. Perks were path-dependent on any given hard reset, and he fucked up and drove himself crazy in the previous series of lives. Which lead to him erasing all of his memories.
Direction of the story – Nothing was set in stone, but I did have some ideas with what to do with the story. What surprised me the most is that the readers and reviewers of the story changed my own perception of it. The “barbarian” review that was really popular made me realize I’d been writing Kegan much dumber than I intended to. There was another review that described how powers could be ‘gifted’. I’d never actually intended that originally (I had this whole idea of a separate rune magic system), but I scrapped it cuz the “gifted powers” idea just seemed to fit better. Here are the ideas I had for some sub-plots:
1. The spirits were just parts of Kegan’s mind and personality. He was getting access to more complex parts of his persona as he personally grew. I based Kegan’s mental and social development on the work of an American Developmental Psychologist that I found interesting. His name is Roger Kegan (The shared name is intentional). Here are the stages of development: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_developmental_framework#Stages_of_adult_development
- Stage 1: Purely impulse or reflex-driven (infancy and early childhood).
- Stage 2: The person’s sense of self is ruled by their needs and wishes. The needs and wishes of others are relevant only to the extent that they support those of the person. Effectively the person and others inhabit two “separate worlds” (childhood to adolescence).
- Stage 3: The person’s sense of self is socially determined, based on the real or imagined expectations of others (post-adolescence).
- Stage 4: The person’s sense of self is determined by a set of values that they have authored for themselves (rarely achieved, only in adulthood).
- Stage 5: The person’s sense of self is no longer bound to any particular aspect of themselves or their history, and they are free to allow themselves to focus on the flow of their lives.
The blue ball spirit was Stage 2. The gold ball spirit was stage 3. The blue man shaped spirit was stage 4. The gold man shaped spirit was stage 5.
2. The humans could have access to a variety of magics. The other races usually only had access to one type of magic. Most magically sensitive creatures were born directly from one of the world stones. The human kingdom had a powerful semi-immortal mage King that monopolized access to the human worldstone, he captured and enslaved anyone born from the world stone. Anyone too powerful to be safely enslaved would just get killed. The elves were working with Human rebels to try and tear the Kingdom apart. They’d captured the former lord of Kegan’s Keep, and that lord agreed to work with them on the condition that they protected his son. Kegan’s mini rebellion was about to knock down a set of dominoes that would pit the whole kingdom against itself. Kegan was going to ride through the chaos, find the king, fight him to a stalemate once, do a preparation montage, and come back and kick the King’s ass. He was gonna settle down with a woman, live a peaceful life, and die a little unsatisfied in old age. That was basically the next story arc I had planned similar to the bone mage.
3. I was thinking of maybe jumping ahead in history again for Kegan’s story arc after that one. Early renaissance period. Kegan was gonna be a pirate on the high seas. Lives a life of debauchery while he goes sailing around looking for more world stones to get large influxes of points. A female pirate sails with him most of the time. They are on and off again lovers. She settles down with a different man, has kids. Kegan keeps adventuring, but always comes back and acts as an uncle for the kids. A few decades later shes old, Kegans old, her husband is dead, and he convinces her to go on one last adventure. A well-guarded world stone that they’d failed to get before. Things go wrong, she dies, Kegan lives. He goes on a rampage killing the elves that guard that world stone. Kegan has a heart to heart conversation with the gold human-shaped spirit. He realizes how lonely and pointless the immortality can feel. He does a hard reset, adds his lady friend to live out immortality with him, and adds the ability to put others in the loop. The power-requirements mean that the sub-universes won’t last nearly as long. He doesn’t care. Roll credits end of story.
Other stories – If I start writing another story I might post here. I was a little uncomfortable with how big my following grew for this story when I felt it was still in its infancy. I was at something like 30k-40k words when this blew up. If I hit 75k words in my next story I’ll definitely post here.