Release Day: The Trial of Esperint Worf

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

If you’ve finished reading the latest installment, you’re likely having about the same reaction as I had when I wrote it. That ending was not pre-planned. I have about 80% of the story figured out ahead of time—a full outline, the backstory, most of the worldbuilding. But that ending? It hit me about as hard as you did.

I did not have that ending planned out. Every once in a while, things build toward an inevitable end without the author’s say. Or permission. Or notice. I also did not intend for this installment to be roughly 1/5 the length of an actual full-length novel. I tried to trim it down, but there was no excess. This was one of those chapters that just… forced its way out of my head, fully-formed, wearing battle armor and sporting a stylish shoulder owl.

I cried while I was writing it.

The ending scene actually showed up about halfway through the story, and forced me to go write it and sob my eyes out before going back and finishing the bit with Aleph. It kicked down the door and demanded to exist. It got me so hard the barista came over to see if I was okay and I had to explain that yes, I’m fine, I’m just writing, and my story is being TERRIBLE at me.

And now it is out in the world. And I hope it affects you as dearly as it affected me. And I need to go lie down.

Oh my GOD.

Alex Penland