So here’s a thing I did
I’ve just finished translating Insinuation 2.9 to Norwegian, all the way to the wham line:
“De virker som gode folk,” løy jeg.
I’m not going to publish it, because that feels like too much of a breach of copyright to do without Wildbow’s express permission, but it’s a thing I feel I should mention that I did.
As for why? Krixwell life update time! I have quit my web studies (just didn’t work out for me) and am now looking for a job instead, and translator is a tempting option. I figured I should try it out on a non-commercial basis before making any decisions, and a past Worm chapter simply seemed like a natural first subject. I picked 2.9 specifically because of the wham line it ends with.
It took me about three hours total over two sessions, and the document ended up at 10557 characters including spaces. According to standard translator rates in Norway (205.12 kroner per thousand characters), I’d earn 2165 kr ($266) for the entire chapter, for an hourly rate of about 722 kr ($88.72)… Maybe I’m missing something about how the rates work, because everywhere I look, people are saying this is a poorly-paid profession.
It’s pretty clear from his statements that Wildbow is very much a write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer who has some ideas in mind for later events but mostly improvises.
About the impact of interludes and how the story would work without them: Wildbow has a plot but he writes chapters as he goes along. So his writing adapt: if he reach a donation bonus he write an interlude, this interlude becomes an integral part of the story and he takes it into account as he keeps writing. If he doesn’t hit the donation bonus he doesn’t write the interlude and he just keeps writing chapters normally.
[essay in ask form]
One thing a lot of people don’t realize about Wildbow’s writing style is how little it’s planned out in advance. He’s often described himself as a “seat-of-your-pants writer.” When he started Worm he had a small handful of key scenes he knew he wanted to hit, but beyond that he didn’t have much of a plan for the story. He mostly just decided what was going to happen in a chapter while he was writing the chapter, based on what he thought his characters would do in that situation.
I think Taylor’s confrontation with Danny in 6.9 was one of those key scenes (although he didn’t know how it was going to play out until he actually wrote it). I don’t think you’ve reached any of the others. Hopefully this is too vague to be a spoiler, but some of those key scenes do relate to the endgame, so he always had some idea of where the story was going, just not how he was going to get there.
I imagine he writes most of the arcs similarly, he starts with some idea some things that are going to happen in the arc, and then just lets the story unfold naturally from there. He actually often intentionally writes himself into corners just to challenge himself (and his characters) to think of creative solutions. Some of the most iconic scenes in the entire story were actually things he just came up with while writing the chapter in which they happen.
So that means that Wildbow almost certainly didn’t know what was going to happen in Arc 7 back when he was writing Arc 4. I’m sure he knew there’d be some sort of confrontation with the E88 at some point, because that was obviously going to happen, but I doubt he knew when it would happen, or what specifically would cause it. If he didn’t have Interlude 3 1/2, he obviously would have done something differently, but it’s hard to know exactly what.
Maybe he would have made Purity’s interlude a regular interlude, and moved one of the other interludes to later (maybe Gregor’s, or Canary’s). Maybe the E88 fight would have happened in a later Arc. Maybe it would have played out differently, so that Aster wouldn’t have been so important to the conflict. Typically the bonus interludes are just as important as the regular interludes, since neither ones were planned out very much in advance.
This is the kind of writer I’d tend towards becoming, but unlike me, Wildbow actually has the skill to make it work. :p
All that typing to make that absolutely awful pun? Shame, shame on you. 🙂
I’m not sure which pun you’re referring to, but yes, probably. :p
By the way, here, some of you might appreciate this touching story.
[This was probably about the intro post to 7.8.]
Ok, ok, I see what’s happening here,
You’re face to face with badass, and it’s strange –
you don’t even know how you feel! It’s adorable!
Well, it’s nice to see that heroes never change.
Open your eyes, let’s begin,
Yes, it’s really me,
I’m Hookwolf, breathe it in!
I know it’s a lot: the hair, the bod!
When you’re staring at Aryan-gods
What can I say except bitteschön!
For the knives, the blades, the arm!
Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay, bitteschön!
I’m just an ordinary para-guy!
Hva heter du?
Jeg heter Krixwell! Og Kristian. Begge deler er like rett, selv om bare ett av dem vil bli godtatt av banken.
Yeah! Show that judgement tooth who’s boss!
IT SHALL JUDGE ME NO LONGER
BUTTER AMY’S GETTING BUTTER
When the Dallon family watched the second episode of Gravity Falls together, Victoria managed to mishear the famous punchline, and voiced her confusion. It became a standing joke in the family to shout BUTTER AMY’S GETTING BUTTER every single time Amy was seen using butter, a joke which Victoria and Amy tired of much more quickly than everyone else.
After the first few months, Amy stopped using butter whenever she thought someone in her family might be watching.
Eat the shit out of that cake for me too.
I… don’t actually remember what cake you’re talking about. Sorry! :p
(#blog search isn’t helping
#maybe it was a break post that i deleted when i got back?)
I think I remember someone saying something about Photon Mom’s laser/shield being balanced in power, while Laserdream and Shielder have their namesake powers superboosted at the cost of the other.
Ooh, that’s a neat concept, and it makes a lot of sense.
Purity’s maiden name was mentioned in 7.4.
“What if Kayden is a member of this family? We don’t know her maiden name.” We do. From Buzz 7.4: “Purity was promoted to Kaiser’s second-in-command in the same week that Kayden Russel took Max’s hand in marriage to become Kayden Anders.”
Ohh, right. Well, at least she’s not a Dallon, then.
There’s still a chance Photon Mom’s part of the family has a different surname, which could be Russel, and if she does belong to the family (biologically), it would make sense for it to be on the side associated with lasers.
That said, this is not a solid theory that I’ll be counting on, just a little what-if. My certainty in it is around 55% at best.
Re: Moms, in a very long time I’ll have to tell you my Worm moms list.
Heh, nice. I’m looking forward to it. 😉
In case you were wondering, the names Night and Fog comes from Nacht und Nebel, a directive issued by Adolf Hitler to suppress dissent by having enemies in occupied territories disappear, spirited away in the night with no records or messages passed on to the family about their fate. The fear and concern over what happened to these individuals served to cow the local population into submission.
Oooh, that makes everything about Night’s power even more clever than it already was. She is the monster that strikes when no one is looking and leaves no trace (although that last part might’ve been Fog’s doing).
Fog’s senses while being fog, probably aren’t normal, so he doesn’t count just like Taylor seeing Night through her bugs doesn’t count.
Yeah, makes sense. Although I don’t think we actually know whether Taylor actually seeing Night through her bugs would count, because she didn’t try that (unless I misinterpreted something). What Taylor was doing with her bugs was a separate sense that seems more akin to proprioception, the sense of where your body parts are relative to each other.
We do know that the bugs themselves seeing Night didn’t count, at least.
Nonviolent solutions are often more interesting than violent ones, and I don’t think the Undersiders could have won a fight against Purity anyway, even without any of her teammates present.
Keyword here is “often”. I do appreciate a good nonviolent solution, but I just didn’t think this one was particularly interesting.
Everything seemed to be set up for a fight against Purity to happen, even if it did ultimately end in a peaceful outcome. It’s true it would be incredibly difficult, but that’s the kind of thing you come to expect from narratives like Worm – each threat becomes more impossible than the last, yet the protagonists usually manage to find some way through, and it’s usually the creative ways they do so that you’re actually getting satisfaction from. In this case, the narrative looked like it was heading for such a situation, and then it cut off right at the entrance and went with the easiest, least interesting way around.
Maybe I’m being unreasonable here, I don’t know. It just wasn’t very satisfying to me, personally.
am i the only one who is bothered that the table of constants keeps changing?
Hah, good point. Maybe that’s what’s constant about it, though?
This life is tricky, mean, and strange,
You can only be sure about one thing: change
– “Forever”, Insane Clown Posse
(#YeS I’m QuOtInG tHe InSaNe ClOwN pOsSe
#DeAl WiTh It)
On translation: are you sure that’s the standard rate pr 1000 characters, and not per 1000 words? Because that would be around what it costs in Denmark, and I doubt there’s that large a difference between our two countries in translation prize. Also some of the money probably goes to the company facilitating the deal rather than to the translator themselves.
It’s definitely not per 1000 words. Each place I’ve seen the prizes listed, it’s specified that it includes spaces.
I guess I should read the full standard contract, though, see if that sheds more light on anything.
Incidentally, I saw some official figures for average yearly salaries for fully employed translators, putting them between 400k-500k NOK per year. Helping to muddy those figures, though, is the fact that they seemed to lump translators together with interpreters, and it really wouldn’t surprise me if the latter get paid significantly more than the former.
I hear the first chapter of Worm 2 is out. I hope you’re all enjoying it!
Just as a heads up, though: I don’t really want to know the title of it until I get there, so if you’re going to mention it (in an otherwise non-spoilery way) in an ask, you’re best off just calling it Worm 2 instead.