Behind the Scenes: The Tower

Illustration courtesy of Twitter user @gullshriek

As I mentioned briefly in my announcement post, “The Tower” is based on an illustration by @gullshreik. I follow them on Twitter and came across it kind of randomly a few weeks ago. I reached out to them on Twitter after I saw the post and they were nice enough to let me use it here with my story.

Something about the picture really jumped out at me. I mean, it’s good, so it makes sense, but the stairs, the spirit creatures, I don’t know what exactly, had me asking a lot of questions and wanting to know more about the situation behind the illustration.

So I wrote a story about it! And I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. @gullshriek even read it and retweeted it and made me feel really nice. In large part because of their signal boosting, it’s become my most popular post on my website so far.

Originally, there wasn’t any mention of Rickantheous or what Aud (pronounced “odd”) was looking for in the tower. It felt lacking without it, even though I’ve come to realize that the descent is the most important part of the story.

It was even originally called “The Descent.” The beginning and the ending, Aud’s motivations, whether or not the creatures are bad (are they???) are important, but they are not central to the overall piece. The action, the fast-paced paragraphs, the sense that Aud doesn’t really understand what’s happening, but knows she needs to leave is what (I hope) fuels the story.

I had a lot of fun writing this piece. I wrote it almost entirely after drinking an entire bottle of wine. Which seems like it should have been a mistake, but a really good story came out of it.

There were definitely a lot (and I mean a LOT) of typos in the first draft, and Drunk Brie repeated herself quiet a bit towards the end of the piece, but letting go of my inhibitions and writing, just writing, produced something that with a bit of editing and tweaking, I am really proud of.

I don’t really have much else to say about these piece. It was a pretty cut-and-dry process this time around (which is rare, I know), but definitely nice considering how stuck I’ve been on the last couple of pieces that I’ve started.

TL;DR I saw a cool picture on the internet, I got drunk, and I wrote a pretty good story.

I’m thinking about putting it in a zine. I need to finish up a few more pieces (which are all like half-finished, like I do), but I’m thinking the zine will include this piece and “How to Slay a Dragon” and it will be really cool.

I really like the direction of “The Tower” and that it left a lot of unanswered questions at the end. However, I think it did answer the most important questions, i.e. if Aud was going to be able to escape the tower, and if she was going to be able to find Rickantheous’s treasure (yes, and no).

Hopefully, it had you wanting to know more, but also feeling satisfied by the ending. I think I really struggle with balancing intrigue and leaving readers wanting a little bit more. It’s ultimately worked in the last couple of pieces that I wrote, but not without a lot of work.

Anyways, I wasn’t planning on writing anything more about Aud or this story. It feels pretty complete to me. Obviously, not everything was answered, but I hope that people who read it might speculate and come up with their own answers to the questions that I left unanswered in “The Tower”, like I did when I first saw the photo.

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