Flicker, Chapter 18 Available!

Chapter 18 of Flicker is now available to read!

In a recent post, I mentioned the difficulties of scheduling updates that would also automatically ensure navigation was preserved and wouldn’t ultimately create a 404 Error for anyone trying to access a chapter that wasn’t available yet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s a solid solution for that with the resources I have available to me, so I’m still going to do updates the old fashioned way.

I am also going to speed update The Fire of Felwing on Wattpad so that it catches up to where this site is, chapter wise. Previously, it was lagging behind by a few chapters. One issue with this was obviously remembering where I was and having to format the same chapter twice at different times. Theoretically, it should only need to get formatted once and then polished for each platform.

Current issues with Wattpad are the following:

  • I am limited to basic rich text formatting, meaning that certain things like my text messages need another solution to be interpreted as texts by the reader in a way that is accessible to them. I am experimenting with using a single emoji for the cell phone and then using “Sent/Received” as indicators. The idea is to not have assistive tech re-read emojis over and over again. I’ll probably recalibrate if I get feedback about that format on Wattpad.
  • I am not sure about images on Wattpad. I recognize that this feature exists, but I do not want to hotlink images from my site (is this even a thing anymore?), and I do not know if I can control the image layout, captions, or alt text.
  • I cannot schedule posts! I can’t seem to win on this issue, y’all. Wattpad has navigation built in, but I can’t manage the schedule, and my site doesn’t have the navigation built in, but I could schedule it if it did. Sigh!

With all that said, I am also trying my best to make these speedy updates to The Fire of Felwing on Royal Road. Formatting on RR is different from both this site and Wattpad (it carries over all of the behind-the-scenes classes and such, meaning it is trying to reference CSS that doesn’t exist), and so I have to reformat it for that space. I can schedule posts there, but logistically, a lot has to happen before that step can occur.

But mostly, I want to note something that I experienced on RR: Flicker got hit by a suspicious troll reviewer on RR. This is a known issue on RR: trolls go a-trolling and rank stories with half stars. This also happened to be Flicker‘s first rating, so there were no other legitimate ratings to offset it. Haters are gonna hate, I know this. And I quite frankly don’t care if someone likes the story or not. Here’s the real issue: it also happened within moments after I scheduled a chapter update. The update included an edit to the title to include “Bi/Pan” so that readers could find it. I do not know if this is just a coincidence or an intentional move to “curate” a toxic, rainbow-free environment, so I put in a help ticket.

I had to change this title because, unfortunately, RR does not have a rainbow tag for categorizing content. Volunteers (read: other users) have devoted a space on the RR forums toward curating a rainbow-friendly list of works. Managing that list is a massive undertaking by volunteers, and their work and dedication is commendable! But between no official tag, having to carve out a space, and getting hit with that review (whether the troll targeted it at random or for rainbow content) led me to wait on updates while RR resolved the issue.

The good news is that RR investigated, and they found the review and the anonymous-to-me user suspicious. The user was blocked from my story, and the rating was removed. The bad news is that the rating still shows up on my author dashboard, and I have no idea what is shown to other readers. So I’m hoping some kind readers on Royal Road can help to balance out the ranking algorithm. Ultimately, I just want to ensure that my story has the same chance of being seen as any others, and that all rankings and reviews, no matter how positive, negative, or neutral they may be, are at least legitimate reflections of readers.

Whew. And for the last update, I did publish a (living) statement on the use of artificial intelligence both on this site and in general in the arts. Don’t tell social media, but my thoughts are nuanced and conflicted. I published my current thoughts because this is a very controversial topic, and we are entering a new technological era not just in the creative arts, but in almost every industry and aspect of our lives. So I wanted to expand upon my thoughts a little bit, as well as enhance the clear statement I already make about AI elsewhere on this site.

Alright, that’s it for now! As always, I leave you with a dropdown menu for Flicker in case you’d like to pick up where you left off.


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