Vote over at TWC and you can seeeeee the top panels from tomorrow’s page! I suspect you know where this is all going.

Okay! I got SO MANY comments last week lol. I’ve read most of them, but I’ll go through today and actually respond. When I leave the house, I don’t have a laptop or anything, so I have to answer comments on my phone. It doesn’t work very well :P. The way WordPress lists comments, it shows that they’re in reply to something, but not the comment they’re replying to, so I lose the thread pretty quickly. The mobile version of WordPress’s site never shows enough for me to identify what comments are where. But I’ll get through them! Eventually! Probably not all today, but we’ll see.

A few of you noticed that I introduced the “enthrall” thing out without mentioning it before, which is kind of intentional. It showed up in chapter 2, but Malaya resisted because of…reasons. We’ll explore all that. I was going to call it “entrancing”, but every time I typed “entrance” I kept thinking of entering a door, and that looked stupid, so I changed it. And a few people wondered what the parameters were of this new skill, so here ya go!

From a writing perspective, I have to be careful introducing concepts like enthrall. Werewolves have wolfsbane and silver to bring them down, traditionally, but everything has to be balanced. If you can solve every werewolf issue by just shooting them with a silver bullet, well…that’s the end of your story. It’s sort of the Superman/Kryptonite problem. If you’ve got a mega powerful character, but they can be brought down any time by someone with a chunk of the right rock, then you need to justify in your story somewhere why that’s not the immediate reaction. BUT, if you set up some rules ahead of time (“Kryptonite makes Superman LESS powerful, and enough of it might kill him…but where would you get that much?”), then you’ve got a scenario that presents a conflict for both parties. If you’ve got a power like enthralling a werewolf, well…it can be useful or not. If you’re biting someone and don’t want them to scream, then turn on your (literal) headlights as soon as you bite them, and maybe they’ll calm down. If you’re a weird old lady in a creepy house who is mysteriously connected to an old lady werewolf, and said werewolf immobilizes a whole pack of werewolves for ???? time…that leaves a vulnerable witch alone. (But you’d still have no one to come and fuck anyone up, because everyone’s too weak to do anything/won’t come out of the bedroom upstairs, but still. You’d have the upper hand.)

Anyway, the point of this rant is that, if you want a coherent story that sets up challenges for characters along the way, it’s best to set up rules and boundaries. Make those rules and boundaries part of your world building, because they help drive the plot alongside your own characters’ wants, needs, and personalities. I mean, think of Harry Potter, or Star Wars, or Star Trek, or any major franchise: you can’t use magic when you’re not at Hogwarts, Jedi aren’t allowed to love, Vulcans are dedicated to logic. Set up the rules, reinforce the rules, and then break the rules for dramatic purposes. You don’t want Kryptonite, the ultimate story ender. You want “Harry Potter is in trouble because he used magic when he was home for the summer.” Basic rules can really fuck up a character’s life if used to that effect.

Okay, I gotta do laundry and get a haircut. My life is really thrilling outside this comic, guys.