Hero’s Tale VYA PostMortem

As promised, here’s my PostMortem on the Hero’s Tale Vote Your Adventure series. For the uninitiated, a PostMortem is a look at the successes and failures in a project. In other words, I’m tearing it apart to analyze it. I’ll be looking at the story and writing, as well as how the chaos of real life impacted things. And for the fun of it, I’ll give you a glimpse of some of the possible story branches that didn’t happen.

Story & Writing

The story is the most important part, and I think it turned out well. It was fun allowing others to help direct the plot. But the loose ideas in my head ended up being a hindrance. The project would have been easier if I had created a map of the story before hand.

The whole idea of having people give extra insight into the votes never took off either. There were a couple of times where I took some thoughts, but not as many as I hoped.

The main plot point that was influenced by this was the issue with Bardulf’s cracked ribs and broken arm. Mike and Matt, in the comments for Part 11, mentioned parts of this. Matt (rightfully) worried that Bardulf’s injuries might be too severe. Mike said it was too bad the healing balm wouldn’t help broken bones. I took that thought and ran with it. Bardulf wasn’t the type who would accept magical healing from the elf, but that didn’t stop Malic from not telling Bardulf that the herbs were more than they seemed.

Another plot point that didn’t work as I’d hoped was the elf side-quest. The relationship is important to who Bardulf is and is becoming, not to mention the world. But other than the herbs, it didn’t have a real impact on the story that was being told.


This project was fun, but I went in with un-realistic expectations. I didn’t understand how much time the writing and editing of each part would take. It took a lot of work. In a perfect world, I would have been posting a new entry each week. But it’s a lot of work to do when you have a family: writing, editing, rewriting, etc.

And then there is the emotional aspect. I was frustrated because I didn’t meet my self imposed deadlines, making me depressed. That, in turn, made it that much harder to write. The result being that it took even longer to write than I wanted. Thus, becoming a vicious circle.

There were some external forces at work also. My family moved twice during the project, throwing me off. It’s hard to get things done when the household is in turmoil.

I’m disappointed that it took so long to finish the story. I had hoped that this was going to be a project that would take a couple months to finish. I won’t deny that I considered stopping. But I really wanted to see how the story would end.

Unfortunately, all those breaks cost me readers. The number of people reading and voting dropped off. Thanks to those who stuck it out with me. I hope it was worth it for you, because it was for me.

But please don’t take this as complaining. I’m glad I did this, because I learned a lot. Especially how I work as a writer.


Now, what about those unused plot threads? I’ll let you into my head for a few:

  • There were a couple of places toward the end where Bardulf almost lost an arm. That would have changed some things, but the votes didn’t go in the right direction.

  • In Ruelinthal’s Edge, where the slaves were being held, the one person who would have helped Bardulf was the blacksmith. That would have allowed a chance for Bardulf’s horse to live.

  • At the start, if Bardulf had waited to see Lord Belmont and gone in the morning, the attack would still have happened. But in that thread, Lord Belmont would have died.

Final Thoughts

As I stated before, this blog will be going on hiatus. I don’t know what I will be doing next with it. If there are any Hero’s Tale related tidbits, I will be announcing them here. Otherwise, go take a look at my author site: http://BrianTRonk.com.

Thanks, Brian