Collective Thinking Conclusion
Collective Thinking is at an end. A bit of a reversal compared to my previous works in many different ways. Before we get into anything more, this post will contain spoilers. If you have not read Collective Thinking and the idea of a psychic-espionage-adventure story sounds good to you, you would do well to read Collective Thinking first. Maybe my other stories as well, as I’ll likely be referencing them.
This post will still be here when you’ve finished.
For everyone else, let’s get started. And what a better place to start than the start?
Collective Thinking came about from a fairly simple inception: Instead of someone normal (or relatively normal) turning into a super-powerful being, what if we did the opposite? Take a god and bring them down to normal.
In that respect, I think Collective Thinking was a complete success. It wasn’t perfect. There were some fairly major stumbling blocks, especially in the first book, and it has been pointed out to me that the ending does feel a bit rushed. Still, I am quite pleased with how it turned out.
I try to learn a little something from everything I do. Collective Thinking might have had more to teach than either of my previous works. The initial reaction from Royal Road especially was quite shocking. Lots of people commenting on every chapter. That rather sharply fell off by the end of the first book, unfortunately. I mentioned this in my Patreon posts around the time; I think most of that was how I wrote Dyna and her power. I wanted her power to be obvious to the reader without being obvious to her. That ended up with a few heavy handed “Look, something clearly changed” moments. When Dyna was oblivious to those moments that were so obvious to readers, it created a major feeling of unsatisfactory dissonance.
That combined with an ongoing issue that I, personally, face involving characters being dragged along by plot more than driving it, resulted in a fairly depressing desertion of readers. Worst was that being dragged along was a bit more intentional this time than it was in previous works of mine. I wanted her to be a slave to her powers and those aware of her powers around her only for her to, in the end, free herself by freeing herself from her power. I do think I hit that note but it was a bit late for those who dropped the story early.
For those who made it to the end, I do hope that landed well.
Overall however, taking in the work as a whole, I think it was the best thing I’ve written so far. I wouldn’t mind writing something else along these lines in the future. I did leave a few dangling threads at the end but I don’t know that I will make a direct sequel. Still, science-fiction (or science-themed fantasy?) has been fun to dip my toes into.
Of course, I hope the next thing I write will end up being the best thing I’ve written.
And what is next?
Art by Zoern
Fortress Al-Mir will be my main story going forward. I expect this one to be a bit of a longer one. Genres involve medieval fantasy, adventure, action, and empire builder, if that is a genre. If not, I’ll make it one. Also maybe can be considered a dungeon core-like? Not sure if it really hits the conventions typical to that genre compared to what one might find on Royal Road but does tap into a few notes.
Speaking of Royal Road, for those who prefer to read over there, good news: releases over there will be synced up with those on my website. Technically you can already read some chapters on my site, but I’m still considering this pre-release. When it goes live on RR, I’ll post the first dozen chapters over the course of a few days until they’re both in line with each other.
As for the official, not pre-release release date, I think I am aiming for the first of May. Royal Road is a bit finicky in that you have to get approval for a story which can take anywhere from an hour to a day or two and then it instantly posts your first chapter rather than giving you the option to pick a proper release date. So the exact timing might not align perfectly with what I say here. In any case, there will be another post here when it officially releases along with a post on Collective Thinking that will trigger anyone subscribed to the Collective Thinking new chapter emails.
Quick note: The Collective Thinking new chapter emails will be decommissioned after the aforementioned post. If you wish to receive email notices for Fortress Al-Mir, you must sign up using the forums under each chapter. You can also sign up underneath this chapter to get notices for these kinds of main posts, but they are incredibly infrequent.
In any case, feel free to get started on your pre-release reading!