Hey y'all! Ivan here. You might know about my novel, Marchintosh. In this post, I am going to explain why I am going to (temporarily) retire it and why I think this is the best course of action for the sake of it (I will try to keep it spoiler-free for new readers).
Oh, before anything else, let me get this out of the way: I love Marchintosh, and I mean it. It's the first writing project that I got to truly enjoy and finish. Because I love it, I've come to the decision that I need to unpublish it for some rewriting.
On October 31st, 2023, I released Chapter 1 of Marchintosh: Bonding Together. Originally, Marchintosh was not meant to be divided into chapters; it was just a small 600-word writing project I did for fun to challenge myself. A weird fact that not many people know, is that the first draft was actually written as a project for Spanish class. I thought, "How about I write a parody of Valentine's Day centered around Macs that somehow manages to be heartwarming?"
It was... A weird challenge, to say the least. I needed to write a parody that somehow felt relatable and heartwarming, with... Macintoshes! As candidates, I decided to make the Macs the same ones that I had, so that I could base their personalities off of how they behaved in real life. Much of their character quirks and arcs were based on things that I have experienced with them.
The hardness of such goal was exactly what led me to finish this fragment over the course of three days. And, I'd call it a success. My teacher and other classmates who read it thought that it was funny, creative and cute. It was a total win for me. I thought, "why not translate it and release it on my blog?" So I did it. The people that read the adapted version also loved it, shocker!
Marchintosh was cheesy, and it was most certainly not perfect, but I was proud of it! It was cute, the pacing felt natural, and many people liked it. That, my friends, is already a huge writing achievement in my eyes.
Fast-forward to the second day of November, a fediverse friend of mine informs me about NaNoWriMo, a yearly national writing challenge destined to make writers write short-length novels in the span of a month (November).
If you know me, you know that I am very stupid and stubborn. November was filled with work and exams that I would have to do, so joining NaNoWriMo was irrational and a terrible idea overall. So my stupid brain thought that the best course of action would be to disregard my own mental and physical health in order to participate.
I had many ideas for novels, but I was already two days behind. I needed to catch up fast. I thought that I could grab an idea for a novel where the characters were humanoid androids I had and slap it into Marchintosh to create a unified story. Yes, this does mean Marchintosh was not intended to be a long story at first. When I tell people that its story was thought from before, I am really talking about said novel idea that I had before its inception.
The writing plan was simple: I'd write a 1700-word chapter daily and get the draft released. This mostly worked, so I was able to form a writing schedule that was effective and allowed me to get work done regarding both studies and NaNoWriMo.
So, story-wise, did the Frankenstein strategy work? Absolutely! The two stories worked surprisingly well when put together. The themes of the old story could very easily be translated to Macs, all of this without losing the original charm of Marchintosh.
Not only that, but thanks to this story taking place in the universe of Marchintosh many new opportunities opened up. Many charmful and memorable characters wouldn't have existed if it weren't for the base that Bonding Together had set. And the whole subplot involving a character's mind that happens from chapters 9 to 16 (which was, in my opinion, peak storytelling in Marchintosh) was a completely new concept originating from Marchintosh.
I'm incredibly proud of how I wrote characters such as G4, G5, Bondi and Graphite. All of them had some issue lying on the inside that they needed to fix before the end of March; it had a sense of urgency and humanity. Even though they are Macs, I can safely say that they are the most human characters I have ever had the pleasure to design and write.
So, then, if I'm so proud of Marchintosh, its storyline and its characters, what's the problem? Well, it's complicated. Let me break it down for you:
Marchintosh is filled to the brim with unfinished subplots. Plots that are presented to the reader at the start of the novel are later forgotten. This is especially nerve-wracking to me because of one of the points I'm going to present later (filler episodes). One very good example of this is one presented in G4's facial expression; this is fixed later in the novel, but it's never actually elaborated how and who. Another unsolved subplot is a certain character losing their speech seemingly forever; the reason for this is never diagnosed nor resolved, even though there are many Macs that care about said character. I could go on, but you get the point.
Lack of character development
...or rather, a lack of elaboration on character development. If you've read Marchintosh, you know the characters are incredibly dynamic. They never lose their essence, but they rapidly change to fit the current situation. To a certain extent, they're cartoony, but that doesn't mean they don't change. This is a good thing, or at least it would be if I better explained what led them to change.
A character who has impulsive tendencies, for example, tries to reduce their impulsiveness to help their friends in need. This could be a good example of show, not tell if you didn't read the novel, but the way it's written feels like they are just inconsistent in the way they act. As a writer, I've learned that it's a good thing that, if a character is going to change its ways in a notable way and there isn't some sort of breaking point, having them announce that they're going to make said change, or at least have another character observe the change, is a good thing.
Marchintosh is drafty. This is to be expected, as I've written 50K words in 28 days. If you aren't a writer, this is a feat. I consider myself to be an amateur when it comes to writing, so achieving this goal was hell.
I had to sacrifice my workout routine and even handle some panic attacks. All of this because I didn't know how to handle my time. In my free time, I would turn off my mind to BFDI. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it; it was just stressful.
What's to blame? Where I live, November is filled with exams. I had to juggle between writing and studying, which was not easy. That, plus the pressure of having active readers enjoy the novel, made Marchintosh quite stressful to write. As a matter of fact, I did not even want to hear about it through December; even though it was when I was supposed to proofread it, I needed a break from it.
That's also not to say I'm not grateful for my amazing readers. You guys have been invaluable and have kept me motivated to keep writing, knowing that I was not just publishing chapters for no one to read. You were always the ones who helped me fix typos and gave me reassurance. Seriously, thank you.
One of my main goals when writing Marchintosh was to not write any filler episodes. I wanted every single chapter of the 30 to at least provide some sort of character development or innovation to the universe. Right now, I wouldn't be able to think of any example of a filler episode, and that's the definitive proof that they are there. Marchintosh deserves way better than that.
I also failed completely to explain how and why the Macs are sentient, or why they live in human societies with no humans, or how they can move, or how they have floating hands to interact with the world that surrounds them. This is so essential, it's hard to believe I didn't even touch it.
Lack of foreshadowing
It's kind of self-explanatory, but I think it's a shame that I missed the chance to add foreshadowing to the events that unfold in the final chapters again and again. Sure, the basic plot devices are declared from the start (or at least in Chapter 8, where the bad guys are introduced), but what is going to happen to them is never really elaborated upon.
An example of this is the fact that one of the conflicts between Macs has been mentioned since the start of the novel, but how this conflict started and was resolved was not explained until much later in the novel, when it seemed irrelevant. The events that led to the current status of the universe are important and should be treated as such.
What is coming for Marchintosh
It's not the end of Marchintosh, this is merely the start.
First off, when I finish the rewriting project, I am going to start other Marchintosh-related projects, mainly adaptations. I want to translate Marchintosh to Spanish and make it available in other mediums.
I will also try to improve my art style and make Marchintosh emojis; perhaps turn them into stickers with some sort of POD service? ;)
Overall, I don't want to get people hyped up, because I'm honestly not very sure what I'm going to do. Just know that if things go according to plan, lots of stuff is going to come.
Ah, sure. Marchintosh is nice, and I love it. I'm very proud of it. But it has some flaws that I need to fix, and thus I am retiring it temporarily to fix them. It's going to come back in a month or two when I feel it's ready. I'm also planning to take it further and adapt it to other mediums.
PS: I accidentally broke half of the site trying to migrate to a newer version of the SSG. If you see anything sus please let me know.
Proudly written by Ivan.
Ivan is a young and passionate libre software advocate and coder, main author and designer of this website. He's been proudly embracing the open web and giving back to the open source community ever since he was 13 years old.
Comment via Fediverse
To comment on this post, leave a reply to this thread from your Fediverse (Mastodon, Pixelfed, Pleroma, etc.) account.
This post has not been: - Sponsored. - Written by AI. - Made by somebody else other than the author stated above. - Eating your apple pie in secret.