Interested in reading without even the slightest spoiler?  Click here.

The year is 1921, and a little over a century has passed since a great mind unraveled the underpinnings of life itself.  Every week, it seems, the papers announce great advances, solving the riddle of immortality, successfully reviving the dead, the cloning of living beings, or blending of two animals into one.  For those on the ground, every week brings new mutterings of work taken by ‘stitched’ men of patchwork flesh that do not need to sleep, or more fearful glances as they have to step off the sidewalks to make room for great laboratory-grown beasts.  Often felt but rarely voiced is the notion that events are already spiraling out of the control of the academies that teach these things.

It is only this generation, they say, that the youth and children are able to take the mad changes in stride, accepting it all as a part of day to day life.  Of those children, a small group of strange youths from the Lambsbridge Orphanage stand out, taking a more direct hand in events.

Twig is Wildbow’s (J.C. McCrae’s) third web serial, following the underground hit Worm and the successful-enough Pact.  The story was written on a Tues-Sat schedule with some bonus chapters on Thursdays, starting on March 2015 and ending in October 2017.   Chapters are grouped into story arcs each about as long as a novella or short novel, listed in the table of contents and available on the sidebar.

Wildbow writes full-time and strives to maintain a professional schedule, with chapters released on schedule (barring very minor delays with internet issues or website malfunction) for six years and counting.  Donations via. Paypal and subscriptions via. Patreon are accepted and remain very much appreciated, as they allow the author to stay fed, stay sheltered, and keep writing.  As thanks for this support, the author schedules added chapters to be released on a future Thursday when certain totals are reached.

Those on the lookout for trigger warnings should probably be warned, the author’s style leans toward the dark and violent.  To clarify to those not familiar with the term: if a key word or storyline touching on a particular topic could ruin your day or induce panic attacks, you might want to steer clear of Twig, as it is likely to touch on many.  Intimate moments happen offscreen, utilizing fades to black before the clothes completely come off.  Swearing and violence are likely to be present, if not outright common, so be warned.  Use your own judgment to estimate your tolerances and decide if Twig is the sort of thing you’re comfortable reading.

If you decide you’re alright with that, you can start reading here.

J.C. McCrae can be contacted at Wildbowpig@gmail.com for the time being.  He would prefer that fans use the comment section rather than email, if there’s any choice between the two.  He gets a great many emails and his attempts to filter and sort things in the shuffle mean that emails can get lost by the wayside, while he does read every comment.

Header Art is by Mahasim, her Deviantart can be found here.  Mahasim is a friend and the author of another serial, Watchmirror.

55 thoughts on “About

  1. As was the case for the prior two stories, Twig will be written on Mondays, some Wednesdays (see below), and Fridays, with chapters going live at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.

    Should be Saturdays instead of Fridays or is that changing with Twig?

  2. Hm, interesting that it’s 1921.

    a) That means we’re in something (loosely) resembling the real world. They have the same years as us, at least.

    b) I was thinking this was a nineteenth century Industrial Revolution sort of society. But this date is ten years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Looked up the year on Wikipedia, and it’s also apparently the year that both China and Spain formed Communist parties. Probably irrelevant, but who knows.

    • It also mentions that about a century has passed since Super-biology because possible. So perhaps with the advent of giant monsters and immortality and such things, the normal science wasn’t as cool. So other than Super-biology, the technology might be the same as the industrial era.

      Also, I think something as big as Super-biology would sufficiently change the political landscape, such that we can’t expect that because something happened in our world, that it happens in this world.

      P.S. If the “great mind” which began all this isn’t named Riley, I’m going to be so mad. Just as a reference – it doesn’t have to go into anything further than that. But come on. Who else?

      • I agree that the same things that happened in our reality probably didn’t happen here. I was more mentioning the Communist stuff and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory because it gives an idea of what the general mood of 1921 was in our time period. Specifically I was trying to get a sense of was 1921 meant economically and politically, since I think the political nature of economics might become relevant here.

        In all honesty, I’m surprised that Wildbow listed a date in the About section. I find it interesting, just because this world seems so unlike our own. So what does that date mean, you know?

        • My guess is the “great mind” is one Doctor Frankenstein, as Mary Shelley’s novel was published in 1818, putting its events at roughly once century prior to the start of Twig (give or take a few years.)

          • Err, “one century prior”. Would take a while after for Victor’s discoveries to be firmly established science and the knowledge and skills to advance to the point they’re at in this setting.

            By the way, loved both Worm and Pact, and I’m looking forward to this one as well.

          • I think it’s probably Mary Shelley herself, or her mother because they talk about Wollstone’s ratios as the foundation of Academy science and her middle name (and her mother’s maiden name) was Wollstonecraft.

    • It would be interesting to know if world war I happened in this world and what sort of form it would have taken if it did. 1921 means the story can safely happen between wars unless there is a time skip, so most of the effect would be world setting.

  3. Can you change the adjective used to describe Pact? Pact is good enough, it’s smart enough, and doggone-it people like it.

    • I agree. Worm may still be Wildbow’s magna opus, but that does not mean Pact wasn’t a great achievement on its own.

        • Personally, I would just say “his second story”. I personally really enjoyed Pact, but there’s no need to preemptively sway reader bias one way or the other. Being self deprecating could scare readers off, which – I would think – one would want to avoid.

      • maybe it’s just me, but it seems in poor taste to call a still-active writer’s first work their magnum opus. No creative person wants to peak with their first major work.

        • Than I shall point out that I said “is *still* your magna opuns” and not “is your magna opus”. The implication being, that Wildbow will eventually peak after Worm. I see no poor taste in what I said, and even if there is, it 100% not intentional, and hopefully I made it clear now.

        • Worm is as long as 26 regular novels (according to Wildbow) that is more than many authors ever write, and it hardly peaked in the first few arcs.

  4. amusing thing about the trigger warning mention. part of why I even read worm in the first place was your link at the time went to an urban dictionary article joking about the idea of such warnings, if it had been interpreted as serious I may have skipped expecting some annoying bullshit within from one edge or the other.
    my point is your trigger warning stuff isn’t the same bs as most people’s trigger warning stuff….but THIS version feels like some kind of weird cover your ass thing
    “Those on the lookout for trigger warnings should probably be warned, the author’s style leans toward…blabla…your own tolerance, be warned” if I were a new reader I’d be real leery of your stuff from that.

  5. From the updated post on Worm, there is confirmation that this is an update of the Boil setting:


    I’ve now moved on to the writing of Twig, with the first chapter released just fourteen hours ago. Those who read the sample story Boil between the writing of Worm and Pact may see familiar elements – critiques of Boil often said they liked the world but weren’t grabbed by the character, who was perhaps a little similar to Taylor. In Twig, I’ve aimed to keep what worked and rework what didn’t, and early reception seems positive.

  6. Wildbow, I don’t know if you already answered this question already, so I apologise if this is a recurring question: Do you have a facebook page or twitter account? If not, would you consider to create one?

  7. I finished Worm not too long ago (about a month) and I’m halfway through Pact, so its refreshing to be able to read one of your stories and have to wait for each new chapter.

  8. Pact was great! I really really enjoyed it. Worm was more successful, probably simply because the superhero genre is easy to like and to know.

  9. Nice story.
    Ironically I like Sy more than Taylor and Blake, he is more fun.

    Is there any way to add a table of contents page like in Worm and Pact.

    I find that the dropdown module on the right makes it easier to go to a specific chapter but if I am searching for something there is no easy way to open multiple tabs for multiple chapters. I have to either open multiple tabs of the same page and search manualy for each chapter, or use the next/previous chapter links.
    I think a page that had links for all the chapters would make things easier in cases like those

  10. Hi there!

    I’m starting my own Web serial in the hopes of becoming successful enough to write full time (via Patreon). I stumbled upon your patreon and, subsequently, your various blogs.

    Is there any advice I can gather from you about starting up, keeping momentum, and gaining a substantial audience? Or any insight about what the journey has been like?

    Thank you!

  11. In August a friend introduced me to Worm. I have now read Worm and Pact. Obviously since I was catching up, I did not comment as the stories progresses. I loved Worm and I thought that your reflections/assessments of Pact were quite accurate. I do, however, have a running gripe with a constant mistake that you make (many others are guilty of this too). You almost never use the word “me” and only use I. Would you say, “Mom sent I to the store”? No you would say “Mom sent me to the store”. So why say something like “Sandra sent Mags and I to see… ” Instead “Sandra sent Mags and me”? It was like “me” didn’t exist in Worm at all. Pact was better but by the end, you were doing it again. Particularly with Wormm if you are looking to publish, this needs to be fixed, and I ask that you be aware as you write Twig. Thank you and I look forward to reading Twig.

    • When referring to a group including yourself; proper grammar is to use “I” at the end of a list, not me.

      If it is only “you”, then the proper usage is “me”.

      Wildbow is/has been doing it correctly.

      You should never say: “My Mom and Me went to the grocery store.”
      -OR- “Me and my Mom went to the grocery store.”
      -OR- “I and my Mom went to the grocery store.”

      Proper is: “My Mom and I went to the grocery store.”

      –JUST AS–

      You should never say: “Mom, will you take I to the grocery store?”

      Proper is: “Mom, will you take me to the store?”

      Unless the author is portraying someone that does not use “I” in a sentence correctly to show that the person whom is talking is unaware of proper grammar; then having someone say: “Me, Bobby, Joe, Moose, and Cooter went to the store to get beer.” is ok for effect.

      • Actually, proper grammar has either “I” or “me” used depending on where in the sentence the list occurs – the easy way for most native English speakers to get it right is to ask which they would use if, instead of a list of people, it was just the speaker.

        So if Jack, Jill and I did something, it’s “I” who does it, but if someone does something to Liz, Jim and me, it’s “me” who it happens to.

        • In that context, yes. I agree with you. But in the context to which I was originally replying (unless I misunderstood) where the “I” was doing something and not something being done to “I” (or “me”).

          I hope that makes sense.

  12. Wildbow, just thought I’d note that the theme or something on this serial’s site is really annoying if you try to read it with chrome for android. There’s no table of contents drop-down, so if you were in the middle of the story somewhere you have no choice but to load the first or last entry in the serial and click “next” or “previous” until you get to where you left off.

    And that doesn’t change even if I tell chrome to request the desktop site. It’s more than a little frustrating. You might want a static ToC page available for people who have been reading on their PC or tablet, and then try to pick up where they left off on their phone, like I did yesterday.

    Luckily I was already up to 10.2 I think, so it didn’t take too long to page back to it from 10.11, but still. If I’d been on like 5.1 or something I’d have probably not wanted to spend the time clicking through that many pages.

  13. Hey Wildbow, I would like to ask some questions not really related to this series and it would be awesome if you could answer them if you have some time.

    First off, great job with this serial, I personally think it is the best one yet! Keep up the awesome job 🙂

    I am an aspiring web novel author and I had some questions about getting started.

    1. How should I market my book to other people?
    2. What do you think a good schedule is for posts (My posts will on average be around 4k-6k words)?
    3. Any general advice for someone just starting out?
    4. What is your opinion on self-advertising?
    5. Anything else you would like to say regarding just starting up would be appreciated!

    Thank you for all the work you do! Keep it up!

    Visit my web novel here:
    It is about a world on the brink of destruction, yet given a second chance.
    It contains many RPG elements.

    • 1. Write well, write frequently, write consistently.
      2. 2-3 a week. Any more spaced out and people may forget about you between installments.
      3. Build up a backlog of chapters before you start so you can keep up the update schedule during the early bumps in the road. Later on, when you’ve found your stride, you may not need it anymore (I don’t). Have patience, it took me a long while to get traction, it takes some others even longer.
      4. I don’t – I’d rather put the energy into writing more and writing more frequently.

  14. I know you’ll never change anything, but it keeps me up at night thinking that “Twig” would have been the perfect title for “Pact.” (And actually, in a way, “Pact” would work as the title for this serial….)
    Anyway, love your work. Thank you

    • Biopunk. Alternate history: What if Victor Frankenstein was real and started a scientific revolution that was extremely lopsided toward biology? (Except his name wasn’t Frankenstein)

  15. Hi Wildbow!
    Please add a table of contents to the menu. Not sure if there one for the desktop site, but I’m using chrome on android and there’s no TOC on this. It’s insanely difficult to find a specific chapter.

    • Whoa, just found it on the bottom of the page, in a weird drop down. Only noticed it because my previous comment took me to the bottom of the page, lol.
      My problem stands solved.
      Maybe a way to put that widget on top might be useful to future users.

      • Wildbow-
        Is there some reason you don’t want/like readers using the Table of Contents? I can’t think of anything else to explain how inaccessible it is.

        I only found it at all thanks to this comment; I would not have thought to look wayyyy at the bottom underneath everything else on my own; I would have given up and read a different story instead. I follow close to a dozen webserials right now, and i often miss an arbitrary number of updates before coming back to any particular story, so I rely heavily on a story’s ToC to find where I left off. This is only coming up now because I’ve been following Twig closely, until taking a month or so off. I hope you can make a dedicated webpage that I can easily find by googling “twig toc,” which is the universal standard way of doing it for a reason.

  16. I don’t think “via” requires a period, as it’s not an abbreviation but a Latin word.

    Finally about to dig into Twig, looking forward to it. Pact & Worm were great.

  17. Can someone put a list of the URL’s for the chapters and pages? i’m trying to use an app that can download the pages, so i can read it offline, but the dropdown menu makes it tricky.

  18. Not sure why, but Twig isn’t on the Topwebfiction list at the moment. grinvader’s comment on Ward’s latest chapter tipped me off. Since I don’t see a spam of comments mentioning this, I decided to leave a mention of it here. I still want to be able to vote for Twig as one of the stories I cherish.

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