My projects have found a cozy new home on Campfire Explore

The Merlin Paradox

The Merlin Paradox is now officially live on Campfire Explore, which means that you may read the story as it’s being written, but also, the world of The TriRealm Universe is open for visitation.

Click the picture to dive deep into the world of The Merlin Paradox on Campfire Explore.
The Merlin Paradox on Campfire Explore

What’s Campfire Explore?

Campfire Write is a platform designed to make writing organized and fun (I’ve written an entire blog series about it).

Campfire Explore offers space to share projects created within the Write app. The author is in control of which elements of their project they publish and what the readers have access to, creating a way to invite the readers to explore the world but hide spoilers.

The readers, in turn, are in full control of what they’re exploring and when. If they’re in the mood to see character art or location descriptions, they can. If they want to understand how the magic system works, they can. And neither of those requires painful info-dumping within the story.

Explore offers a deep-dive right into the author’s notes. Forget wiki sites created by the fans full of headcanon (facts invented by fans). It is the ticket backstage to see the behind-the-scenes workings and fangirl all you want. It is a game-changer.

Baby platform

Campfire Explore is still a very new platform and has a long journey up ahead before it becomes known among the reading community. When The Merlin Paradox was published there, it was only the 61st project.

Being a new platform, it has its limitations, and I’m building a long wish list for features and fixes I’d like to see. There are plans to introduce a tipping or subscription options in the future but the roadmap is long before that happens, so everything there is free to read.

Nonetheless, it’s quite exciting to have joined it in the early stages. Campfire development team is very responsive to the user’s feedback so my hopes for the future success of this platform are high.

Filling the gap

Campfire Explore fills an interesting gap that other online publishing platforms lack.

When publishing on Wattpad, I noticed a trend. A lot of writers want to share more than just their manuscripts. On Wattpad, this takes the form of chapters containing cast lists, mood boards, author notes, trivia, etc. Unfortunately, the reader’s attitude towards such chapters is mixed. Reactions go from “it’s okay” to “I just ignore these chapters” to “I won’t read a book that contains them” (based on Wattpad-community-run polls).

I think the negative reactions aren’t caused by the practice itself. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to share extra information with your readers. The problem is that Wattpad platform isn’t ideal for that. I haven’t encountered a platform that would accommodate—no—welcome the extra content that isn’t meant to be read like a book but discovered at the reader’s leisure.

This is where Explore shines. The readers make the conscious choice to go on an exploration of the project if they so wish. They’re not forced to do so when they click on the manuscript. World lore isn’t mixed with the actual story (though it may be linked and easily accessed from the manuscript).

The only other platform that I know of similar capabilities is World Anvil but it pales in usability. I have tried setting up my project there in the past and didn’t love the process at all. This is another strength of Campfire—it is much more user-friendly, which makes it a very attractive platform.

The future of my projects

How does all this affect The Merlin Paradox and other projects I have on the back burner?

From the writing point of view, I am already using Campfire for all of my writing projects, so publishing them on Explore will take very little effort (much less effort than other online platforms). Stay tuned for future announcements about my other projects.

From the publishing point of view, Campfire Explore presents an interesting host of opportunities. If the platform evolves the way I’d like it to, it could become my main publishing platform in the future. I wouldn’t disappear from other platforms completely, but I’d be more choosy as to what to publish and where.

Ever since I took my writing seriously, I’ve asked myself the question, would I attempt to publish traditionally or self-publish? I’ve been leaning towards the latter since the beginning, but now, even more so.

The book publishing world is evolving. I truly believe that resisting this change will only hurt us in the process. Readers want extra content and they want it for free. To succeed, one must listen to their audience.

So come on over, become one of the first readers on Campfire Explore.

My published Campfire Explore projects

Here’s what you can find on this amazing platform. See also my Campfire profile page.

Isobel Lynx

Fantasy author and tech professional that turns her love of myth and magic into unique universes.

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