[OW | RAMBLES] The Not-So-Shocking (?) Bite of “Shock Bite”

When I post my stories, I post them without editing them first. I don’t even read them, maybe save for a few random parts here and there that catch my eye. This is a completely deliberate choice though – on my end, I don’t want to read what I wrote until at least a few months later so I can view the story with fresher eyes. For you, it’s both a chance to get to know my characters now plus watch how everything comes together in the end – you get to see all the mistakes now and you get to be here as I make the changes and fine-tune the details. Oh. And put things in order.

Recently though, I did end up reading one of my stories and I ended up reading it right on my website.

The story?

“Shock Bite”.

The story is the first meeting between Spark Alamental and Vainstrel Balan.

Black & White Illustration of Spark and Vainstrel

It’s on the shorter side – the 3 stories that come afterward (currently all untitled, but you can read story 2, story 3, and story 4 now) are significantly longer, but there’s a lot more going on between the two by those points in their stories.

What’s Up With Those Dates?

If you looked at stories 1 (“Shock Bite”) through 4 and saw their dates, you’d noticed they were posted out of order – the dates are kind of all over the place.

It’s because I don’t write the stories in linear order. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

When I write, I write based on what I genuinely feel like doing, rather than attempting to force something I don’t simply because it’s “in order”. I’ve found attempting force the “correct” order, especially at this early stage, is a sure-fire way not to write!

I want to write my stories, dang it, so I’m going to write them in any dang order I can feel is right!

Even if it doesn’t make logic, linear sense.

The stories can always be reordered later as well, when they’re no long drafts.

The cool thing about the fact I post out of order is you can see how everything comes together when I pull everything into a more linear order!

Why Don’t You Just Wait to Post in Order?

Because I make things and share them with you.

Also, I don’t always know which story I am going to write next. While, maybe, I’ll write story 3, then story 1, then story 6, then story 5, etc. one right after another, sometimes maybe I’ll write story 3, then story 1, and then I’ll go write completely unrelated stories for a while, only to eventually circle back.

I currently only write about 2 to 4 weeks ahead (i.e. 1 to 2 stories), so it’s not like I have this ~amazing back log~ slowly being posted either.

Knowing too that I have stories just sitting there, waiting to be posted…also makes me antsy because I literally want to share it with you. Even if it’s out of order.

I was inspired by the 9-page comic I started working on featuring Spark just after the events of “Shock Bite”. Spark briefly mentions what happened to her phone in “Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 2” when Vainstrel runs into her once more in a park, so happy to be reunited with her again.

It’s one of two comics that I’ve been wanting to draw featuring Spark – the other one is her visiting Dr. Gladier’s lab (yes, the Dr. Gladier from “??? (Clyde’s Story 1)”) where she starts to talk to Victorina about her experience with Vainstrel.

Both of them are fairly short, but they seem really fun.

Spark is a character too who I’ve concluded is probably best shown through visuals. She’s got a bunch of movement quirks that I can only describe as “anime girl to the max”. She’s always using her hands and her body language to compliment her facial expressions and thoughts in very exaggerated, anime-esque ways, even more so than some of my other characters.

I haven’t drawn her much like that yet.

I DO have an older piece though that does show what I’m talking about.

Illustration of Spark Alamental clasping her hands next to her cheek with one leg up

I’m hoping at some point, I’ll have even more pieces and comics to show you more of her personality, especially in ways that might not show in writing.

Now, Let’s Talk About “Shock Bite”

What is “Shock Bite” about?

Well, if you don’t want to go read it yourself right now, it is about Vainstrel Balan the vampire going back home after a long day of rehearsal for his upcoming stage play. As he goes to drink some blood he brought with him to restore is vitality, he finds out he doesn’t have anymore! He gets ready to fall into suspended animation, he sniff out blood of a witch nearby and pounces her – only to get hit with something unexpected.

As I said, I didn’t read it when I first finished it.

It’s been a few months since I wrote it (I posted it on February 8th, 2022 and it’s now May 28th, 2022). Enough time to see the story with fresh eyes.

I went to read the story primarily as a reader, but partially as the creator of the work who wanted inspiration for what comes in between this story and the next.

I have to say, OH. MY. GOSH. I LOVE Vainstrel! He was fun to write. He’s hilarious to read. I feel like he’s fun overall.

Colored Vainstrel Illustration

I’m also loving the contrast in speech with Spark.

Spark speaks normally in comparison to Vainstrel and it shows.

My favorite part of the whole story ended up being this particular part:

Vainstrel tightened his hands around Spark’s. “Perhaps we could exchange our telephone addresses of the numerical value so we may discuss the future?”

“You mean my phone number?” 

“Yes, that would be correct.” 

Excerpt from “Shock Bite (Temp. Title)” © 2022 Kelly Mulry

I personally cannot stand being hit on, but for those who hit on people and enjoy being hit on…does Vainstrel’s line work as a pick-up line? I imagine it does. 😂 That’s not necessarily what Vainstrel is looking to do in the story, but it feels very pick-up-line-y anyway.

And yes, Vainstrel speaks like that the whole time.

Oh my gosh.

I bet there are people who hate Vainstrel and think he’s SO ANNOYING.

I love him though.

He’s a blast to write, blast to read, holy crap.

Throughout the whole thing, I was like “wow, I love reading him. I love reading her too, holy crap.”

While I was reading it, it almost felt like I wasn’t even the one who wrote it.

I mean, okay, so I am the one who wrote it, while also being an open channel for divine transference, sooooo I like to think my stories are actually a collaborative effort between me and the divine. It’s a lot of getting out of my own dang way and simply just being.

I don’t even remember most of what I write.

And that’s the great thing about what I’m doing – waiting at least a few months in-between my stories. It let’s me forget what I wrote for the most part, so I can see it through the eyes of the reader.

Black & White Illustration of Spark Alamental

It was then that I realized my favorite part about being a writer is becoming the reader of my own works.

I do ultimately write for myself – I’m writing with the awareness that my works get to impact people outside of me (aiming for HELPFUL ways). I still write for me and only me at the end of the day – I just share it with you.

When I write, I’m writing what I want to see.

Sometimes too what I don’t want to see, but it’s a perfect opportunity to step back and ask myself – why am I writing this story the way I’m writing it. How would I want this to be different?

I get into a comfortable loop, so it’s great to take a step back and reassess what I’m actually craving to read and determine if it’s worth changing the story to better fit what I actually want to see.

Now, I don’t really know if I’m actually craving a romance between a vampire and a witch.

I don’t think so.

Actually, heck, I didn’t really even like Spark and Vainstrel as a couple when they originally came to me – but I found that when I wrote their stories, finally, I actually love them.

And it all starts with this story: “Shock Bite”.

Read Now

Illustration with Screentone of Vainstrel Balan and Spark Alamental

“Shock Bite (Temp. Title)” – the first story in Spark & Vainstrel’s storyline. If you read this post, you already know this is their first meeting.

“Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 2” – Spark & Vainstrel’s second story, but this was actually the first one written! Vainstrel is upset after radio silence from Spark, assuming she is just simply ignoring him. He ends up running into her one day and finds out what happened to her phone. He ends up taking her out on an impromptu date (?)!

“Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 3” – Spark and Vainstrel are text messaging each other when Vainstrel suddenly calls Spark to invite her to their usual café. He hands her an envelope and inside…are tickets to his show and a VIP pass?!

“Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 4” – Vainstrel finally asks Spark what he has always wanted to: will she enter into a blood contract with him?

Enjoy, trainees!

If you read any of them and want to let me know, go check out the rest of the Network. 👇

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