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So, expanding on the system thing I mentioned last week, we wanted to drop the mask a bit about who’s been behind these blog sections the whole time… We’re a very blurry co-conning system so answering who’s in front at any given time isn’t very easy, but texting and communicating is a little more straightforward. Usually it’s me (Ari) especially any time we’re calm, have the time to think over a response, have to appear mature and professional, aren’t specifically trying to connect with a friend, etc, so that includes these blog sections. I’m very close to our singletsona (the personality we’d been subconsciously trying to impersonate all along) but I haven’t actually been around super long (we think maybe I split around college graduation) so I’m not sure who in the system was in charge of writing these blog posts early on in the webcomic’s lifespan, haha. Maybe Zane? More on him later.

Besides me, it’s mostly been Lael, especially in the comment section and things like the Cast page. She’s pretty different from her in-fiction version (like, less evil and more emotionally intelligent) but they do share the trait of wanting to be the puppet master of things… In this case, she’s very involved in the actual writing process of this project, hence showing up to answer lore questions in the comments and stuff (and tease readers with foreshadowing, ha). She’s less involved in the actual drawing process- pretty much anyone in the system can throw together a decent page but Wednesday has the easiest access to our drawing skills and has probably logged more page-drawing time than anyone else. More on them later, maybe? They’re very shy, so also maybe not.

Most systems have a “host” or two, which is usually defined as whoever fronts the most, but it really just depends on the system. We don’t use that definition, given the whole “it’s hard to tell who’s fronting at what time,” thing. I probably count, of course, given I’m the closest to our overall “singletsona” personality, but we’ve also defined our hosts by who has the strongest attachment to our physical body, who most frequently handles adulting and daily life, and who would the rest of the system trust to make big life decisions and handle a crisis. In the end we ended up pointing to three co-hosts- me, Lael, and Quin (more on him later, probably). Plus at least one of us is co-conscious at all times (but usually two), and one of us often just shows up to front by “default” if there’s nothing else going on that would trigger in someone else. Our other frequent “default fronters” are Zane and Wednesday, who we’re pretty sure were actually co-hosts in the past.

In case you were wondering, we’re pretty sure I don’t really have a specific analogue to any of our fictional characters. I think I’ve contributed a lot to writing Hugh, but I don’t really “identify” with him the way some other members do with their characters (Lael, for example, who retains the name and a similar appearance). I should also explain that the writing process kind of has two parts- deciding what happens overall and everything involved in worldbuilding is what’s handled by our “writer” system members, who we think has mostly been Lael and Zane. But when it comes down to individual character’s actions and dialogue, that’s when we start dipping into specific systemmates, which has be an entirely subconscious process until now. If you’ve every heard writers say their characters have a mind of their own, some folks would argue their characters may be headmates all along. It’s a bit controversial of a topic (if you’ve heard the term “sysmed” or “traumagenic vs endogenic”…), but I’d definitely agree that characters like that would qualify as headmates. The difference with our system though is we realized that we have our own unique roles in handling real life responsibilities and triggers, too, we just didn’t notice it until now.