Interviewing Icons - Rounderhouse
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Rounderhouse was great to work with. Rounder was one of the first authors to accept my request when I proposed this series. Once I was able to get the questions to him, he quickly completed them for me and has been helpful in every other aspect of the process as well. I hope everyone enjoys this interview that Rounderhouse and I put together for everyone! ~ WhiteGuardWhiteGuard

Who is RounderhouseRounderhouse?

The user Rounderhouse became a member of this site on the 2nd of June, 2018, and his top 3 most popular pages on the site by rating are SCP-5140: EVEREST at +522, SCP-5555: Made in Heaven at +396, and SCP-4511: SWINE GOD at +362. As an author, Rounderhouse has written a total of 26 SCP articles, 8 Tales, 3 GoI Formats, and 16 other pages for a grand total of 53 pages contributed. Rounderhouse is the winner of two contests on the site, the 2018 Halloween Contest with his tale entry MTF Sigma-5 "Pumpkin Punchers" and the Second 144-Hour Jam Contest for the "Theme Grand Prize" with his entries SCP-5983, Adoption Poster: Pearl!, and SCP-5149. The following interview will consist of 20 questions from myself with his responses.

The bold text represents the questions whereas the text within the boxes are Rounderhouse's responses.

Interview Questions:

Howdy Rounder! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview with me. Let's start out with your beginnings on the wiki. How did you find this place?

Honestly, I don't really remember. I do recall that one of the first articles I read was 1499, and it freaked me out a little bit. But then I guess I forgot about the site, and only rediscovered it in the summer of 2018. I was staying out of town that summer and didn't have much to do, so I downloaded an SCP reader app and spent the summer spamming the Random SCP button, devouring everything I came across. First thing I did when I got home was sign up and submit my application for the site - good timing, too. Apps temporarily closed about a week or two later.

Did you have any trouble getting used to the site? The high learning curve can be daunting as Wikidot is becoming an aging platform and writing on the site is subject to high standards. Did you have any experience writing like this before the site?

Not really, which I guess is uncommon. I see a lot of people talk about their first articles failing and struggling and like… it never came as particularly hard to me. I guess that sounds a little bit conceited, but I never struggled too much with learning to write in the SCP format. I think I actually prefer the epistolary format to straight-prose if I'm being perfectly honest — the site suits my style. I didn't really have any experience writing in a collaborative community before SCP, but the idea was thoroughly appealing. Being able to adapt and spin out other people's articles totally sounds like my jam.

SCP-4049: Beast Pits was your first successful article on the site. What is it about and what did you learn from your previous attempt that helped make this article successful?

I guess… technically Beast Pits is my second successful, I think. My first was also Beast Pits, under the 3849 slot or something. I got crit, posted it, and after a couple of days it had flattened out at like, +19 or something. Which I think most first-time authors would be fine with, but I was thoroughly unsatisfied. I self-deleted it and adapted the criticism in the comments - there wasn't much - into a newer draft, that was marginally better. I posted it a few weeks later into the 4049 slot, and now it's at +70 something. I think the most important lesson I learned wasn't any particular writing advice: it was just the fact that if you put in the work, you can always make something better. 4049 isn't particularly good by my modern standards, but I think it's important for me not to delete, just as a marker of how much my writing has changed.

In your early days, and even now perhaps, which author's did you look up to on the site? What was your favorite article on the site at the time? Has it changed over the past couple of years?

There's a long list of authors I admire on this site. A few of them, in no particular order: Tanhony, djkaktus, Michael Atreus, CaptainKirby, Tufto, Rumetzen, The Great Hippo, Woedenaz… there's more. I respect and admire all of them for different reasons, but still. As for my favorite article… I'm not sure, honestly. I can certainly tell you that 2718 has a special place in my heart. 2764 is the article that made me join the site, and 1555 remains one of my favorite articles ever. 5005 is also a more recent pick, but has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of internet fiction, let alone SCPs.

You mentioned on your AMA with Captain KirbyCaptain Kirby that you both often sit on drafts for a long time before posting. Is there a particular reason for this?

Not a good reason, haha. Mostly it's because I like getting lots of input on drafts from varying sources, trying to incorporate bits and pieces to make it as good as I can. I think of articles a lot like statues - you start with a big, ugly block of stone, and bit by bit you chisel it away to make something really special. The more effort you put in, the better it turns out. But then again, if you put in too much, you might ruin the whole thing, which is why I try to pick and choose what parts of critique mesh with the article. That entire process ends up taking a long time — along with the fact that I get distracted from rewriting sections really easily, lol.

SCP-5140: EVEREST is your most popular work currently. In your opinion, what about this article makes it stand beside the title? Describe the dynamic you set between the MTF and Base Camp and how you came up with it.

I think the ending is pretty bomb. Like just the mental image it inspires is really freaky, to me, and freakiness is good when you're writing horror. But I think without the log it would kind of blow, which is why I'm glad the log turned out well. I tried to set up a dynamic that was riddled with paranoia, so I brought in an unreliable narrator - you have no idea whether he's actually witnessing this shit go down or just hallucinating. It was deeply inspired by one of my favorite horror pieces, 2409, by the aforementioned Michael Atreus. They go a little differently - 5140 tells you what's happening but you don't know if it's true, 2409 skirts around telling you what's going on so you have to fill in the gaps yourself. But the dynamic between an agent beset by hostile forces and a handler that can't help them is the same.

Your collaboration work with A Random DayA Random Day and Uncle NicoliniUncle Nicolini, SCP-5555: Made in Heaven, has been a big success. How long did this project take and what aspects did you chiefly contribute to? How was working with these other authors to create an innovative project such as this one?

God, you have no idea. The first iteration of the article that would become Made In Heaven was written by me in March of 2019. It was literally unrecognizable - it was a story about a DoA church housing 13 graves, 12 of which were full. I brought Nico on to help me clean it up, and we decided to show it to ARD for some crit, since he did a lot of DoA. He wasn't a big fan, but he offhandedly mentioned he had a DoA draft with a similar vibe — a mass grave of Foundation anomalies and personnel, all slightly different from how they're usually presented. We decided to combine the two articles into one, called Graves, and began hacking away at it. It got grander and grander, and more and more different from the original two drafts. Along the way, we decided it was going to be a 001… and then 5Kon rolled around, and it still wasn't done, so we decided to enter it. If it didn't become 5000, 5555, or 5999, we would've made it a 001 - luckily, it panned out. I did a lot of the code and emails, along with some of the dialogue sections - ARD and Nico handled the notes and newspapers. It was an absolute blast to work with my friends on something like that, even if it was hectic.

SCP-4511: SWINE GOD was another collab piece for you, this time with Jade SkylarJade Skylar. Briefly, what is this article about, and what is with the "Pending" classification? Also, for people who are unsure about working with other authors on projects, what advice would you give them to produce a good collaboration piece?

In short, it's a horror piece about obeying something blindly. The pending fits into the in-universe story - they've just discovered this anomaly, they haven't quite figured out the kind of hazards it poses yet. I think that collabs can be really fun and enjoyable if you do them with the right people, but you need to communicate really well and know how to work with them. And sometimes they just don't pan out, and that's totally fine to. Some people's visions of writing just don't quite mesh.

You seem to be pretty handy with themes and components in the site. According to your author's page, you have listed 16 total hubs, themes, and components that you have either created or contributed to. Do you have any sort of background with this work? How does it feel whenever you see others using your work on their pages?

I'd never done CSS before I joined the site. That's one of the things I picked up here - at first I just took stuff, then I learned how to modify it, then I learned how to make my own styling. I like it, it's a fun respite from writing sometimes - much more mechanical and technical, clear rights and wrongs. As for people using my components and stuff - the only time I ever mind is when it's my personal component. I obviously can't stop people, but it's just not something that I really like to see people do, for various reasons. But all my other themes and stuff? Absolutely, I love seeing what people use them in.

What is Sky Sermon for any who happen to be unaware and what sparked the idea for this? What are the intentions for this series since there is an empty Chapter 3 section currently?

Sky Sermon was my team's series for the International GoI Contest! I was captain, with Tufto, Woedenaz, Elenee Fishtruck, and SecretCrow as part of my team. We adapted the Galactic Federation group of interest from the CN branch for it - we turned it into a kind of internet UFO cult, with sprinkles of Buddhist imagery, worshipping a gigantic sentient psychic spaceship hurtling towards Earth. We never finished it, unfortunately — I always want to, but I never quite get around to it, with so many projects. One day, though, I'll finish the ending we discussed - it was a good ending, I can tell you that much.

Are there any big projects you happen to be working on for the site right now that you would like to provide some insight on? What can we expect from Rounderhouse in the latter half of 2020?

Well, the Canon Renaissance Contest just opened, so that's going to be dominating my plate until it wraps up. My team is planning to revamp the Nobody canon, The Man Who Wasn't There, into something…. rather special. No spoilers, but keep an eye out. Aside from that, I'm still hacking away at some not-entirely-standalone Rounderarticles - my only hint is that the uppercase titles aren't just to look cool. Though they also do that, haha. And if I finally find the time, who knows - maybe a House 001?

SCP-4661: Sin City is an article I read of yours in preparation for this interview. I believe it is likely my favorite of your solo works. I believe my favorite part is the closing memo with all of the typical Vegas phrases that you put your own spin on. Was this an article that you worked on for a while or did you come up with the idea and quickly got through the process of getting it posted? What were you attempting to accomplish in this article?

I had this idea of Hell in Vegas for a very long time, but the draft that became Sin City didn't really brew for that long. I brainstormed it with some friends, then cranked out the majority of it over about a week, and then shopped it around for crit for a while - I hadn't really read anything long-form comedy like that on site, so I didn't know how well it was going to do. I wanted to get that idea and setting out onto the site, primarily - but in a more meta sense, I wanted to show people you can totally do long dialogue-based comedy articles, and have them be actually funny.

I think I succeeded on both counts.

You won the Halloween 2018 contest with the very popular tale, MTF Sigma-5 "Pumpkin Punchers". I bet that was a fun one to write. If you don't mind, please talk about what you enjoyed the most about this article. Additionally, there is some excellent dialogue here. What do you do to accomplish natural dialogue such as what is present in this tale?

Ooh, this is a tough question, haha. I actually… really dislike that tale, in hindsight. It's kind of messy and all over the place, with a one-note punchline and not really clear prose. There were a lot of better articles posted that contest that 2020 Rounderhouse would have supported. But I always did like the dialogue and action scenes - I've always been a fan of action writing, so even if this did it poorly, it encouraged me to keep doing it. As for dialogue, I wouldn't go so far as to call it excellent, but I thought it was certainly fun, haha. I didn't really do much to accomplish it - it's just one of those things that emerged naturally.

SCP-5633: This Will Require A Great Amount of Blood was recently posted with you as a coauthor. Can you explain the unique circumstances for how this article came about?

This article was posted a bit after the Exquisite Corpse Contest, which is a funny timing thing - we'd been passing around the draft since long before the contest was announced. Thought it would be a fun little experiment, so Woedenaz and I gathered some friends and started passing it around. We only saw the last sentence of the previous writer's section and were capped at 150 words, which I thought led to an interesting result, if not a technically good one. I had a lot of fun writing it, which I think is what really matters to me — people are free to dislike it, it's fair, but I'm not one of those people.

The Rounder Page, pretty controversial for an author page, eh? Talk about why it had such crazy comments when it came out, Mister Rounder.

It was a very different page when I first posted it, lol. Unrecognizable from 2020 Rounderpage. But over my almost-3 years on this site, I've made additions, deletions, revamped portions, included page-breaking CSS, crashed Wikidot not once but twice, and a hell of a lot of other shit. In a funny way it's been a cool reflection of me as an author over time - but I'm the only person who thinks about it that much, lol. Everyone else was either intensely amused by my antics, or intensely skeeved. Either way, they made their thoughts very, very known in the discussion. And I'm not sure I would call it controversial, haha — highest rated author page on site! 💪

You happen to be one the administrators for the official SCP wiki sister site, The Wanderers Library. Beyond the title, what do you do on the site as an admin and what is The Wanderers Library for those unaware?

If SCP is my daily beater car, then Wanderer's Library is the vintage sports car I've lovingly and painstakingly restored in my garage over the years. It was founded a year or two after the SCP Wiki by DrMann and Pair Of Ducks, initially as a place to write freeform speculative fiction stories that weren't necessarily SCP-related. It's come to hold about 700 entries from adventures in the SCP-verse to completely original fiction settings and standalone stories. Even has its own GoIs, canons, tale series, etc. Unfortunately, it fell into hibernation shortly after its creation, for a variety of reasons. But I took over as Admin a year and a half ago, and, along with my staff, I've turned WL from an essentially-dead SCP experiment to a thriving little community of its own. I do basically everything for upkeep - fiddling with the theme, updating navigation, choosing featured articles and picks, organizing contests and events, tagging articles, writing guides, and general maintenance, along with moderating the official Discord server. One of the only things I don't do is critique - we have our own homegrown Crit Team for that. I'm really proud of what we've done over there, it feels like something material I can look on.

As an author on The Wanderers Library, what would you say your writing there is like? What stories on that site do believe are worthwhile to introduce SCP wiki users to your site?

My writing on the Library is generally worldbuildy-type stuff. I like thinking about what kind of creatures, patrons, history, and events the Library holds, so I try to explore that kind of content in my articles, stuff to really lend some concreteness to the world of the Library. We actually have a recommended reading list, along with a hub on the SCP Wiki that has an introduction to the site, lore, and content. I love introducing the site to people, and encouraging them to post their own stories — SCP is nice, but some stories shouldn't be restricted by format.

Do you have any projects outside of the wiki going on currently or perhaps any events being planned for The Wanderers Library?

Outside of the wiki directly, plenty. Some of my more notable are the occasional YouTube video and owning r/nuscp, a subreddit dedicated to new, less-known articles, away from the clamor of r/SCP. The Library's ongoing event is the Serpentine Sorting System, a set of biweekly prompts for writers to adapt, though I'm planning something bigger than that. Outside of the SCP-sphere as a whole, I've got some stuff going on but nothing I'm quite ready to promote just yet, haha. But when I do start stuff up, I usually loudly go on about it on my Twitter.

Who exactly is "Rounderhouse"?


What is with the pistons on the left side of the Rounderpage? They emit a strange sensation.

Haha, yeah. So the story with that is [REDACTED]

This concludes the interview. I hope you enjoyed it! I would like to thank Rounderhouse for patiently going along with my process for these interviews. It was awesome working with him! Once again, if you haven't already, be sure to check out my Meet the Administrators series.

Thank you for reading!

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