DWM Newsletter #3

Hello again! October already, and The Hidden People is now two episodes into the second half of season three. Meanwhile, writing and dialogue editing are still going on behind the scenes on future DWM shows, while I – as ever! – am bringing up the rear as I complete all the work of the whole team on season three of THP.

As always, if you’ve not caught up with The Hidden People up to the latest episode (which is season 3, episode 13, released on 29th September) beware of spoilers before reading on.

Latest from The Hidden People


Does Alfie have superpowers, then?

And if it could possibly be true, what on earth might they be?

And why (and how) did he acquire them?

I’ve seen some superb Alfie-related theories out there over the years…

“Alfie is a halfling” … “Alfie was sent by the Hidden to spy on Mackenna” … “Alfie is a werewolf” … “Alfie is the season 1&2 narrator with his voice disguised” (OK, so not that one, I guess!)

Suggest your favourite theory now that we have this new development, and if we get any wild ones we’ll run a poll to find out if there is consensus on this serious and important issue!

In honour of Alfie, here is my favourite depiction of him, in Bitmoji form, made by Emily Kallenberg! Can you possibly guess which one he is? 😉

Visual description: this picture is the Hidden People gang in Bitmoji form. They are against the backdrop of the Hidden People logo. From left to right are Thomas, Sam, Fack, Mackenna, Shaylee, Nissa, and Alfie. Alfie is grinning and waving at the audience.

As a bonus to Patreon supporters, check out the next Patreon post to hear how difficult it can be to play a character with a specific voice and get your lines right.

Artists’ Corner

I thought we’d try out something new!

It’s wonderful that so many of our listeners are creatives themselves, and we love to talk about creating.

We’d like to think out loud about some of our favourite ideas, techniques, and approaches to storytelling – and we hope you find them interesting and/or informative. Please join in the conversation!

Chris (our lead writer) is going to share thoughts on writing each week. Here is what he says on how to handle all the information when constructing a loooong story.

Callbacks. When you make as many episodes as we have so far (57 released episodes so far, not counting bonus episodes!), you run into some benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, we have been able to do so much worldbuilding over the past few years; the worlds of Mackenna Thorne and the Hidden People are well-established at this point, with dynamic characters arcs and rich backstories (will we ever learn the truth about the Fried Chicken Story?), but this also creates the problem of memory. How can we expect you, our loyal fans, to remember all of these details? Even the writers struggle to keep all of the lore straight!

The answer is to put information into two categories: essential and supporting. Essential lore is the stuff you need to know all the time. This includes the basic character traits of the cast, like how Mackenna defies authority, Thomas is a softie, and Alfie is a goofball. Other essential lore would include the magic we use most often, like stepping sideways. We made a very specific sound effect for that and use it regularly enough that the audience cannot forget what it means; it’s in nearly every episode.

Everything else becomes supporting lore. This is the stuff that you may or may not remember, like the rules for entering Arcadia, the dream Nissa’s mom had, or how Fack got her barghest. You might not remember any of those details, but that’s okay! They served their purpose at the time, and they aren’t necessary to remember in order to keep enjoying the show. But sometimes, we need to dip into the supporting lore. When we do, we also need to remind you about it. You might have forgotten that the Storyteller (Big W) didn’t know how Alfie could trick Ailsa waaay back in episode nineteen of season one. We knew this was going to be VERY important for the future, but it wasn’t something we needed to constantly remind you about. So we just brought it up again when it became relevant in the most recent episode.

And here’s the big secret about supporting lore: sometimes, we WANT you to forget about a detail we planted early on so that we can surprise you when we bring it back later and connect it with the story. Perhaps, for example, some other seemingly random details from back in season one will soon become very, very important.

Coming up next week

Ooh, what can I tell you about next week’s episode?

It contains some of the music I’ve had the most enjoyment from writing this season, a new development of the music for possibly my favourite character. (Possibly.)

Aaand let’s give you a line or two from it, shall we? Gold star if you can correctly guess which two characters say this in the next episode:

“It’s need to know.”

“Yeah, and my unbridled curiosity and thirst for knowledge need to know.”

Until next time,

Katie and the DWM creative team

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