Harry Blank is the esteemed author of multiple SCP Wiki pages and winner of the SCP-7000 contest. As a tribute to this accomplishment, we are proud to be unveiling a booster pack containing several ‘lucky’ cards designed to elevate EFS19’s gameplay and commemorate SCP-7000. In the process of developing this booster pack, we had the incredible opportunity to interview the mastermind behind SCP-7000, and were fortunate enough to gain some insight into his personal background and connection to the SCP universe. So dive into the fascinating world of the SCPs and uncover its secrets!
Good morning, Harry! Could you tell us how you first discovered the SCP universe and when you started contributing to it?
Harry Blank: I discovered it so long ago that the timeline doesn’t seem to match up. But I must have discovered it before we were even on the present website. I think the SCP universe started existing on its own website for the first time in maybe 2007. And I’m pretty sure that’s when I first saw it. However, I didn’t start writing for it until 2020. It was the pandemic that made me look for things to do.
Is there anything that draws you to writing SCP articles in particular? And what makes the SCP community unique?
Harry Blank: There’s lots of things. There’s a lot of characters, a lot of different stuff. And the SCP Wiki English branch has something like 14,000 pages that people have written over the years that are completely packed full of this stuff. I was quite happy to add my own junk into that.
Also, the people in the community are very welcoming and diverse, and that’s always been one of the strengths. I would put them up against any internet community.
Also, being able to write in a format that’s a little stricter than most fictional formats, the SCP format, you can write something that’s like writing an academic piece. But you can also write absolutely crazy bonkers stuff. And that’s always entertained me.
Do you have experience with WattPad or other writing websites for comparison?
Harry Blank: No. In terms of writing online, I haven’t done very much at all. Certainly, the first successful thing I ever did was write for the SCP Wiki, although it took a little while for it to be successful, as with most people who write for the Wiki.
It’s practice and it’s exposure, and the hardest thing about writing is getting started. Once you get started, you just keep going.
Can you tell us more about your art page?
Harry Blank: I do have an art page on the SCP Wiki, which is probably called something stupid like the Blank Page, because if I wasn’t going to make that joke, someone else would. I create images for my SCP stuff constantly. I make Photoshopped images and drawings and article logos. So I do have a lot of art on the SCP Wiki of various levels of quality and importance and usage.
There’s a visual aspect to storytelling on the internet. And I know a lot of people don’t like that because they think the writing needs to stand on its own, which it does, if it’s only writing. But it doesn’t need to stand on its own – and it’s a little weird to ignore the visual aspect – when it’s on a computer screen or a phone and you can look at it. If the viewer is looking at your writing on a screen, it’s not a book, it’s a hybrid. It’s text and images or visuals. You want to make sure that the words matter because the words will always matter the most on a writing website. But if you can change the way things look, then a little bit of attention to the visuals shows that you’re proud of your work. So I always try to do that. My SCP-7000 has something like two dozen images. They definitely helped.
Now let’s get a little personal. Would you say that SCP-7000 is autobiographical in any way?
Harry Blank: Yeah. In a sense, all kinds of parts of it were. It’s about somebody who feels like everything is out to get him and his life, like things are falling down and falling apart and he trips and bangs his toe and hits his head and then his pants fall down. It’s the garbage that everybody has happen to them at some point, where you start to feel the universe is out to get you. It’s a universal experience. And I think anybody could have written that part. There’s some more sad, tear-jerk bits in there that are definitely derived from things that have happened to me. But I gave him a happier ending than I had in my life because if you’re writing a story, why not give yourself a happier ending?
But there’s even petty little things, like the way some of my friends like to make jokes about the fact that I’m 36 years old. So there’s jokes in there about how everybody keeps reminding the guy that he’s 50-something and then treating him like an old person. There’s always autobiography in this stuff because the characters are just splinters of your brain. You can’t really write mentalities that aren’t somewhere in your head unless you’re really trying to project. So there’s always autobiographical elements when you write characters, because otherwise they come across as fake and flat, because you’re trying to make stuff up too much.
Do you have any upcoming SCPs in the new series?
Harry Blank: After winning SCP-7000, I’m just about ready to post my last one in series seven. So I should be able to move onto series eight. I haven’t written more than one or two things in series eight yet. And then the next contest will probably come in half a year.
I’ve written 48 SCPs and 81 tales so far. It’s an absurd number. It’s a number that’s so large, I can never remember it because it just doesn’t make sense until I start counting them in my head.
18 of the tales are in an actual book. It’s on Amazon. It’s by me as Harry Blank. It’s sold 70 copies or something. But it’s not really about selling many copies. People send me pictures of it and I see that they have it in their house and it makes me feel good.
Keen to hear more from Harry? Then stay tuned for the second part of the interview.