The Quest Blog
Currently editing: Chapter 75
Happy birthday, my dear slightly-slow brainchild. I don't think most people would be proud of having spent ten years of their life writing a Pokémon fanfic, but I am.
Chapter 62 is coming along, not very fast but I don't think it'll take that long. (Then again, you should never take my word for that.)
It is not a typo: Mewtwo consistently uses 'she', while Chaletwo and Mark's narration consistently use 'he'. (And May, you may also notice, uses 'it' - which means in this chapter the same character is referred to by all three standard English third-person singular personal pronouns, something I quite enjoy.) This is because in the world of this fic, all legendaries who are genderless in the games are biologically sexless single-individual species that don't have a gender as we know it. Some of them - like Chaletwo - prefer to be referred to by one particular pronoun anyway; others don't, and much like with Pokémon nicknames, the pronoun used in any given instance is up to the speaker. Mew is one such legendary.
This is not a new thing; I've been consciously writing it that way since at least the beginning of the HMMRCIG if not longer, and outside the fic I've been explaining this to readers for about that amount of time. The first time I found occasion to actually bring it up in-story, however, was the first time the opposite of the usual pronoun was actually used for a legendary: chapter 51, where Entei used 'she' for Mew. I threw in a paragraph of Mark remembering that Mew has no grammatical gender preference - kind of out of nowhere, but it was at least intended to introduce the concept to readers so they wouldn't be confused. And it seemed to work: I can't recall anyone expressing confusion over it then, so I actually was kind of surprised by how many people were completely puzzled when the same thing happened in chapter 61.
Now, I said I'd been consciously writing it this way since at least the beginning of the HMMRCIG. If this were a newer concept, it would probably be a bit more refined and informed by modern ideas about gender - but the fact it is old means that pronoun use has been an active part of the characterization for ages. So now that I've found an excuse to ramble about that, I will! :D
Chapter 61: Mewtwo
There is plot! Gasp.
Fun fact: If you read Morphic or follow my Twitter or whatever, you may know of the time I made a typo and wrote "He was fucking scientist" instead of "He was a fucking scientist". Well, apparently there is just something with me and forgetting articles before phrases in the form [expletive] [noun], because I'd read this chapter many times over before opal (who betaed the chapter) found out I'd managed to write "It doesn't mean he's goddamn Destroyer", instead of "It doesn't mean he's the goddamn Destroyer".
Another fun fact: this chapter has way too many italics tags. Chapter 60: The Swarm
Sorry it took longer than I thought. I figured it would be in the six-seven pages range, but it turned out to be thirteen, and then I kept redoing bits that didn't seem right.
As I said, it's about Scyther. I'm not sure how well this chapter works for people who haven't read the spin-offs; nothing about it should be confusing without it, but some lines probably won't really have any meaning to you. I don't know how much that hurts one's ability to enjoy the chapter on the whole.
Thanks enormously to opaltiger for beta-reading.
Then it's chapter 61. I don't know how long it'll take. It is a plot chapter, though, which is nice. Will it intrigue you if I tell you the working title is 'Mewtwo'?
EDIT: I added to Nightmare's character ramble.
I quite like this chapter so far. Writing it feels like writing Scyther's Story/The Fall of a Leader. I'm a little worried about how this chapter will come across to people who haven't read the spin-offs, though; maybe it'll just seem to be introducing a bunch of tangential stuff without going into it properly. Oh, well. It all does serve a purpose and I don't think it's confusing without having read the spin-offs, so it should be okay.
I dreamt something about Mark and May being engaged for an arranged marriage or something (it could also be that they somehow got engaged by accident or that it was necessary to save the world or whatever; either way, they were still twelve). They were having lunch somewhere talking about how annoying that was and how they're kinda friends and all but why do they have to get married? I really enjoyed that dream because they were delightfully in character about it and I just generally love dreaming about my characters. Also, it just amused me that even in a dream where they're somehow engaged, they're just there going "yeahhh no". Molzapart and Rainteicune.
Incidentally, it has also been ten years since Chibi Pika (also known as the creator of the best thing ever) started their silly often-revised still-in-progress legendary-heavy Pokémon fanfic, because clearly we are psychic twins. So clearly the essence of today is best described with this thing they drew for me that is also the best thing ever. :D
Chapter sixty is going pretty well. I've been busy with tests, but since today was also the day of my last test, I'm going to be able to get going with that again now. Whoo. Chapter 59: December
Yeah. Sorry it took so long.
Chapter sixty, I might as well tell you now, is entirely about Scyther, hence why I've been saying it'll be quick. The downside of that is, of course, that if you don't care about Scyther you probably won't give a damn about that chapter, but at least chapter 61 has plot happening.
Man, it's been ages.
At least I genuinely expect chapter sixty to be quick.
Then it's chapter sixty, which I've been rather looking forward to for a while even though my ideas of what will actually happen in it are still pretty vague. I have reasonably good reason to expect it'll be one of those chapters that write themselves. You'll see why. Molzapart and Rainteicune, with all-new author commentary (the old one had far too many emoticons and unnecessary comments for my current tastes) and a fancy feature to toggle the commentary on or off.
Also, I updated a few character bios that I'd meant to update before but for some reason didn't: I added some rambling about Stantler on the page for May's Pokémon and updated May's ramble with recent developments. (If you haven't seen the updated Letaligon ramble, that's on the page for Mark's Pokémon, too.) Chapter 58: Sins of the Mother
I'm in the process of adding to Letaligon's character ramble as a result. Hope you enjoy it.
Also don't miss the previous Quest Blog entry about the Best Thing Ever.
BASICALLY this makes every goddamn minute of the nine years I've spent writing this fic completely worth it. Chibi Pika is God. The end.
(Context: a silly joke in the QftL thread on Serebii about how Chaletwo is going to decide to become a pimp and stop caring about the War of the Legends. But you shouldn't care about the context, damn it.)
And, uh, chapter 58 is almost done. But who cares about the chapter when you can have pimp!Chaletwo? :D
This chapter is all about Letaligon, and I hope fans of her subplot will appreciate it. This and chapter sixty are, in the current chapter plan, the last purely character-focused chapters in the fic, and I'm hoping to make the most of them because I like character-focused chapters. Chapter 57: Three Conversations
Yeah. It really is just three conversations, so if you don't enjoy the characters babbling on, you probably won't be too thrilled by this chapter. Also, I'm not in a good enough writing mood right now and had a really hard time wording a lot of things in there, which rather detracts from it in my opinion. But I do like some of it.
In the intervening nine years, I've completely replaced my plot plans several times, rewritten the story even more times, discovered uncountable fascinating new tidbits about the characters in my journeys exploring them, and grown to love this stupid thing to an obsessive enough degree to make a mini-website for it with far too much rambly content, code my own forum for it, write two novella-length spin-off stories and, perhaps most glaringly, still be writing it at all despite that it's a barely-coherent mess started when I was twelve years old.
The chapter will be put up later tonight. I just wanted to get the birthday update up properly before midnight (my time). Happy birthday, dear fic. Looking forward to next year when I'll be able to say I've been writing a Pokémon fanfic for more than a decade. plot recap page, covering chapters 1-55 of the ILCOE. Once chapter 57 is put up, it will be updated with stuff from chapter 56 and so on, ensuring that the page will never contain spoilers for the latest chapter (so that you can use it to refresh your memory before you read a new chapter).
Tell me if you think something worth mentioning is missing. This is just off the top of my head. Also if the organization is way confusing. It's hard to tell.
Basically, I've been having something of a confidence crisis recently, realizing suddenly that this chapter is going to be awful and the whole chapter plan sucks and I can't write and so on. And it didn't help that I was stuck on a really stupid part of the chapter, one of those places where I need a transition from thing A to thing B and it just can't seem to work out in a way that doesn't sound ridiculous. So I haven't been getting a lot of writing done.
Well, the other day I realized it was almost June, and since the fic's ninth anniversary is on the nineteenth of June, I should probably hurry up with the chapter to try to get it out on TQftL's birthday. At first this resulted in about two new sentences of the chapter, which I promptly deleted after deciding they were awkward. Then earlier I got past that annoying little part and started writing again, and then all of a sudden the characters swooped in to the rescue by suddenly making the chapter interesting! I love it when that happens. (Oh, Chaletwo, in my Morphic-extra-writing spree I'd almost forgotten how much I utterly love you and all the new things I keep discovering about you.)
It's still a sort of a talky in-between chapter, but at least I like it a lot more now and don't feel like I'm a horrible writer making a chapter out of uninteresting chatter anymore, so I expect this time I will actually be able to find the motivation to finish it. If everything goes according to plan, you only have two weeks to wait now. Look forward to it.
Oh, and somebody a while ago suggested I should make some sort of a plot recap thing, so I've been drafting up a page that would go on the minipage somewhere containing a basic summary of both the main plot and the current status of that and the ongoing subplots, so as to make it easier for readers to refresh their memories on what's going on after a long wait between chapters. This would be updated every time there is a chapter update to feature information as of the chapter before the latest one, so as to allow you to read/skim it before you read the new chapter. Sound good?
Chapter 56: The Ouen Safari
Even worse, unlike the other two longest waits (chapters 34 and 37), this chapter is neither long (seven pages and a bit) nor especially remarkable, so I can't really say it's especially worth the wait. Sorry. I'll… attempt to write the next chapter faster, and chapter 58 at least should hopefully be pretty quick.
Thanks to opal and elyvorg for beta-reading. TV Tropes page for a while and I never noticed, I figured I might as well link it on the menu, because we all love TV Tropes.
As with the Morphic page, I prefer to be minimally involved (…though I permitted myself to rewrite the description because the old one was ridiculously long and went into oodles of completely extraneous details that only served to make it spoilerrific and thus defeat the entire point of a description, and then I couldn't resist adding a couple of really obvious tropes, but I hope to never be tempted to do that again), so by all means go nuts.
Yes, yes, chapter 56 is coming. At some point. When I've finished the fourth "Dave and Mia Discuss" Morphic extra that I'm writing right now and is really fun.
Really sorry for the wait. I could start excusing myself with Morphic/ReGenesis/White/university/work, but really, I've had plenty of time where I've just been lazing around rather than writing. The truth is just that now I'm getting into chapters that I actually haven't been planning in detail for years on end, and the lack of pent-up excitement is bad for my motivation. Sorry. I'll still try not to make this the pace of the next chapters.