The Quest Blog


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12/31/2009: ILCOE Bio Stuff

So I'm continuing with the ILCOE character bios again. So far I've done the bios for Mark and his Pokémon, May and her Pokémon, and Alan, and am writing the one for Alan's Pokémon.

I'm kind of thinking about putting up these bios before the new year along with a list of the characters who have bios planned; then you can see what they're generally like and comment on it as well as tell me if you think there are characters not mentioned who ought to have bios or something like that. Plus that then I'll feel like I've done something. Sound good?

12/07/2009: A month already?

Well. Um, I suppose I should fill you in. I've written something like half a page since last time and I've got the plot stuff down, so it's just finding the time and motivation to finish writing it. Today I randomly started writing a one-shot, which I think I'll try to finish over the next few days, but I have plenty of Christmas break to get bored and poke myself into writing the chapter. So yeah.

11/06/2009: Lazing along

Chapter 51 is… in progress, but I haven't been in much of a writing mood as of late. And I still need to smooth out the details of that plot point. I've more or less decided that something regarding the same thing in an earlier chapter cannot possibly make sense, so I think there will have to be something of a retcon, which is kind of annoying.

Then there's Buffy, which if you haven't seen the main site is my latest obsession. Yeah, I'm going to be watching that for a while.

NaNoWriMo is… not going, unfortunately. There is an irritating amount of stuff I need to do for that story before I can really write it, and then I just sort of didn't bother when it started. Plus, as I said, not much of a writing mood.

Though I really need to write more Morphic.

10/15/2009: Big news!

So. Today I was writing chapter 51, where as usual there is just a random scene going on and I happened to make a plot-relevant reference, and I realized that would add to the chapter plan I had (up to chapter 55), and after I added that to the plan, I… finished it. The whole plot outline, up to the end. Around half of what I wrote is stuff I pretty much just thought of while writing it, too. Basically I just went on a grand fic-plotting spree, filling in all the storyline gaps and completing the plan. (Well, okay, one chapter just says "They travel to [place] and something happens", but I'm sure I'll think of something.)

Thus, unless there are some very serious modifications, this fic will be 76 chapters in all, not counting the epilogue that will most likely be there. Chapters 71-75, like chapters 21-25 and 46-50, form a specially named five-chapter arc. My OCD is happy. :D

This also means that unlike my previous worries, I will not land myself in plot block after chapter 55 anymore, so it's pretty much just straight writing from here on!

Funnily enough, I still haven't quite polished a certain plot point in chapter 51, so I still can't run ahead to finish that chapter quite yet, but hey. At least I'm pretty giddy anyway.

10/10/2009: About Chapter 51

(Chapter 50 is up, if you missed it.)

The thing with chapter 51 is that I don't yet quite know what is going to happen in it. I know what needs to happen in it, but I have actually yet to figure out entirely how to go about making that happen. There's a relatively small gap to bridge, and I've had some rough ideas, but I still need to refine and recheck those ideas to make sure they make sense and are consistent with the rest of the story and fully think up how to implement the scenario I end up with.

I haven't had to do this while actually writing a chapter of the ILCOE in a very, very long time - the first thirty chapters of it were mostly refining the presentation of stuff that was already in the UMR, and while I was doing that I thought up most of the details of what would happen in the chapters from there through, well, where we are now. At first I thought I would have this situation with chapter 39, but then I ended up making that the plot recap chapter it is. (Funnily enough, what is going to happen in chapter 51 is something I have been planning for a while with no particular idea of exactly where in the story I was going to put it, and I briefly considered putting it in chapter 39 before I thought of the plot-recap thing, but that is still not the reason I thought I would have to do real-time plotting for chapter 39, since the problem right now concerns special circumstances that apply now but not then.)

None of this probably makes any sense to you. Sorry. I'm just rambling. Long story short, it could be a little while before I can actually properly start chapter 51, since I need to do some brainstorming.

10/07/2009: Chapter 50 up!

The Ouen League - Chapter 50: Friendly Competition

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

10/07/2009: Chapter 50 finished

I've just finished the chapter at twenty pages. Going to take a nap before the final proofreading and editing (though yesterday I actually went through the battle, soon after I'd finished that, and modified and added in several bits, so I might be a little less thorough on that part this time).

It seems one of my "talents" is starting to write something completely aimlessly and then discovering halfway through, just as I am pondering deleting it because it's random and pointless, that it is actually leading up to an important point that I had never thought about but actually kind of needs to be made or is at least sort of neat. I think it's happened with three individual scenes in this chapter alone, and thanks to this all my previous potential doubts about having this as chapter fifty have completely vanished.

10/04/2009: Writing spreeeeeeee

Well. The chapter has doubled since last time and I'm on a roll, so I've changed my mind. The goal is no longer to finish the chapter before the end of October; it's to finish the chapter within a month from chapter 49. Since chapter 49 was posted on the tenth of September, that means unless my writing mood somehow dies, it's going to be up October tenth at the latest. And then I can go all "Look! I really do sometimes take less than a month to write a chapter!" and cackle manically.

This chapter is so fun, seriously. I was worrying about it just earlier today, but mweeheehee, it's all turning out just right now. It is epic! :D

If I sound hyper, that's because I'm kind of high on writing a particular fun character while eating candy and snuggling up to my boyfriend every now and then.

10/01/2009: On with chapter 50

I'm on the sixth page of it now and the battle is about to start. I think my plan to finish it in October will work out; I don't feel too unlike writing battles and since this is a fun battle and such, yay.

Then it's NaNoWriMo. I think I will write that one fantasy story about the ice age-esque dragon-dominated world that I've been talking about for a couple of years. I don't know if I'll get around to The Quest for the Legends during that time, particularly since chapter 51 will probably not be as fun to write as chapter 50 is. I hope I'll still finish that before the end of the year, but I'm not entirely sure I'll make it. Annoyingly, I am dangerously far from my new year's resolution of writing at least 100 pages this year: when I made it, the Quest for the Legends Word document was apparently 496 pages long, and at the moment it is 554. Even if chapter 50 ended up 23 pages - slightly longer than the previous chapters - I would still only be up to seventy-five pages after that; I'd maybe make it if I managed to finish a twenty-five-page chapter 51 before the end of December, but at the moment I'm not really getting my hopes up for that. Hrm.

I should probably go continue with the actual writing instead of just sitting here going on about it.

Oh, maybe I'll try to finish the ILCOE bios and/or dragon styles before the end of the year instead, to make up for it.

09/26/2009: I love my way of getting ideas.

So I was writing chapter 50 the other day, and suddenly a scene that was supposed to be about something completely different suddenly wrote itself into making the chapter even more interesting than it was already. (Okay, interesting in the "FWEE, SCYTHER!" sense. Which reminds me, wow, it's been long since Scyther has really been his wonderfully messed-up self, not counting chapter 49 because all he did there was be a little angry. I think the last time was chapter 30. I guess writing the Scyther spin-offs gave me my Scyther fix for a while. But his issues return now after a twenty-chapter absence!)

I hope to finish the chapter before November; it's a fun chapter and I've been having some spurts of writing lately. I've also been doing a lot of preparing for it, which I need to finish to have no excuse. If everything goes well, I have my hopes that it will be a pretty good chapter.

09/10/2009: Chapter 49 up

It took a bit longer than the optimistic estimates of the last entry, but it's here.

The Ouen League - Chapter 49: The Rage of a Scyther

The title is awkward and the battle is not as interesting as the previous ones, but I actually thought overall it came out surprisingly well. Not that I'm to be trusted on that.

09/05/2009: Chapter 49 progress

So, after taking a bit of a break to write Morphic and lengthy Pokémon movie reviews, I am now on something of a writing spree, well down the tenth page of the chapter at the moment. If I continue to be in this mood, I might finish the chapter tonight or tomorrow.

Yesterday I had one of those moments of thinking a lot about the end of the fic and desperately wishing I could just hurry up and finish it already, which may have something to do with it, although the end is still awfully far away, obviously. I also thought a bit about how I'm going to fit all the necessary information into the second-to-last chapter while all the stuff that needs to happen is happening and whether it would perhaps be more practical to make "One-Shot A" an actual part of the chapter. Which is getting waaay ahead of myself, since odds are none of this will be written until at least three years from now or so, but whatever. (God, it feels weird to know that I'll be well in my twenties before I finish this.)

Ramblerambleramble. Ficcity fic fic.

08/19/2009: Getting On With It

I got myself to go and continue with chapter 49 after talking to elyvorg. She is awesome like that.

Thus, I'm now well down the sixth page of the chapter. A scene where Mark was basically going over his Pokémon's weaknesses in his head seemed too boring and pointless even though I was halfway done with it, so instead of deleting it I decided to try to make it slightly less so; this completely unexpectedly led to a pretty fun character moment, although I should really be trying to get to the important part of the chapter. At least I finished that scene, which was the main reason I had been lazing around recently, so that's good.

08/01/2009: Printable version fixed

I've fixed the printable versions, which haven't been working for… quite a while. Another one of my Silly Coding Mistakes ™.

07/27/2009: Volcaryu style WIP (and more)

Volcaryu style at the moment.

I'm not especially fond of it, but eh. Opinions and suggestions would be nice. Do navigate around the minipage a bit to see how different things look.

I slightly modified Polaryu's sprite because a couple of things about it have always bugged me and Polaryu is next up for tracing:

What changed, since you probably won't notice it, is the shape of the near hind leg and the crystals on that leg and the near front leg. Nothing big, but I think they look a little more natural now, at least.

Still writing the ILCOE character bios; I've done Mark, May and Alan's bios and am currently creating the combined bio for Mark's Pokémon. The character ramble here is already longer than the character rambles for all three human characters, and all I've talked about so far is Scyther and in just how many ways he is the best thing ever to happen to The Quest for the Legends. Ehehe.

I'm on the third page of chapter 49 now. Hopefully I'll get going with it now.

07/23/2009: Not Dead

Just to note that I did not disappear, even if the… ahem, "few days" I spoke of seem to have stretched out a bit. I've been working on the birthday updates - Thunderyu style is done and I'm working on Volcaryu style, and currently I'm writing up ILCOE character bios.

Writing said ILCOE character bios is actually giving me the biggest rewriting-urges I've had in years: it's making me reread old ILCOE chapters and rediscover just how terrible the writing is and just how much it will put off potential readers if they happen to decide to read the character bios before they start reading. Trying to explain in Alan's bio that he found a super-clone fusion of Raikou, Entei and Suicune that just happened to be carelessly thrown out by Rick where anybody could find it makes me physically cringe. So does the very thought of having to make a character bio for Molzapart to justify his existence. And even if I like to think Spirit herself isn't as bad as she could be, the entire story of May finding her and the rich kid trying to steal her, as told in the story, just cannot possibly be made to sound like something that would ever be in a decent work of fiction. (This was in chapter thirty-freaking-one! Was I still that bad then? God help me.)

I have never come closer to deciding to just go through the ILCOE to change some bits to be slightly less embarrassing, as a version 3.5 of sorts, somewhat bridging the gap between the ILCOE and IALCOTN. Oh, I've entertained the thought before, believe me - I do every time I'm reminded of the ILCOE's various logic failures - but this is the first time I've been inches away from opening up one of the ILCOE chapter files to change something. But it would take an awful lot of work I could be using to actually continue writing, and I'm going to rewrite it all in the IALCOTN anyway, and I'd inevitably start changing more and more things around and so on, and it would confuse people who try to read it while I'm in the middle of this, so I've been trying to resist the temptation.

The current plan for the character bios, by the way, is that each bio contains a Pre-Story Biography, detailing the character's relevant backstory, and then Character Rambles, basically me rambling on about my favorite things about writing said character, how they've changed since I first started the story and whatever else I might find interesting about them. This is sort of the minimum of what I want to have in the bios. Then I've been thinking of possibly adding physical descriptions (would be a bit boring to write, but probably nice to have) and/or pictures (which would require me to either magically develop something in the way of human drawing skills or hire a good artist who would get them all just right, and then I mean just right in a way that would satisfy my inner perfectionist). And then I've been repeatedly changing my mind on whether to include "Character's Story So Far", basically a sort of continuation of the "Pre-Story Biography" that is basically a recap of the most significant events for that particular character during the story, but right now I think I've decided it's unnecessary, so unless some of you really think I should include that, I won't. Any other ideas? (Also on the physical description/pictures thing; thoughts?)

I've also been somewhat back-and-forth on what to do with the Pokémon bios: I don't want to give only the "important" Pokémon bios, since that would require defining some as being more important than others, but making character bios for all 20+ of Mark, May and Alan's Pokémon is a bit excessive, especially since I wouldn't have much to ramble about for most of them. I've considered giving Mark's Pokémon bios but not the other Pokémon, but I'm not sure I entirely like that idea either. Right now I think I'm going with having one bio for Mark's Pokémon, one for May's Pokémon and one for Alan's Pokémon: the Pre-Story Biography would basically have a paragraph or two on each of them, with the Character Rambles rambling about those of them I find particularly rambleworthy. If you have other ideas, I'm all for hearing them.

EDIT: Now I have another problem with the Pokémon bios: what names to use? As in, do I call Mark's Charizard "Charmander", because he caught him as a Charmander and thus his pre-story biography has him being a Charmander, or "Charizard", because that's what he is now? Maybe keep to the form in which they were caught for the pre-story biography, but switch to their current form for the character rambles? Or use, say, "Charmeleon" when talking about Charizard's rivalry with Scyther since at the time he was a Charmeleon, even though it could get confusing and at times I'm not talking about any particular event, just the character in general?

Second page of chapter 49, by the way; I got stuck at an annoying part, but now I'm past that and it's inching along. Don't know how long it will take exactly.

06/19/2009: Happy Birthday, Quest for the Legends

On June 19th, 2002, my parents got married after having been engaged for, oh, fifteen years or so. They took us the kids with them on their honeymoon (which consisted of a trip to the bakery). Later that day, it seems my twelve-year-old self was inspired to start writing a new Pokémon story after the one about Molzapart and Rainteicune stopped being as interesting and I had found the first other Pokémon fanfiction I had seen on the Internet. So I made a Word document called "pokémonsaga.doc" (pokémonstory.doc) and wrote into it the sentence, "Mark lived in a very small village." And my life would never be the same again.

Now, seven years and oodles of revisions later, I have just started chapter forty-nine of this same story that the Internet miraculously has not yet become tired of. In the meanwhile, I have actually figured out what the plot is about (a comparitively recent development), written two longer spin-off stories and a one-shot, rewritten the same chapters about two hundred times, created a complex system of acronyms to describe all these versions, and spent my clearly far too abundant free time making various versions of minipages for it on my website and in the more recent past blabbing on about it in a blog.

On to more important business, because I do this for my website and my fic deserves to be subjected to the same horror just this once:

Happy birthday to you,
Mark, May, Chaletwo,
and all the other characters,
and the storyline too!

No, don't even ask how this is supposed to make any sense. Shush, you! Bad poetry isn't meant to make any sense!

In other news, my dad was messing with some settings on the server (this messing around will eventually lead to my being able to update my site easily from anywhere that has Internet access, so it will be worth it in the end!), and I just realized now that this prevents me from actually updating the live copy of the site (including things like this minipage). I can still post this entry, since I do that through the forum interface, but I can't upload any actual pages, so I won't be able to actually make the birthday updates I meant to make on the minipage.

(And I just might have spent today watching Gurren Lagann and the first Pokémon movie and reading and fangirling with elyvorg instead of working on the birthday preparations, and I just might be going to a summerhouse tomorrow (which is technically today, hence my posting the birthday entry now, but it's half past two AM and I have not yet gone to bed) where I won't be able to continue to work on them either, but that is totally not the reason the things I promised won't actually be going up on the birthday itself but a few days later. It's really all because of that server-messing-around and all my dad's fault. Totally.)

Anyway, I hope this attempt at an apology in the form of a long rambly snarky Quest Blog entry makes up for it, and note that I will make all that stuff over the next days and put it up.

Happy birthday, dear fic. I will eternally love you to subatomic bits despite all your cute little flaws, occasional lack of making any sense, overcomplicated plot, characters with far too many issues, legendaries, poor descriptions, two extra legs on Ariados and worst title ever. Just like Chaletwo loves the hell out of those iddle widdle dragons he created no matter how much of a danger they might pose to the continued existence of the world (pssh, who cares about the world anyway?)! May you live long and prosper, but not so long that I won't finish you sometime within this century, at which point I will dig your rotting corpse out of the grave and rewrite you all over again.


(Yes, I seem to be high on something. It must be that blasted air I keep inhaling.)

06/16/2009: Another New Volcaryu Sprite

So, well, since I pretty much finished what will probably be Thunderyu style on the minipage, it was time to move on to Volcaryu. And since Thunderyu style has a sprite trace (where I take a sprite, magnify it a lot, trace the outline in Illustrator and then color it in) of Thunderyu, it seems sensible for the other styles to have sprite traces of their respective dragons, too.

The problem is that I've never really liked the new Volcaryu sprite much, so I figured I'd fix a thing or two first. Primarily, it bothered me that its body was kind of triangular - the belly was widest at the very bottom rather than being properly rounded - and that the tail seemed too narrow and flimsy compared to the bulk of the body. I also thought the wings looked a little pasted on and a bit too small even for Volcaryu. So I tried to fix all that, creating this:

Basically, I moved its right leg (our left) and the nearest portion of its belly a couple of pixels to the right (with appropriate tweaks to get the belly to look smooth again, of course), thickened the base of the tail and lengthened it slightly, and moved the wing a couple of pixels to the right to make it appear a little bigger.

I ran this by a couple of people who said, and I agreed, that the wing looked like it was attached too low on the back. And since I'd never been that fond of that wing shape anyway, I figured, hey, what if I just draw a completely new wing - like if I make it folded or something? So I did that. And then I thought that the head had really always kind of bugged me too, or rather the neck: it seemed to bend too much. So I decided to move the head a little. But then surskitty said she thought it would look better if I actually made it face the other way. I tried that and saw it actually would look pretty good that way, so I flipped the head and reshaded it accordingly. And then she said it would look better with its mouth closed, so I did that too. And then I thought the near horn looked shorter than the other horn, so I lengthened it a bit.

So the result is really more of a "new Volcaryu sprite" than an "update of the old Volcaryu sprite", and looks like this (shiny included for the hell of it, just to show I made it):

Any last-minute comments before I go and trace it?

(Also, don't miss the previous Quest Blog entries: chapter 48 is up, and there is a discussion of birthday celebrations for the fic, since it will be seven years old this Friday.)

06/15/2009: Chapter 48 up

The Ouen League - Chapter 48: The Second Preliminary is now up on the minipage. Thanks to to surskitty, Midnight, elyvorg and opaltiger for reading over it and providing some comments (or rather, opaltiger has technically not finished reading over it yet, but once he does, I might make modifications according to his comments).

Also be sure to check out the previous Quest Blog entry concerning possible updates to the minipage in celebration of The Quest for the Legends' seventh birthday.

06/14/2009: Birthday Approaching

So, as you may or may not know, The Quest for the Legends' seventh birthday is coming up next Friday. I meant to make chapter 48 the big birthday update, but now I think I may finish it before the nineteenth, and keeping it back just to put it up the right day would be kind of annoying, both for you and for me. So I was considering my options for stuff to do for the fic's birthday if I put up chapter 48 sometime before that.

EDIT: Chapter 48 is done and will be up tomorrow.

Idea #1: Redo Chalenor Style
I don't really like the Chalenor style here at the minipage much. I could use this opportunity to remake it entirely; probably just about the same colors, but a different layout and general design. In which case it would be nice to hear from you about what kinds of changes you would like to see. I could also tweak Chaletwo style somewhat while I'm at it.

Idea #2: Add New Style
I could also add a new style - probably based on Mew, since Mew, Chalenor and Chaletwo are pretty much the main legendaries of the fic (let's just say Molzapart doesn't count because he's not a Creator or Preserver). This would allow me to make a medium-colored style to go with the light Chaletwo style and dark Chalenor style.

Idea #3: New Styles Altogether
By which I mean redoing the minipage layout completely and creating completely new styles. For instance, I am toying with the idea of Thunderyu, Volcaryu and Polaryu styles - Volcaryu's would be black and red and thus the dark layout, Thunderyu's mostly yellow with some blue and on the light side but still intermediate, and Polaryu's white and blue as the light layout. I'm starting to lean towards this. Any objections, suggestions, etc.?

Idea #4: ILCOE Character Bios
The character bios currently on the minipage are… well, the only section on the site that applies to the IALCOTN rather than the ILCOE. That's pretty much because at the time I couldn't be bothered to make bios for everybody somewhat important who has been introduced in the ILCOE, and the IALCOTN was really being written. Now that I'm obsessively writing the ILCOE and the IALCOTN is pretty much on an acknowledged hiatus until I get serious writer's block on the ILCOE, maybe it's time I finally made the ILCOE bios. (I am thinking about including a section called "Character Rambles" in each bio where I would, well, ramble about the character, which I'm sure I would have a lot of fun with, but I don't know about anybody else.)

Note that nothing says I can't do many of these things except the time constraints - it's only a few days, after all, and I don't think I'd have the time to do all of this for the birthday (though I might just do much of the rest later).

Any thoughts about these ideas, which you'd most like to see, other ideas, etc.? I'm particularly interested in whether you think I should keep the Chalenor/Chaletwo(/Mew) layouts or switch to Thunderyu/Volcaryu/Polaryu - I'd rather not have both at the same time since I don't really want to bog this minipage down with random gimmicks like styles and it's neater when the styles are more nicely parallel - and whether you would have any interest in reading character rambles about everybody important in the ILCOE.

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