The Quest Blog


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01/01/2008: Almost there...

Happy new year, everybody! I hereby resolve to write… at least five chapters in the year 2008, not counting finishing chapter 37. Now, if I do that it's still pretty lousy (though better than the past couple of years), so I also resolve to try to write ten chapters in 2008. I highly doubt I'll make it, but there, I've said it. Hopefully this will motivate me somewhat, as well as the thought that I'm getting ever closer to some of the bits I'm really looking forward to writing.

Chapter 37 is on the twenty-fourth page, and it's almost done. I mean it. Carl is battling Mark and Alan, and the battle is being pretty fast. It may not even get to becoming my longest chapter ever, although it probably will. I didn't finish it before the new year, but damn, I swear it will be up later tonight.

And go post more in the forum. I've got this lovely thread for forum suggestions up that I'm dying for some replies to.

12/30/2007: Forum integrated with comments

The forum has now been fully integrated with the comment system, which was completely rewritten for the occasion (not that it looks very different to you who are just looking at it). It should also be faster now, because the old one was pretty badly coded. I guess I'll be replacing the guestbook on the main site with this new faster and better (not to mention not written in VBScript) system now.

But yeah, basically you can now submit "verified comments" if you're logged in, saving you from having to type in your name and e-mail address every time and allowing you to edit your comments. And now I'm starting to think I should merge the forum navigation and ordinary site navigation somehow so that both are shown on every page. Hmm. Opinions on that?

Integration with the Quest Blog should be coming soon.

Oh, yeah, and I also added a user list for the forum, and the feature to e-mail forgotten passwords.

12/29/2007: Forum!

Ladies and gentlemen, I just hand-coded a basic forum for this minipage.

It's kinda lacking in features thanks to the whole hand-coding thing, and there are almost certainly bugs and very user-unfriendly errors all over the place, so I'd appreciate if you told me.

Features coming soon: E-mail forgotten passwords, integration with comment system and blog. Any other feature requests (do you desperately want avatars or signatures, for instance?) would be appreciated.

So now go and post so I won't feel stupid for having spent my day on that instead of actual writing.

12/26/2007: Whoo!

The Mark/Alan battle of chapter 37 is officially finished!

The chapter is now at twenty-one pages total, with that one battle taking up a full thirteen. My longest battles ever before that, the Gym battles of chapter 32, were some eight or nine pages each. So yeah, definitely my longest battle ever. That was excruciating.

On the plus side, it may also be my best traditional Pokémon battle ever, what with the variety of moves, the fact there are actually some non-damaging attacks used quite frequently (fancy that), and how the switching stirs things up and steers the battle nicely away from that boring old format where trainer X's Pokémon faints, he sends out something with a type advantage that wins, and the other trainer does the same, repeat for the rest of the battle.

So now… well, I'll just have to write a transition scene, and then it's Carl battle time. Since that's two simultaneous three-on-threes, it should not become that horribly long, although I highly suspect that all in all it will end up longer than chapter 32 (26 pages) and thus rob the title of longest chapter of this fic ever. Oh well. At least you'll be getting something somewhat worth all the time it took quantity-wise.

And happily, now I think I may very well manage to finish it before the new year, even though I was doubting it as late as just earlier today. Then I went on mega-writing-spree-of-doom and wrote some four pages of battle in one sitting (and yes, that is a lot on my scale, at least when it comes to battles - it's less than I was writing per day in the latter half of NaNoWriMo, yes, but that was philosophical pondering about the rules of Scyther society, not two Pokémon trainers battling). Unfortunately this means it's five AM right now (officially ruining my plans of going to bed early), so I think I'd better stop babbling on in this blog and go to sleep already.

At least, the most annoying part of the chapter is done, which demands some celebration. Cookies for all.

12/24/2007: Merry Christmas

You know, it's very funny, but somehow all the chapters that are really frustrating and annoying to write end up being freakishly long. It's like some writing god decided that all such frustrations must be prolonged as much as possible. In other words, I didn't finish chapter 37.

I did, however, revise Part V of The Fall of a Leader instead. It is titled "Leader" and is probably my favorite part of that story.

And I'm going to do everything in my power to get chapter 37 of The Quest for the Legends out before the new year. I want to manage four chapters in 2007, damn it.

(Chapter 34 took from October 2006 to April 2007, chapter 35 came out in June, and chapter 36 in July. This incidentally means that, having taken just over six months to finish, chapter 34 is still well ahead of chapter 37 in the longest-wait-for-a-chapter-ever race, but I don't intend to go anywhere near setting a new record there.)

12/22/2007: Chapter 37 progress

On the fifteenth page, and Mark and Alan are still battling. It's a six-on-six and only three out of those twelve Pokémon have fainted so far (mostly due to the permission of switching, which leads to lack of super effective moves). Neither of them is stupid enough to do something absolutely ridiculous that would make him lose quickly. This is going to be long. And when that's done, I'll still have the battle with Carl before I can end this chapter. <_<

I'm going to try to get it done for Christmas, but if not then definitely before the new year. Hey, I've won NaNoWriMo, after all, and written 5000 words in a day. But yeah, this is going to be one seriously long chapter. Chapter 32 was twenty-six pages in Word, wasn't it? I don't know if this will beat it, but hell, it might.

Oh, well. You've sat through chapter 32 before, so you can take excruciatingly long battles.

Oh, yeah. By the way, the Quest for the Legends Word document has passed the 375 pages mark. I might get to 400 in chapter 38 or else chapter 39.

12/19/2007: The Fall of a Leader Part IV

Part IV: Razor of The Fall of a Leader is up. I've also put up an edited version of part three of the same story.

And yes, I'm still working on chapter 37 of The Quest for the Legends. I'm finishing the twelfth page. I just figured I should get this over with already.

12/15/2007: Writing chapter 37 again

Took a break from The Fall of a Leader to actually write some of the real deal, The Quest for the Legends itself. I actually managed to get a bit on with chapter 37. It is now on the tenth page, and damn, it's going to end up freakishly long if this keeps up. Stupid battles.

But at least I'm getting on with it somewhat. Yay?

Okay, fine. You get a preview, since you've had to wait so long. This is all stuff I've been writing tonight, except for the first couple of lines.

(Read more...)

As you can tell, I was in some major make-Mark-connect-everything-with-random-memories-made-up-on-the-spot mood.

12/08/2007: Part III of The Fall of a Leader

Yeah, it's up.

I hate the first half, because I absolutely can't write romance, but it significantly improves in the last part after… well, you'll find out.

12/04/2007: Part II up

Part II, Pearl, of The Fall of a Leader is up. Not my favorite part, but there are scenes that I really like.

12/02/2007: First part of NaNo up!

The first part of my NaNo, which has gotten the title The Fall of a Leader, has been posted on the Spin-Offs page. Please note that the story as a whole is rated R, even though the first part contains nothing particularly objectionable, and I mean the rating this time.

This part is very short on this story's scale. Part six is more than 20,000 words, which is around forty pages with no page breaks after chapters. So make yourself comfortable before starting to read the future parts.

12/01/2007: Finished!

Scyther's Story II is finished at 54,010 words according to Microsoft Word's word counter.

Now it's just editing the first part and then I can put it up. Except that I still don't know what to call it.

11/28/2007: It is done.

And it's official. I am a NaNoWriMo winner.

Scyther's Story II is not over yet and, unfortunately, still does not have a name.

But I'll try to get the rest of it done in these two-days-and-a-couple-of-hours left of November. Man, that felt good.

So fwee. :3 When it's done, it will be editing time, and I will be posting the seven parts here and on those forums I'm on that allow R-rated fiction one at a time as I finish editing each one, so look forward to that. After the editing it's done, it's just continuing with chapter 37 of The Quest for the Legends - and the half-finished chapter six of Morphic, incidentally, although technically that's not what I should be talking about on this blog.

I is winnar. :D Yay.

11/27/2007: I'm going to do it.

Well. 48,292 words and three days left to write the remaining 1708. That averages to some 570 words per day. Given that I've been writing around and over 2000 words per day the whole latter two thirds of the month, barring some exceptional cases where I was particularly busy, I am basically saying that I will almost definitely finish my NaNo tomorrow. Or, if tomorrow becomes a day where I am particularly busy, such as if I make a trip to my boyfriend's place to borrow book nine of The Dresden Files which, knowing us, would be extended until past eleven o'clock, I will finish it on Thursday. It seems inevitable that I will indeed successfully finish NaNoWriMo unless my hard drive decides to fry itself or I die tomorrow in a tragic accident. (Oh, dear, now I've jinxed myself, haven't I?) What was only a distant dream at the beginning of the month and seemed like an impossibility on the eighth of November where I was some 5000 words behind the recommended minimum has now very nearly become reality. There's a marvelous feeling of achievement to it. I've never before realized how strangely easy it is to write 2000 words - hell, 2000 above-average-in-quality-for-my-standards words at that - in only the three hours from nine o'clock to midnight. I haven't had any of those insane 5000-word days like last year, but I've managed to keep a steady progress throughout while calmly balancing schoolwork and real life with NaNo - what I completely failed to do in 2006, where I lost interest after a couple of days and only really picked up the pace again when my NaNo was pretty much beyond help. I feel proud already just of this one achievement. Things went slow at first but I picked it up before it became too late, and am now about to become a winner.

The time has been enough. The storyline has been enough material - half of the possible plot devices I had been picking up from the reader suggestions of a couple of posts ago I didn't even need at all, and most of the other half were things already in the sketchy details I had outlined in my head at the time I asked for the suggestions. I am very surprised at how many words came out of those vague ideas I had. I will emphasize that I very much appreciate all the suggestions that I got, and am sorry I didn't manage to find any place to include most of them; I am merely musing at how much I could make of what I had already, although I don't think I could have made it without the brain processes induced by the questions. I thank all of you who took the time to post a suggestion.

And here I am, about to crawl over the finish line a couple of days early with a story that, as it turned out, was not at all the short failure I had worried it would be, but too big even to be fit into 50,000 words - because I do foresee that those 1708 words remaining will not even be enough to fit in the end I am planning. It won't be any great deal longer, and I probably will try to finish the entirety of it before the end of November, but it will be longer. This especially feels funny to realize. It won't even be done when I've gotten to 50,000. I don't even know if I'll have enough motivation to finish it after that.

And through all this writing and all those nearly 50,000 words, I still have not thought of a good, non-clichéd, appropriate title for it. It has been suggested that I could use a quote from Macbeth, and I have found plenty of appropriate ones, but none that would work well as a title.

Ah well. I'll think of something. Off to bed I go. Thanks for all the support and help throughout the month. It's been fun.

11/24/2007: Small comment system update

I just added a feature to the comment pages that will link the story and chapter names given for each comment to that particular story/chapter. I had intended to do this, and in fact it was the reason I originally split the original chapter field into story and chapter, but for some reason I started coding it but never finished. At least I finished now, and it seems to be working fine, aside from that strange lag the comment system seems to have. I have no idea what's up with that.

I also corrected a mistake that failed to make the comment field appear on the one-shot Nightmare.

Aaaand now to write some more NaNo.

11/22/2007: Damn.

Writing when you don't know at all where exactly you're going with the chapter and then gradually come to the same realization as the character while you are writing it feels freaking amazing. Especially with the second guitar solo of Comfortably Numb playing in the background. <3

There are parts of Scyther's Story II that I've hated to write under all the pressure of trying to finish it on time, but the little experiences like this in between make it all more than worth it. And what's even better, I'm quite a bit ahead now. I'm at just over 38,000 words, and the minimum for an average of 1666.666 words per day is 36,667. Yay for having more than 1333 words to fall back on in an emergency.

11/15/2007: Pearl

Finally a non-spoilery chapter of Scyther's Story II that I can show to you guys. :D

This is now chapter V which starts part II of the story; it was written in today, however, as I decided to expand upon a mention of a story told by some of the older Scyther to make it into a full-fledged Scyther folk tale. Enjoy.

Yet again, remember that this is raw NaNo text which may contain mistakes, awkward wordings, etc.

(Read more...)

And if you haven't seen the previous entry, by all means do look at it. The request still stands.

11/13/2007: Scyther's Story II

Okay, I'm having a bit of a problem with my NaNo, 'Scyther's Story II'. I'm not that far behind on it anymore as I was a few days ago, but annoyingly enough, I've almost finished my planned plotline, and I'm still only at 17,000 words.

However, Scyther's Story II is better off than Scyther's Story here because Scyther's Story II does not have a definite end - I just hadn't planned anything after this particular spot I'm getting close to. I could just go on after that for however long I liked, though. Which is where you come in.

Put simply, this is to all of you who have read the original: What would you like to see more of in my vision of Scyther society? Do you wish you knew how the Scyther would react to situation X? Dying to see if they have an equivalent to human cultural item Y? Then tell me, and I might get ideas. I won't necessarily be able to work what you suggest into the plot, but hopefully I'll cook something up from some of the suggestions I get.

Note that this is not some sort of contest about coming up with storylines or characters for me. You are not supposed to be suggesting I write your original character into the story or make my Scyther society this way or that way. Do not come here to say that you think I should write about female Scyther killing the males after mating or them having a special holiday where they celebrate the birth of Scythewind the Chosen One, because they don't. You are welcome to create your own interpretation of Scyther society and write that into your own fanfiction, but it won't be in mine. I will be the one making up the details here; what I'm asking you to do is basically pretend that I'm some sort of real-life expert on Scyther culture, you've heard my previous lecture (Scyther's Story), and right now there is a Q&A session. Ask questions as if I already know the answer (maybe I do), and if the questions give me good ideas, they will be answered in the story. If I don't foresee a chance to insert what you ask into the story by any easy means, I will probably answer them anyway after I've posted the story.

So yeah. Ask away.

11/01/2007: NaNoWriMo

I've started writing my NaNo, the sequel to Scyther's Story. (The working-but-definitely-not-final title is "Scyther's Story II", so if you see me mentioning it, don't think that will actually be the title.) In fact, I just finished the first chapter, which I'll put here for those who are interested. I think it's quite a bit better written than the original Scyther's Story, at least. Note that it is raw NaNo text, however, so don't expect something that feels refined and proofread. It's not.

(Read more...)

It's 1299 words, and since it's still the first, I'm well on my way towards the minimum daily average of 1667 words. Whoo.

EDIT: …actually, if you want to watch my NaNoWriMo status live (or as live as you can get), just watch this bar, courtesy of Hexxeh. It shows my current word count as entered at the NaNoWriMo website.

10/14/2007: Creation myth!

So yay, I just wrote a one-shot that's basically the ultimate Pokémon creation story.

Except, well, it's spoileryspoil. It will be included either as an extra with the last chapter of the fic or just a one-shot posted after it, though (probably revised somewhat). And since not all of it is spoileryspoil, this is how it begins:

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