The Quest Blog
Commenting on: chapter 55
Chapter 68: Truths is up. Just one more left of this set.
Chapter 70's going pretty well, although I've also been making some last-minute edits to 68/69 because of course I am. I'm at the part where it stops being a battle now. Chapter 67: Friends is up, as promised. This is probably the most A-to-B-ish of these chapters - an awful lot of it just feels like setup for 68 - but hey, it's not long to wait. Chapter 66: Doubts is finally up.
Chapters 67, 68 and 69 have also been completed; they will be posted on the following three Thursdays. Thus, chapter 67 will be posted on February 25th, chapter 68 will be posted on March 3rd, and chapter 69 will be posted on March 10th.
I also updated Alan's character bio (contains spoilers for chapter 66), because did you know Alan has all of the issues.
As I've explained before, I'm editing chapters 66-69 at the same time for various reasons. I'm pretty much entirely done with 66 unless I make some last-minute decisions, have made the major additions I needed to make to chapters 67, 68 and 69, and am in the process of smoothing them out better and deciding what to do about a couple of scenes in chapter 67. Once I've finished all these chapters, I'll be posting all four chapters on a schedule.
My speed has been picking up quite a bit recently because I've been doing a thing where I work on the fic for at least half an hour daily. This has been helping me a lot - I've had problems with not writing anything for long stretches of time, or rereading but then wandering off to do something else before I manage to make any actual progress, and half an hour is just enough to get me past that threshold into doing some useful work (I'm allowed to write for more than half an hour, of course, if I have time and energy). Moreover, by doing it every day, I can keep up my general train of thought a lot better than when I leave it for weeks and then come back to it - I remember what I was thinking the day before and it's easy to come back to it. So, if you write, I highly recommend doing this. It's a lot of the helpful things about NaNo without the pressure to churn out words regardless of sense. (Not to knock NaNo, mind you; just getting the words down somehow is a great thing, too.)
So, it's been a while, but as usual, the story is far from dead, and in fact, I expect it to be picking up the pace from here on. Chapter 65: Three Dragons
Oh, look, it's a chapter.
You can read all about the sordid tale of why this chapter took so long on my Tumblr, which, uh, may be a better place to hear about QftL progress these days than the Quest Blog. I'm not going to try to convince you it's worth the wait - I don't think it is - but at least now I can write some other chapters! That won't take as long!
I'm still planning to finish chapters 66-69 in one batch and then post them on a schedule after they're all done, so don't expect 66 too soon, but still definitely sooner than these past two. There is no excuse for the past two. this magnificent one-shot about whether or not Chaletwo could totally kick Molzapart's ass. I hereby declare it required reading.
Chapter 65 is still dragging on; I've just been having a hard time getting myself to finish off the edits I need to make because they're annoying edits (modifying an entire legendary battle in accordance with a major change made near the beginning of it). I promise to continue to do my very best to poke myself into doing it. Morphic, you'll be delighted to hear the ever-amazing Negrek has written "Dave and Mia Discuss The Quest for the Legends" in celebration of my QftL half-life day (I'm calling it that now, okay). It is the best thing ever (not to be confused with this or this). :D
(If you don't read Morphic, be advised that it contains stronger language than TQftL usually does, and Negrek has faithfully reproduced that aspect.)
Because I am a nerd, I find this extremely exciting. :D Party for everyone!
If you have no idea what's going on in this fic anymore, you might want to wait a bit while I finish posting the chapter elsewhere and then update the plot recap page - I would have done that first, but you've all been waiting long enough already. I'll update this post when it's done.
Person who tried to contact me about having your account deleted a short while back, I'm sorry I lost your IM before I could respond. If you see this (and I apologize for you getting another e-mail notification about some Pokémon fanfic you don't care about), can you e-mail me from the address you're registered as (so I can be sure it's actually you)?
[Reposting because of technical issues.]
[EDIT: The Plot Recap page has been updated.] Tumblr, there is one sentence I'm still trying to get right in chapter 64, and I'm slowly inching closer to it. It seriously shouldn't be long now. If any of you are still reading, this would be a good time to refresh your memory on what's actually going on in the fic (but if you can't be bothered, I'll update the Plot Recap page when the chapter goes up either way).
Chapter 65 really should be relatively quick. I've mentioned before that I have some issues with chapters 66-70, though, and I'm hoping to get back on my originally intended "show several chapters to betas and make edits to all of them before posting anything" plan. So that could take some time. Not as long as chapter 64, though. Chapter 64 was 100% me being a ridiculous perfectionist about it because it's May. Normally I'd have posted it like a year ago.
And just to give you something after all this time, here's the first scene. It's not hugely remarkable, but it's something.
It's now been a year since I started my NaNoing efforts for this fic, and thus eleven months since I technically finished it. In that time, I've posted one single chapter.
This should not be what the rest of this fic's lifetime will be like, honestly. It's just that this chapter is really hard to get right, and I really want to get it right. Mostly, on both counts, that's because of May. Normally I have it easy: Mark is a very cooperative narrator, because he is generally straightforward, quite introspective and usually honest with himself. If something is bothering Mark, I can just write "It bothered Mark that…" and it will be both an accurate representation of how he mentally frames it to himself and easily communicates information about what's going on in Mark's head to the reader. May, on the other hand, has about a billion different things going on in her head and she hates half of them and doesn't want to acknowledge that they exist or if so only in the briefest and vaguest of terms, and on top of all that Chaletwo is in her head reading her mind right now and that makes her mentally clam up even more than usual. This all makes her way more interesting than Mark (at least in my opinion), which is why I extra-specially want to get this chapter just right, but on the other hand it also means writing a chapter that mostly revolves around what's going on in May's head, like this one, takes some figuring to work out how to smoothly show the stuff I want to communicate within the rather uncooperative framework of her narration. Really interesting figuring! But also kind of time-consuming figuring, and the result of the figuring often involves some delicate tuning and long story short, I'm still working on getting it right because of all that.
Unfortunately it's not all good news for what comes after the chapter either, even though this particular issue is specific to it. I never really liked chapters 66-70 and they keep bothering me: essentially it's a five-chapter arc that as it stands could almost be cut out without impacting the rest of the fic, which is always a bad sign. I say almost because actually just cutting them out would leave a bunch of setup leading nowhere and a bit of character development for Alan would be missing and a minor loose end one of them addresses would be left hanging, but the rest of what happens in them is, right now, just setting up the rest of them and then more or less restoring to the status quo, which makes them feel pretty pointless (to me, anyway). So I want to work out a way to integrate them better with the rest of the story, too, and that will also take some figuring.
But I will soldier on no matter what. Never think the fic is dead. I couldn't quit it if I tried.
Well, there is one discernible purpose to all this, which is that in theory, if I wanted to decide to style these different things differently, I could do that. So if I decided to stop italicizing thoughts, that would be a couple lines of CSS, without affecting other italics. And I ended up giving the "read" class (for signs, etc. that the main characters read) a serif font. But the rest is just plain italics exactly as it was before.
This has been me telling you nothing has changed. Except that serif font.
Chapter 64… is not getting worked on much at the moment. I've been randomly in a website mood recently, hence all the updating TCoD and now with the BOOYAH SEMANTIC MARKUP FOR MY FANFICTION thing, and when I'm not doing that I tend to be working on those Serebii contest reviews. I've been thinking about it quite a bit, though, in terms of what purpose it needs to serve for the story and how to go about achieving it, so all this time hasn't been entirely unproductive - I was dissatisfied with how the chapter progressed but I've mostly figured out what blanks I need to fill in.
(I like the chapter, though. It has lots and lots of May.)
I'm going to be changing so many things about what I wrote for NaNo. It spends time on silly things and doesn't do other things I'd like to do and I've changed my mind about various decisions I made.
I'm hoping to get quite a bit of writing done in July. I'm also going to be moving out, getting married and going on a honeymoon trip to Las Vegas in July, but on the other hand I'm going to be taking a leave from work for all or most of the month, which means finally free time. Hopefully. Chapter 63: Recovery is up. I know I meant to not post anything until I'd finished the whole thing, but it's been a while and I doubt I'm going to make any drastic edits to this chapter from here, so eh, why not.
I'm getting nicely into the editing gear now (after the distraction of opal encouraging me to write Community fic), so I expect to make more progress over the next days/weeks.
I'm also updating the plot recap page, since that's been out of date since chapter 62 went up.
Basically, I've done my first readthrough of the whole thing, making minimal edits - typos and glaringly awkward wording, more or less. It was not intended to be much of an edit, just a readthrough to get the big picture of what I wrote and where its biggest problems lie and generally how things hang together so I have a more concrete idea of what I'm going to edit. I'm now doing the proper edit of chapter 63.
My overly-elaborate editing plan is currently to edit one chapter at a time for handing over to my faithful beta-readers opal and elyvorg, and then I can have their feedback in mind as I edit the subsequent chapters; when I've gone through this for every chapter, I will then make any final modifications and finally begin posting the chapters. This basically simplifies to exactly what I do when I normally post chapters, except for having drafts of the chapters already and the initial audience consisting only of opal and elyvorg. I think that will help; working on chapters after feedback for previous chapters tends to give a better perspective on them.
So yeah. It's probably going to be a while, but I will get there.
I admit I cheated slightly: chapter 75 is not done, per se. This is because one of the big problems with writing that chapter was how to fit in all the information that needed to be fit in. Additionally, I needed to figure out where to fit in the additional detail that occurred to me earlier this month. So I wrote the second half of the chapter in one way, but then realized as I was nearing the end that what I was writing would be better off earlier in the chapter. Because then writing the ending leading off from something that wouldn't actually be near the end didn't quite make sense, I just started chapter 76. Almost all of the elements of the chapter were written (though I've kind of decided to replace a huge chunk of dialogue with flashbacks that would tell it better), if in a bit of a wonky order, so I don't think this counts as not having finished the fic. Feel free to disagree if you want.
Now to go to sleep because I was writing all night and now I have a massive headache and am a zombie.
Revelations are happening. I'm on the eighth page of chapter 75 now; I don't think it should be that many more pages, though the wildcardness is still there and it will depend on the outcome.
I've been thinking about changing my posting plan a little: I think it might be a good idea to first edit the entire thing, get opal (and possibly elyvorg, if she's up for it?) to beta-read it then so that they can have a wider sense of the context when commenting on each chapter, and then edit each chapter more thoroughly individually before posting, taking their critiques into account. This would mean a longer gap before chapter 63 goes up but a shorter one between chapters once I do start posting.