Posts tagged "Progress"

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Butterfree

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This is very out of the blue, but I was listening to some dramatic readings on YouTube and something possessed me to create this.

Dramatic reading of the Molzapart portion of "Molzapart and Rainteicune" by the author

I should warn you that I have the most horrible-sounding voice in the world, the worst accent ever, and really should have done more in the way of the 'dramatic' part. And I tripped up a couple of times, and I sometimes misread a little, and a couple of times I'm starting to burst out laughing and you can really hear it.

It might be good to have the text in front of you if you're going to listen to it, so for reference, you can find that in all its awful glory here.

I also recorded myself doing the first couple of paragraphs of the Rainteicune portion in two different attempts at funny voices and once the Alan detour in a normal voice, but unless you really want to hear that I will hide that away forever.


Chapter 54 is… not really coming along, I'm afraid. But uh, I'll try to poke myself to continue with it. Right now I'm in the process of going through some affiliation requests and the like, so. When I'm not taking lengthy breaks to record dramatic readings of my ridiculous fanfiction, that is.



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Butterfree

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Guess what! Chapter 54 isn't on page one anymore!

So yeah, the beginning was annoying to do, but now I'm past that and I'm on a roll. It's not going to be a very long chapter, so I've set myself a deadline of sorts - I'm going to try to get this chapter up on the fic's eighth birthday, the nineteenth (next Saturday). No guarantees here, but hey, I'm going to try.


On another note, I just ran into a… most interesting problem.

You see, I'm starting to kind of like Molzapart.

The idea of cutting Molzapart out of the fic has always been kind of sentimentally hard, what with nostalgia and everything, but hey, I'd steeled myself up into deciding I'm going to cut him out in the IALCOTN despite that. Fair enough. I mean, Molzapart was never that much of a character anyway, so who cares about cutting him out, right?

However, now I was writing this scene in chapter 54, and I realized Molzapart was going to participate in it, and now he's all there raging at Chaletwo and I think I'm starting to love him a little bit as a character. D: I mean, I was planning to have lots of fun with Mementity, but she wouldn't chew Chaletwo out like this and now I'm having this awful, "Aww, but it won't be the saaaame" feeling. Because Mementity is already defined as a character in my head and she's different and I can't just make her like Molzapart suddenly and argh.

Now I'm really hoping the fifth generation introduces a memory-based legendary that I could feel right about transferring Molzapart's personality onto. Because now he's actually getting scenes and being a character and I have the feeling by the time I'm done with the ILCOE I'm going to love him way too much to just erase him from existence. D:

Yeah. That was me rambling about my silly sentimental foolishness. Ignore me.



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Butterfree

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I've… technically finished and proofread the chapter now, but I'm really unhappy with it. :/ I'm going to take a nap and see if I can improve it after that.

EDIT: Whoo, it's coming out a lot better now. Will be putting it up soon.



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Butterfree

  • Posts: 1621
Chapter 54: Reunion

It's the shortest chapter in a while, at only six pages, but there is stuff happening in it.

Some ramblings, because I'm in a rambly mood; not exactly spoilery:

I love Chaletwo's self-deprecatingness. To be honest I never really took special note of it before, what with my characters being written on instinct more than with any conscious awareness of their individual traits, but then today I was on the bus reading over the chapter and I suddenly realized, oh, God, Chaletwo hates himself. Well, not quite hates himself, but he's so delightfully bitter about his own mistakes and failures and uselessness and how little he knows. It's so fun being able to constantly discover new things about the characters I made up. Which sounds completely paradoxical, but yeah.

This chapter contains the strongest language in this entire fic. Scyther's Story had a couple of F-words, but the worst the main fic has used until now is 'damn'. This has been in the planning for stupidly long; one of the reasons I included silly detailed ratings with the early HMMRCIG chapters when I posted them on forums for the longest time was so that I could suddenly warn for more profanity than usual in this chapter. It's not even all that remarkable when it's used, but hopefully the sudden precision F-strike adds a little impact.

I was also reading through the chapter plan and am starting to think I should really make a bit more out of a couple of plot points than currently planned. Hmm.



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Butterfree

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I've had this idea for a little while about implementing some sort of a tag system here. Now, since I was writing that one-shot with Spirit's backstory, which also touches on May's, and started worrying about whether it was all consistent with everything I've said in Ask the Characters and so on, I went and made it.

Currently, only I can tag posts. This is because the primary intended purpose of this feature is to facilitate a better organization of all the relevant information I've posted on the forum - I want users (and myself) to be able to search for posts tagged with a particular character, for instance, in order to see all questions they've answered in Ask the Characters, any tidbits I've posted about them in threads, etc. If people really want tagging ability, that could be arranged somehow, but right now I don't think the forum is big enough to really warrant it; there isn't much in the way of stuff I'd imagine people would really need to be able to find quickly except for those fic-relevant tidbits.

In any case, I'm still in the process of going through and tagging stuff, so be patient while that happens. If you have any suggestions for tags that already-tagged posts ought to have, tags that should be added in general or not-me posts that warrant tagging, please let me know.

That Spirit one-shot is pretty much finished, but as I said I want to finish the tagging in order to be sure I'm not contradicting myself anywhere; once that's done, though, it should be up pretty soon.

There has also been progress with chapter 55, so yay?



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Butterfree

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I've gone and categorized all the tags into Characters, Other fic-related and Off-topic. Hopefully this will make things somewhat easier to find, though it's giving me an unnerving sense of just how ridiculously many characters there are in this fic.

There has been some progress with the chapter, but right now I'm in a really productive websitey mood, so I think it will have to wait a bit more.



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Butterfree

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So. You may, or may not, have noticed at some point in the past several days that my signature has been saying I'm less than a page away from finishing the chapter.

Well, basically, I'm writing the final scene of the chapter. The scene is just being a little tricky to get right, mostly because it's bringing up a silly made-up bit of Pokémon world mathematics that I'm not sure whether to try to have the characters articulate in full or if I should just mention it fairly out of nowhere with little explanation and make an extra/worldbuilding article about what they're talking about.

There is also stuff earlier in the chapter I'm kind of iffy on, so it may need a lot of proof-tweaking. We'll see.



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Butterfree

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Huh. Sure wasn't expecting this to happen. But hey, as they say, characters have minds of their own.

(Still almost done. I'm past that point I was talking about last time; thanks for the opinions. Maybe I can finish it later today, when I'm not at work.)



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Butterfree

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Oh, my poor precious neglected fic.

So here's the deal. I'm writing the last chapter of Morphic (after which I can then rewrite the whole thing). And a series of Morphic-related… things. And working and doing university homework and trying to work on my site and so on and so on and long story short, I still haven't started chapter 56, or done much in the way of planning it or the like. Even that explanation of the Waterberg principle is sort of hanging in limbo right now.

So I suppose I owe you at least a little bit of an apology for making you wait. At least chapter fourteen of Morphic will hopefully be up sooner than later if you read that, and after that I may be in a more TQftLy mood. And I may still rewrite Scyther's Story/The Fall of a Leader in November.



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Butterfree

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I'm actually writing! Would you look at that?

So, um, yeah. It's not an overly remarkable chapter, but all progress is good, so.

I never knew the Ouen Safari's warden was Robin Riverstone's mom. Huh.



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Butterfree

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So. Status report.

I am doing NaNo, no matter how little it might look like it when I'm at less than a third of what I'm supposed to have done so far. As I've been saying, it's a rewrite of Scyther's Story, and hopefully at least a revision of The Fall of a Leader is to follow as well, what with Scyther's Story being only 30,000 words (in the original version, anyway).

I've finished Part I. It's less changed than I might perhaps have liked, as I didn't really have enough opportunity to plan this ahead properly, but improved regardless, and of course the writing isn't quite as cringeworthy. The main change is in emphasis, since originally the purpose of Part I was very nebulous and mostly consisted of "make Descith as cute as possible". Now, instead of devising some new story elements to introduce the fic in a less utterly fillerish manner or cutting ahead and sacrificing my precious word count, I decided to tell more or less the same story except with more focus on Razor's parents and introducing the way Scyther think, which should hopefully feel slightly less pointless than the original opening. This is helped by the fact that as of The Fall of a Leader, Razor's parents actually have some semblance of characterization and an actual history to explore. I don't know if this makes it way too cheesy and soap opera-ish, but whatever.

Preview. Because why not. It's not a greatly changed scene, but hey.

It was a while before his mother returned, holding a dead Pidgeotto in her mouth.

At first, she wasn’t alarmed by the green shape in the tree; she remembered seeing a Metapod in it and assumed, without giving it a closer look, that that was it. She wondered briefly where her Descith had gone off to, but didn’t dwell on it; after all, no one attacked a Scyther swarm, and odds were he had simply wandered off to explore as he so liked to.

It wasn’t until she had already started to dig through the Pidgeotto’s plumage to get to its tender flesh that she heard the soft moans coming from the tree.

“Sciiiith…”

She looked up, her eyes narrowing; her gaze scanned the area quickly as she tried to pinpoint where the sound was coming from.

“Sciiith…”

She turned sharply towards the tree and finally recognized her son there, hugging the tree trunk as if holding on for dear life. His eyes were wide and scared.

“You little troublemaker,” she muttered. Her wings carried her up to the top of the tree with ease, where she picked him up by sliding her scythes under his arms and carried him back onto the ground.

He was shaking, and she wondered how long he’d been up there – potentially hours. She nudged the Pidgeotto towards him carefully, and after a moment he stepped closer, sniffed it and began to eat. Soon ravenous hunger outweighed his shock, and he finished every edible scrap on the bird before sighing contentedly and wandering off to go to sleep somewhere in the shade. She noticed, with mild amusement, that he decidedly avoided the tree.

She looked at the tattered remains of her prey, still hungry after the lengthy hunt, and vaguely considered heading out again, but she was too tired. She sighed, looking after her son as he plopped down in the shadow of a rock and closed his eyes.



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Butterfree

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Still not doing very well at actually catching up with NaNo, but it is getting written, slowly but surely.

I'm thinking about renaming Scyther's Story to 'Razor'. After all, Scyther's Story is just a pretty terrible name, it makes no sense if you haven't read the main fic (I can just picture some puzzled reader going "Shouldn't it be A Scyther's Story?"), and I'm bad enough at titles that I can't really think of anything other than my beloved "name of character" cop-out. Besides, the story is just "Razor's life", so it seems reasonably appropriate as a title.

I've rewritten Part II now and started Part III. I'm… reasonably satisfied with what I've done with Part II, story-wise; the main aching problem with the old one was that they were just being all chipper and making friends for no reason like in some horrible happy high school adventure, so instead, I now went and tried to portray a little better just how desperate and weird it is for Stormblade to start trying to talk to some year-old Descith about clouds (and hint at just how many of his peers he's alienated with it by now).

Likewise, their first encounter with Shadowdart isn't quite as forced and out of nowhere. I'm scrapping the whole females-are-darker-in-color thing; Scyther already has a gender difference that makes perfect sense and that was just a silly added complication and I have no idea what I was smoking when I put it in. Besides that everybody teasing Shadowdart because he looks like a girl is just horribly grade-school-esque and headdesk-worthy and doesn't fit in with the Scyther's otherwise quite sexism-free society. Scyther now officially don't give a damn about gender except when it comes to who they want to do the deed with.

So, uh. Another preview-scene. It references a new bit, where Stormblade briefly exchanges words with Razor at Shadowdart's acceptance ritual. Razor also makes a big deal of "sky Pokémon"; that's because the explanation of the clouds now includes a bit about how the sky is something analogous to the ground, with its own Pokémon that live in the sky (as opposed to ground Pokémon that can fly; according to the logic of the mythology, gravity is the force that pulls you to the plane where you belong, and hypothetically, a cloud "flying" towards the ground would "fall" upwards). Thus the assumption that "sky Pokémon" are a special class of Pokémon that can operate by different rules than "ground Pokémon".

“Why do you think it really rains?” said a sudden voice, and he whirled around to see a two-year-old Descith approaching him from the other side of the tree. It took him a moment to recognize him as the same one who had talked to him at the acceptance ritual the previous night.

“What?” he asked, a little annoyed that this weirdo was talking to him uninvited again.

“I mean, I know they talk about the clouds’ blood and stuff…” The older Descith stared up into the air. “But that seems weird to me.”

The younger looked uncomprehendingly at him. “Why?”

“Because,” the other said, pausing a moment, “because Pokémon have faces, and the clouds and the sun and the moon and the stars don’t. And they move so slowly, and they’re so weirdly shaped. And if the moon were really a Pokémon, he would know the sun is going to rise in the east and ambush her there.”

The younger Descith considered it. “They’re sky Pokémon,” he finally said. “That’s just what sky Pokémon are like.”

“But…” The older sat down near him, thinking. “But how do we know what the sky Pokémon are like? We can’t fly that high.”

The younger shrugged. “It’s what all the Scyther say, so it has to be true.”

“But how do they know?”

He shifted in irritation. “Why are you thinking about this? It doesn’t matter. You’re two. You shouldn’t be wasting your time thinking about stuff that doesn’t matter.”

The other was silent for a while. He looked out over the swarm, at the duels going on and some lucky Scyther sharing a Ponyta with two Descith. “I saw a flock of Pidgey fly through a cloud once,” he said at last. “It didn’t react or attack them. It was like it wasn’t even solid.”

“It’s a sky Pokémon,” the younger Descith repeated, annoyed. “Why do you care?”

The older one sighed, like he had had this conversation dozens of times before, and looked back over the swarm. As the younger was hoping he would give up and go away, he suddenly turned back towards him and said, “Hey, want a duel?”



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Butterfree

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I'm actually cheating a little because I haven't finished this part yet; I'm only halfway done at the most. But eh; I have so much other stuff to do that I really don't know when any of this'll be finished, so I figured I might as well post an update in the same vein a the previous two to show something is going on.

So, part three. This part is home to one of the most noteworthy changes to Scyther society in the revision: Scyther no longer spend a full year as adolescents.

The thing is, Stalker was right when she told Shadowdart this was stupid. Why would any species of wild predators whose young spend three years unable to hunt and dependent on the older ones to feed them cheerfully add a fourth year on top of that? I mean, if it takes that long to teach them all that stuff (which is kind of silly in the first place), couldn't they at least just give the Code lessons while they're still Descith, with the bits they can't do then being taught in a hurry after they evolve? I was already facepalming at this by the time I wrote The Fall of a Leader, but because Scyther's Story had already established it and I didn't exactly have time to rewrite that then, I just handwaved it (um, the Leader needs to think up his lessons! And that takes ages for each one! Totally!) and hoped nobody noticed.

But now that I am rewriting it, I am addressing this. Descith still evolve in the spring, but now they have their First Prey in the early autumn. Why then, in particular? Well, because of another thing that was rather problematic with the old version, namely timing. We know Stormblade and Shadowdart meet Razor when Mark and company are walking through Ruxido, in early June, and at this point Shadowdart is not yet Leader. Furthermore, we know that Stormblade meets Nightmare at some point after the Ouen League that Mark participates in, since at that point she's just been released, and Shadowdart only dies after this. The League finals were on August 31st, but okay, Michael Willows was supposed to attempt to keep training for a bit; technically I can stretch that to sometime in the winter, though that seems unreasonably long.

Where it gets problematic is that Mark and company are supposed to cross paths with the swarm again in the fairly near future of TQftL, at which point Shadowdart is supposed to have been dead for at least some time. And right now, in the fic, it's early September, whereas Shadowdart, according to The Fall of a Leader as it stands, won't die until sometime in the middle of the winter. This is a problem because Mark and company are going to Ruxido very soon, to release Letaligon - wouldn't it be kind of silly to either stick around there for several months or leave and then randomly come back?

So what we want, now, is for parts five, six and seven of The Fall of a Leader to all take place sometime in the time period between early June (when Stormblade and Shadowdart meet Mark and company at the end of part four) and sometime in September (near-future second meeting). Part five already has Shadowdart defeating the Leader the day after the first meeting, at a quick skim (at most it's the day after that), so that's taken care of. Then the First Prey lessons start soon after that, and Stalker can't have had her First Prey when she dies, so the First Prey needs to be sometime late enough for it to make sense that the entirety of part six happened before that point. So early autumn it is.

This really doesn't change that much for the actual story, interestingly enough; it just means that Razor hasn't evolved by the time of Stormblade's First Prey and Shadowdart hasn't evolved by the time of Razor's, a couple of seasonal indicators change, and a few lines of dialogue in The Fall of a Leader get messed with.


Preview, as usual. Leader-POV! I really don't like how I originally wrote the Leader's lessons in Scyther's Story; there are just sentences all over the place that are ridiculous and it beats the reader over the head with "THE LEADER IS BAD, M'KAY?" and his personality kind of jumps all over the place and I never formed a coherent picture of how he viewed the Code like I did for Shadowdart in The Fall of a Leader. Most prominently, I never properly decided whether he actually had a coherent view of it to begin with or was just a bully using the Code as an excuse to oppress everyone (because HE'S BAD, M'KAY?).

So here's the first part of my attempt to fix that. The answer is: he does have a view of the Code, but it's quite different from Shadowdart's in the details and overlaps suspiciously with his need to keep everyone else down to retain his feeling of being in control. And, well, he's still pretty bad, but I hope the fact he's more coherently so makes him feel less mustache-twirlingly evil.

Out of all of the swarm’s many rituals and traditions, the Leader’s favorite – or at least the one he most enjoyed his own part in – was the traditional series of lectures that all young Scyther attended between their evolution in the spring and their First Prey in the early autumn. It was a delicate time for them: they were physically adults, with everything that came with it, and to boot it was the fertility season, but the swarm would not regard them as full adults with the right to mate and have proper duels until they had hunted and killed for the first time. And that would not happen until they had been formally instructed in the mores and traditions of Scyther society.

In practice, the lectures were his chance to verbally beat potential rebels into submission, to force them to stay within well-defined boundaries where they wouldn’t do anything unexpected. Unruly children could be transformed into obedient, rule-abiding swarm members during these few months of adolescence, and over the course of his long reign as Leader, he had gotten quite good at it.

“The Code,” he began his first lesson that year, with six wide-eyed adolescents looking up at him as he sat on the Leader’s rock, “is the ancient body of rules, morals and rituals passed down among the Scyther since the beginning of time. At the center of it lies the Moral Code, the five most fundamental laws of our society.

“Breaking the Code is a heinous offense; breaking the Moral Code is to forfeit your right to consider yourself a Scyther. The only way to redemption if you have broken it is to slit your own throat – what we call a suicide of guilt. It is the ultimate realization of the wrong you have done and the ultimate proof that you have overcome your fear of death – fear of death being the greatest sin the Moral Code describes. If, having broken the Moral Code, you fail to commit suicide of guilt,” – here he glared over the group for additional emphasis – “you are disgusting worms, unworthy of the Scyther name, and will be cast away from the swarm forever to die alone in shame.”

They looked at him in stunned silence, and he regarded their intimidated expressions with satisfaction. The more silent they were, the more scared, the better. The only way to conquer one fear was to replace it with other, greater fears, and the only way to effectively prohibit an act was to make them dread the consequences. Fear was the greatest teacher of all.

He only had a couple of months to make them fear him more than they feared death itself, and he would make them count.
Most importantly, there is a new emphasis on fear here that was only very vaguely present before. The Leader is someone who would very much think of fear as a tool, because he has never had anything to fear: he's unusually strong from birth, gets into a position of power at a young age and has retained it with relative ease ever since. He's familiar with a distant sort of fear - fear of the idea of losing his position, which he has employed various means to secure himself against - but not really as that crippling, immediate thing. He then views fear as a quick method of manipulation, an easy shortcut to keeping others in line - and, more importantly, genuinely believes it's simply the best way to teach them. So now, instead of appealing to reputation - something rather arbitrary that the Scyther are never subsequently shown to really care about - he just appeals to the adolescents' fear of isolation and rejection to make them obey the Code.

This also fits better with the effects his lessons turn out to have on Shadowdart, because of course piling on a fear of failure is just going to make a previously nervous, insecure individual like him have a breakdown when what he's attempting proves unexpectedly difficult. And the Leader would never properly get that because real, immediate fear and insecurity are so alien to him. Until Shadowdart starts challenging him, of course.



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Butterfree

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Chapter 56 is actually almost done; I'm just having a hard time getting it to end. It's a rather lousy six pages, and you deserve a whole lot more after all this time, but.

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.



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Butterfree

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So you know chapter 57? The thing I haven't been talking about or making any real headway with for a couple of months?

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?



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Butterfree

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On June 19th 2002, I sat down and started writing a silly little Pokémon story about a boy named Mark. Today, I'm putting the finishing touches on chapter 57 of that same story, on page 637 of the Word document (albeit one started in 2004 with the HMMRCIG version).

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.



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Butterfree

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Chapter 58 is coming along at a surprisingly decent speed. It's going to be quite short and I'm already on the third page. I've been looking forward to it for a while, which probably explains how it's so much faster than the past few chapters, but I'm still rather pleased with myself after thinking my ability to write faster than a snail had permanently left TQftL for silly Morphic extras.

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.



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Butterfree

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So chapter 59's been stuck on the first page for a while now, but now suddenly it's on page three. I've written a certain fun revelation (it's not that interesting, but it amuses me because it's this little thing that nobody's seen coming or had any real reason to see coming even though it was very vaguely hinted a long, long time ago) and hopefully the rest of what I'm planning to put in the chapter is enough material to not make this chapter too ludicrously short to be worth it after the wait.

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.



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Butterfree

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In the sense that I've written the last sentence and there's just editing left.

Man, it's been ages.

At least I genuinely expect chapter sixty to be quick.



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Butterfree

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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.



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