About three years ago I wrote a story called "The Shadow and the Sea". (If you haven't read it, this parenthetical is the obligatory plug - it's got Hahli and Teridax and Takanuva and quite a lot of emotional pain, which is always a good combo in my book.) I'm still not sure exactly where it came from, but somehow it wound up being long enough that I couldn't in good conscience call it a "short story." And folks seemed to like it! I did too, though of course three years on you look back and wince at your writing, like you do.
Not too long after I finished posting it, I started talking about a sequel. I wrote bits and pieces of said sequel throughout 2013, and then slammed out about half during NaNoWriMo. Then I put the darn thing down again for a year, and wrote the other half during NaNoWriMo 2014. And during all this I kept pushing back the 'release date' bit by bit.
Now it's October 2015, and the draft's been sitting on my computer for nearly a year. I've done some edits, but... there's a ways to go. The thing about spending years writing it is that some of the older stuff is really, really in need of overhaul. (The worst offender is probably one passage where it's super-obvious I'd just finished reading Dangan Ronpa for the first time and a character awkwardly shoehorns in "hope" and "despair" to a conversation. Blech.) Combine that with the fact the bulk of the story was written during a pair of NaNos, and there's more thematic and structural issues that need tackling than you can shake a stick at.
But I know that it'd be good for me to finish this. Just writing the draft has gotten me to recognize a lot of my weaknesses as a writer - but while practice recognizing your faults is one thing, practice fixing them is another. And I won't lie - it can be hard to muster up the motivation to actually sit down and work through this. Like always, there's stuff that's more interesting, seems more fun to write. (Heck, my plan for NaNo next month is, ideally, to write something that has nothing to do with Bionicle whatsoever.)
So I guess I'm making this entry to ask a couple of questions: one more general, two more selfish.
Let's start with the general one: I'm sure I'm not the only person to get stuck in this situation, where a creative project drags on and on and on when it was supposed to be done and fresh ages ago, and now you're staring at it and all the work it still needs and fighting the temptation to just stick it in the drawer for the rest of time. How'd y'all handle it? Are you still in the middle of something like that right now? Commiserate with me.
And now for the selfish questions:
The really egotistical, I-know-I-shouldn't-feel-this-way-as-a-creator-but-I-do one is just: does anyone even care about this story any more? I wrote TSatS three years ago, and my Bionicle writing output has pretty steadily declined the past couple of years. Like I said, I want to finish this thing and post it - but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't help to know there are people out there who'd actually be interested in it.
The slightly-less-egotistical-but-still-kind-of-self-centered question: if there are people interested, would anyone be willing to help beta read this? I do have a few beta readers who I trust and I hope would be happy to help out, but it can't hurt to get another set of eyes on things.
So yeah - that's the story of this story, I guess. Usually I don't make entries like these, but honestly, I could use the motivation of a little conversation on this.