Jump to content

blogs_blog_1794

  • entries
    167
  • comments
    577
  • views
    79,278

The Shadow and the Seaquel, or: I've Got Some Questions

GSR

1,015 views

So.

 

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.

  • Upvote 2


7 Comments


Recommended Comments

I have a list of six novel concepts that are pretty close to the same boat. One particular concept has been revised so much that the draft I started with and the one I have now are almost completely different things. (In my defense, when I started that one I was 12.) 

 

To make it more BZP, I suffered through this with Late to the Party and to a degree with Amethyst. I gritted my teeth and forced myself to go through both, and I found it to be a rewarding experience. I did use a new writing method for Amethyst in the end, which helped, and I did take a break to do a lot of other projects in the middle, but that's how my motivation works - gotta have variety, or I'm a dead ice fisherwoman. (Some people to live to bring order to variety. I have no idea how they live. :P)

 

My motivation has sagged and returned...just finish the blasted thing. You'll feel so much better about yourself. Now, granted, I'm the blasted choleric bulldog who never gives up on nothing, but I've found that giving up on projects just leaves me tired and depressed - if I can even give up. Most of the time my mind doesn't even consider the possibility, so I'm having trouble relating. XP

 

As for remembering, I never read that particular work, but I did read your beautiful short stories in the past, and I think a lot of people will remember them as well. I'd also be happy to beta read your longer work - but it might take me some time, as I'm in the middle of a lot of other things at the moment, plus it's longer.  

 

You really are a better writer than you think you are IMO. That's my opinion, though - so take it with salt. :)

Share this comment


Link to comment

I'm kind of in the same situation with a story of my own (The Lone and Level Sands *coughshamelessplugcough*), which I began in 2011, and off-and-on wrote on until I got into a groove of consistently writing summer 2012, when I also started posting the story to BZP. Then that September I started college, and soon activity on the story died. During my breaks between quarters I'd mainly spend time with family and do other things like MOCing, and never really got back to it except for writing some more the summers of 2013 and 2014 (one such chapter I posted in 2014).

As of now I keep thinking about how I need to finish it, but I never can summon the motivation to do so when I have time. Ugh...

Anyway, you may or may not remember me gushing about The Shadow and the Sea. I loved that story, and would love to read the sequel, but unfortunately this quarter I've got some tough classes (shakes fist at Programming Languages course) and also am simultaneously doing grad school apps, so I don't think I'd be able to beta-read it like I did for Echoes. Still, I'll definitely love to read the sequel when (not if!) you finish it.

~B~

Share this comment


Link to comment

My motivation has sagged and returned...just finish the blasted thing. You'll feel so much better about yourself. Now, granted, I'm the blasted choleric bulldog who never gives up on nothing, but I've found that giving up on projects just leaves me tired and depressed - if I can even give up. Most of the time my mind doesn't even consider the possibility, so I'm having trouble relating. XP

 

As for remembering, I never read that particular work, but I did read your beautiful short stories in the past, and I think a lot of people will remember them as well. I'd also be happy to beta read your longer work - but it might take me some time, as I'm in the middle of a lot of other things at the moment, plus it's longer.  

 

You really are a better writer than you think you are IMO. That's my opinion, though - so take it with salt. :)

 

See, my trouble is my brain doesn't categorize it as "giving up" - it categorizes it as "oh, I'll get back to it soon" and then never do.  (Not that you know any projects I'm working on that might apply to.  :P)

 

Thank you for the encouragement, though I think I'm being realistic when I say this needs a lot of work.  I'm not saying it's very, very easy to go overboard with the whole "light/shadow" thing, I'm just saying you could probably confuse parts of this draft for a Kingdom Hearts fanfic if you changed the names.

 

 

As of now I keep thinking about how I need to finish it, but I never can summon the motivation to do so when I have time. Ugh...

 

Anyway, you may or may not remember me gushing about The Shadow and the Sea. I loved that story, and would love to read the sequel, but unfortunately this quarter I've got some tough classes (shakes fist at Programming Languages course) and also am simultaneously doing grad school apps, so I don't think I'd be able to beta-read it like I did for Echoes. Still, I'll definitely love to read the sequel when (not if!) you finish it.

 

~B~

 

Yeah, exactly - it's not that you forget about your projects, and it can even be "hey! I want to work on this!" but translating that into actual get-stuff-done motivation is more difficult. 

 

I think I do remember you really liked TSatS (and again, thank you!) I understand if you don't have time to beta, especially with college/CS stuff (been there, believe me), but I'm glad to hear you'd be interested in a sequel.

 

 

I made a comedy

 

:bucktooth:

 

we're all very proud

 

 

Send it to me Nate. Please.

 

Someday, Pat.  But do you really want to see it right now? If you ever wondered "can unhealthy, repetitive amounts of angst and borderline power-of-friendship crud wind up in the same chapter?" then the answer is "yes, just look at GSR's first drafts."

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thank you for the encouragement, though I think I'm being realistic when I say this needs a lot of work.

Arg, you're starting to sound like my dad. If you want to get things done, you gotta push that "realism" aside.

 

If I were "realistic" I would never have hosted an HF RPG and a G&T game in the middle of a school semester. But in two days the latter will be history and no longer hanging over my head, and it was worth it all. Likewise, I've wanted to host HF RPG since freaking 2011 - there was no putting that off either.

 

Realism sticks you with the status quo - story unrevised, project undone. Pushing the limits gets you out of there.

 

I'm not saying it's very, very easy to go overboard with the whole "light/shadow" thing, I'm just saying you could probably confuse parts of this draft for a Kingdom Hearts fanfic if you changed the names.

I've never played Kingdom Hearts, so I wouldn't know.

 

If you ever wondered "can unhealthy, repetitive amounts of angst and borderline power-of-friendship crud wind up in the same chapter?" then the answer is "yes, just look at GSR's first drafts."

And this is a bad thing? It stretches my memory to imagine a story where angst and power of friendship have gone in the same chapter. But maybe that's because it's one in the morning.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...