This one took significantly more tweaking to fix. Certain element ID's were removed, at least, and I just cleaned it up best I could. This is not how I wanted to spend my evening. If this keeps happening, I'm not sure what I'll do
Dark theme quick-fix update · 5:48am
Some may remember that I released a dark-themed fimfiction.net front page redesign earlier this year. I know I promised alternate colors and such, but with everything that happened around that time, I never got around to them, for which I apologize.
Users of the style, however, may have noticed that the new fimfiction theme breaks it, adding a non-transparent background image that overrides the dark blue background. I have made a quick fix for this and updated the style where it is published on userscripts.org.
(Edit: As I said, though, this is mainly a quick fix, removing the background image in question. The result is a plain, flat-blue background which may be a significant change, depending on your previous configuration.)
Interest in a more complete dark restyling to counter this update has been expressed, but I sadly have no plans for such a thing at this time. Knighty has specified that this update is to free him from the limits of variable background colors in future updates, so any style to counter the update would need to deal with each such situation as they arise, and I don't really see myself committing to such an undertaking.
As for further updates to my existing, front-page-only style, I do actually have a new such style in the works which would essentially be update-proof, but I'm not really up to making promises for that either right now. For the moment, my free time is being directed to having Sharing the Night Chapter 10 ready for christmas. Progress: 2100 words.
Season 4 Episode 3 Comment · 6:46pm
Well, since q97randomguy was awesome and proofread the chapter last night while all my other proofreaders did the sensible thing and enjoyed the holiday, I decided to just go ahead and post the chapter now rather than wait.
Go read Sharing the Night: Chapter 9 first, obviously. Spoilers ahead.
Oy, this chapter. The first section took several rewrites and lots of editing to finally get something that wouldn't put people to sleep. There's only so much narrative monologuing a person can take before their eyes start to glaze over.
I still worry about certain sections, but this is something of a 'break' chapter, so it's okay if it's not quite as dramatic as usual. Better to just get on with it.
Still, Twilight dies twice, so there's that. (Bad Luna, bad!) Did anyone actually expect not only the whole Winter Wrap-Up thing, but also the issue of Twilight's vest to crop back up?
Anyway, I'll be interested to see how people respond to how I handled the whole "Princess of Libraries" thing. I know people expected her to right up and squee or yesyesyes about it—and she does have some fun with it—but it and her acceptance of it represent a pretty big change. I mean, one of the 'tags' on EQD's entry for Sharing the Night is "not a princess," (and the others aren't faring too well either).
Rest assured, though, there will be more of Twilight and her librarocracy in the next chapter.
Also, if anyone is still wondering, my comment on the Season 4 premiere doing "the exact same thing" was regarding the whole mixed-night-and-day thing. In the end, though, they didn't actually go into it at all, so it's more of a cute little bit of synchrony rather than any big deal over being preempted.
So, I finally sent prereading invitations for Chapter 9 out to my prereaders. I did this at 8:30PM EST/5:30PM PST on Thanksgiving. I'm sure everyone will jump right to it
(In completely unrelated news, the "within the week" timeframe I mentioned may not come to pass)
Okay, now that I've actually had a chance to finish watching the premiere, I can say... none of the world building really conflicts with Sharing the Night at all. Is there a Tree of Harmony in Sharing the Night? Given the origin for the elements I have in mind, there could have been, and the Everfree Forest would have been a good place for it to be, but if so, Twilight or Luna probably vaporized it
Other than that... there might have been some implication that Celestia and Luna were not born into the reign of Discord—I'd have to go back and check. If so though, oh well.
Also, "Alicorn" magic is vague enough that I could give it a pass (Certainly, Alicorn magical essence is unique in Sharing the Night, even though I don't ascribe them any special category of spells).
All in all, other than the obvious divergence of timelines previously established (Sharing the Night takes place right before the S2 finale, basically, and nothing introduced therin exists in StN because I'd already passed the point where I would have introduced it if it did), I can pretty much approve of the S4 premiere.
Oh, and yes, I mentioned previously that Sharing the Night Chapter 9 should be up this week. The chapter is sitting at 10.5k words, give or take, but I haven't been sure enough of it to actually get it preread yet. In fact, I just today added a scene that turns a number of innocent statements I'd already written on their heads. If I can pull that off again, I'll be happy
Anyone expecting tentacle plants based on my previous blog entry will be disappointed, though. In fact, this chapter will be fairly mellow, all things considered. It's a bit of a break before we dive into the last section of the plot—speaking of which:
I will try my absolute best to have a chapter for you all on christmas again, and if things go at all like I have planned, it'll be a doozy. Mind, my plans don't often work out, especially when they involve writing (and getting writing done), but like I said—I'll try.
Irony · 3:15am
Finally got some time to sit down and watch the S4 premiere... I'm ten minutes in, and all I can say is... it's going to be mighty awkward when Sharing the Night chapter 9 comes out some time in the next week. I mean, what's worse? The show diverging from your fanon... or the show doing the exact same thing (Sort of. Not really, but close enough.)
So-called "writer's block"
You'd have to be pretty new to following me to not know that I can take a while to write at the best of times, and that there have been a number of periods that were not, strictly speaking, the best of times. It'd be a lot easier, though, to not realize that I've never (to my knowledge) used the phrase "writer's block."
Sure, I've said I've been "having difficulty" with this or that scene, and "not able to get in the mood" or "too distracted" happen often enough, but I feel that as soon as you call it "writer's block," you've given up. "Writer's block" is implied to be a condition you have, something that "just happens," and that encourages its use as an excuse.
Even if one doesn't use it as an excuse, though, it's still a rather defeatist way of looking at it. It's true that sometimes, what you need to do is take a break, go out and have experiences to fuel your creativity, but at the same time, disavowing responsibility and completely ignoring the issue isn't the way to go about doing that. You'll never have that brilliant epiphany that bars, bistros, bathrooms and beds are famous for if you're completely content with your lack of progress.
Besides, when you can't call it "writer's block," you have to examine it more to figure out what it really is, which can help you figure out what to do about it. Sometimes it's a break you need, but sometimes what you should really do is just power through it and write something—anything. Sometimes, you'll realize that the problem isn't in what to write next at all, but in an issue with what you've already written. Whatever the answer, you should pay attention to it and always, always try to understand yourself better.
Obligatory progress update
What does any of this mean for Sharing the Night? Nothing, really. Though for the obligatory update: Chapter 9 is 5,000* words and I have a fair plan for how 10 and 11 are going to go—which, I should note, are not the end quite yet. I know that even mentioning that Sharing the Night has an ending planned might shock some, especially for what has turned into such a "long term" project, but hey, the big revelations and payoffs have to come sometime, and Sharing the Night has never been the kind of story that could easily last through a myriad of adventures like, say, Rites of Ascension or Myths and Birthrights. The point was, though, that we're not quite there yet, so... yeah.
*: Obligatory reminder that the second half of chapters tend to go much faster than the first.
Thoughts on loose ends
Now that I mention it, though, I wonder how many loose ends there are that people are expecting resolution on. Well, not loose ends, exactly, but orphaned themes and lines of thought that didn't seem to lead anywhere. I know I'm probably overthinking it, but for instance, Twilight's lack of fear of the everfree forest mostly served for contrast when she actually was afraid, but that's more overshadowing the issue than really resolving it.
Similarly, in the same chapter, Twilight has some thoughts on trust vs. knowledge, realizing that she wants something different than Celestia. I've continued inserting little bits of her drifting away from Celestia, but I'm not sure if these things are creating enough tension in readers' minds to require a solid resolution or not. (Edit: That is, specifically, the trust vs. knowledge thing deserving more resolution, NOT Celestia as a whole. Obviously she's not going to just fade away.) More than that, I wonder even more about other seeds like them that I might not realize exist.
The comments I get are great in helping me find out which parts of the story people are paying attention to and require more attention, but I know I can't rely only on the vocal minority, let alone let them actually direct the way I take things.
Not-so-great news · 10:05am
So, some of you may remember--before there was losing my job and before there was eight months of silence... I once disappeared for like... a couple of weeks due to computer problems and people thought I'd died or something.
If you can't guess where this is going, you probably didn't notice I actually used two regular dashes in the first sentence instead of my trademark em-dash.
So yeah, this is a thing. Again. I have the worst luck.
Ironically, it could be either good or bad for my writing since I have a tablet and bluetooth keyboard now, which I didn't back then. They aren't the best tools for writing, but they also contain fewer distractions... except for fimfiction, of course.
Seriously though. What the hell, technology? What did I ever do to you?
Edit: Turned out to only be a dead power supply, so things are back up and running now with minimal difficulty. Much better than last time, when I had to build a whole new computer from the board up.
Chapter 8 is out! If you haven't read it yet, go do so!
Traditionally, I've put my author's notes in a comment, but they get lost now that people have the option of sorting comments newest first, so I figured a blog post would do. Some would tell me to use the author's notes box, but I'm not really fond of them being quite THAT prominent.
I know Chapter 8 has been a long time in coming, and I'm sorry for keeping everyone waiting, but losing your job has that effect (karma from having Twilight get fired? Hmm, must look into this.)
I actually don't have a whole lot to say about this chapter. It took a couple of false starts, but I think it turned out pretty well! I even made good on my promise of dragon sex feelings-talking, I think.