It’s been a while since I made a formal blog post about general schedule/what I’m working on, so since I’m procrastinating on word 1.5k of a certain new story, I figured now would be an ideal time to do that. This was also going to be a celebratory landmark post, but then-
Oh screw it. Even if it was only for a few hours before somepony with terrible timing (glare) decided to unstar, LP was at 1900 favorites.
Really, thank you all for that. Holy crap. I don't say it enough, but y’all are awesome. It’s not just about the numbers either: Those of you who comment regularly are better than I deserve. I've read quite a few unnecessarily harsh comments left on other stories, several that in, my eyes, didn't really deserve it. Yet there’s been practically none of that here. You all aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m coloring out of character lines, and there's often healthy servings of constructive criticism, but at the same time I’m never knocked down and beaten over the head with it. I do occasionally write things that are COMPLETELY off the wall, but instead of a dramatic clusterbuck, generally the response is “Hey... that was completely off the wall.” at which point I can carefully replace whatever it was I knocked off. The open-line of non-hostile communication continues to be really valuable to me; having that general sense of leeway gives me the confidence to try new things, which is how the whole Trixie thing came about in the first place.
More on Trixie after a general update on LP.
Lez Ponies isn’t going to be pushed aside for work on the new story. Ideally, both will alternatively update, more steadily after I get into the swing of the semester. After a somewhat awkward lull of Rainbow wrestling, bard derailing, intimate suturing, and a scarlet cat named Herring things around Ponyville are finally going to start heating up again. And yes, I really did just type that sentence. Most pressingly on the LP horizon is the fact that, as you might have already guessed: there’s only one way to get rid of a mingle-mark. It’s not really a spoiler as that’s the first sentence in the next chapter. The bigger question is “who” at this point, if you catch my drift.
To address a few concerns regarding the most recent chapter of LP: Luna’s nice, really. She just comes off as a little scary when she’s cranky and covered in papercuts. Her not-meanness will be further highlighted next chapter. As far as overall progress goes, we’re still a ways away from Kate’s big encounter with the mare behind the curtain, not to mention whatever comes after that (heheh).
On all things Trixie Related, the first chapter of Trixie to Bellatrix – a Bard's Beginning, will hopefully be submitted to my super amazing reliable pre-readers at some point tonight, at which point they will smack me in the face and tell me to come up with a better title. Hopefully. It’s taken longer than I originally expected because I hadn’t considered how damn complicated planning the stages of an adventure story would be, especially as I’m the idiot who decided to commit the flashforward to six years after the events of the Trixie episode before doing said plotting.
(I kind of get all expositiony and rant-like after this point about Bard's Beginning, so unless you’re interested in the finer details feel free to skip to the TL;DR)
The problems started on brainstorming night; I had my first Monster ever (and I never drink caffeine), so things got more than a little jittery. My brain was working faster than my fingers were shaking... which was a lot. I basically plotted the events of the six years out, as well as some time after, making sure they all linked together properly, both from an escalating standpoint as well as a symbolic standpoint. Eventually, the outline got so obtuse and unfocused I actually had to split it into three smaller “books” (large arcs).
No more caffeine for me.
It took a nap and fresh eyes to realize that my subconscious had screwed me. The outline was essentially a less complicated, ponified rip-off of Tolkien - Lord of the Rings: Steamy Mare Makeout Edition. Cue giant facepalm. Second attempt to outline was met with similar results, thought I caught it slightly earlier on: an awkward blending of Game of Thrones and Full Metal Alchemist. Go figure. The third attempt FINALLY managed to produce acceptably ‘fresh’ results. It’d be really nice if the brain’s “Hey, this would be really cool-” idea prompt came with a “-but just to let you know, I’m completely ripping off this thing you won’t remember until you’ve already implemented the idea in something important” disclaimer.
Likewise, the process of writing has been similarly slow, and at several points managed to be more problematic. A few near-complete prologues had to be tossed because the chosen perspective/starting location simply didn't work. Also, estimating the appropriate modicum of humor to use from scene to scene in this sort of story has been fairly rewrite-inducing: Trixie balling on the outskirts of Ponyville, because she’s realized that her entire blank is a blank and her blank is blank and all she can do is blankity blank? Now let’s make a hobo joke! Yeah. That got cut, as did balling Trixie. Imply rather than state. In general, I seem to be using a lot more subtlety than I'm used to.
Er…as you can probably tell, I’ve been awake for a little too long, as I'm being overly negative. It is definitely coming together, I did hit a comfortable stride and decent balance of tone/humor/story eventually last night and it got a lot easier from there on out.
TL;DR: I’m sorry Bellatrix's story is taking longer to release than I originally promised. While I don’t always say when something is going to be out, I do try to meet self-set deadlines when I bother making them. I’ve been shifting between typing whirlwind and a backspace tizzy trying to get this story established before I go back for the semester, though a lot of that is just not wanting to admit that summer break is over. I just need to stop getting distracted by the long reaching stuff, it's borderline obsessive compulsive: Of course! Why wouldn't I finish outlining every detail of Arc three - before writing a Chapter 1.
The moral of this story?
1. I may have a slight OCD problem.
2. You readers are all awesome. Except for that one person with unbelievably terrible button timing.
3. And from this point forward - no more writing and caffeine for me. Seriously: Bad things happen when I'm being physically kept awake by a substance, my imagination drifts to really odd places and encourages descending into depths I usually wouldn't sink to...
...like the possibility I might have written a two thousand word clop scene out of boredom. Which would have been bad enough-
...had it not also taken place in Fluttershy's basement...
...I really am going to hell now...