2012 Damage report · 3:27am
Well, gang, I'm here to talk about "the Dark Side" and all my lack of progress on it, but first, something must be address:
HA! 2012 IS OVER AND WE'RE STILL HERE! SUCK IT, MAYANS!
Happy New Year, everypony!
Now that that's out of the way, let's get back to business.
As long-time (and even some new-time readers) may have noticed, chapter 16's development cycle is starting to look like the one "Duke Nukem Forever" had. While I'm not giving up on the story, and I totally want to see it finished this year (in fact, consider that my New Year's Resolution), I feel that my performance in 2012 was nothing short of disastrous.
No, not just since June, all year. Heck, you could also say that my schedule slowed down in November of 2011, but I mostly blame THAT on the mega-project that was "Pinkie of the Colossus, part two". Still, to review, here's the update times of the entire story:
August (or possibly July) to Early October 2011: Chapters came out on a weekly basis. Weekly. Considering this is my first story ever (since School assignments in the 7th grade that I will never admit to writing no matter how much you torture me), I consider this quite an achievement. What I lacked in experience I made up for by always setting aside some time. And besides...I'm actually taking this story concept seriously, and I'm not making any excuses (I'm especially not using it as an opportunity to kill everyone's brain cells with bad grammar, zero punctuation, and an eight year old's idea of what romance looks like, such stories which have turned Fanfiction into a dirty word in public!) On weeks when I don't have a real update, I released a pre-made omake chapter. I get up to 14 chapters and 2 omake files in this way.
Early October 2011: Disaster strikes. My computer has problems. I'm able to back up my hard drive, but I can't connect to the internet. Fortunately, my brother and his wife have moved in by this point, and they have a laptop I can borrow. Can't transfer the chapter to the laptop, so that means no update, I do however, spend my time playing with around with a new idea...just a little something to pass the time....
Late October 2011: I release my new idea, the third "Omake file" and what was supposed to be a brief joke chapter turns into a full fledged "Shadow of the Colossus" crossover epic. "Pinkie of the Colossus", detailing a possible (?) future where Pinkie is taken over by Shadamena but reawakens and both of their personalities merge into one. "Dual Pie" plays the role of "Wander" from the game and makes for the Forbidden land to resurrect Rainbow Dash. There's just one sixteen "little" problems...
Also, I get my computer back and put up Chapter 15.
November 2011: Because I was still bursting with ideas on the subject, I devote this entire to trying to finish the Shadow the Colossus story. I don't quite succeed, but what I did write makes for a gigantic read. I make plans to finish the story just as soon as I finish Chapter 16. Shouldn't take too long...right?
December 2011: I take a break from even thinking about writing this month.
January 2012: I return, but find that Chapter 16 is harder to write for than I expected. My old plan for the chapter doesn't seem to work, and I can't get a feel for the scene. Its not like before. Not like August and September at all.
Feburary 2012: I manage to chug out a new chapter (changing a scene or two. Fun fact: Sunny originally took Pinkie to a resturant instead of a picnic. How'd that work out, you ask? It didn't! THAT'S WHY I HAD TO CHANGE IT, SMARTFLANK! But not before I wasted a couple thousand words on false starts like this...), but kind of like Pinkie of the Colossus, I decide to break it into parts rather than send in nothing. I still consider this chapter and all that follow part of Chapter 16 because they still were supposed to revolve around this one major shift in the plot that doesn't seem to have manifested yet...
(In fact, that is why I haven't put up the title of this chapter yet.)
April Fool's Day: I have (very slowly) over the course of March managed to write a good bit of Chapter 16-2, but now that I have a silly idea for an April Fool's joke (instead of an April Fool's chapter, the April Fool's joke is that it's A REAL CHAPTER! BRILLANT!) I make absolutely HEROIC progress writing almost the entire rest of the chapter in a single evening, but I can't get the story up before midnight without cutting a scene with Rainbow Dash.
April-Late May: That "one measly missing scene" turns out to take me two months to write, the longest time it took me to write one of these so far, and is almost a chapter in of itself. But I eventually assimilate it into 16-2, where its supposed to go. Did I remember to delete it, now that that's been down? I better go double check on that... both Fimfiction.net AND Fanfiction.net.
Summer 2012 to Today: PHAIL. PHAIL. PHAIL. PHAIL. PHAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLL! The record has been broken. I spend seven months doing for writing what Magikarp's "Splash attack" does for Pokemon battles. Seven months of complete inactivity! Seven! I know there are other stories like "Paradise" and "Rebel against the Night" that go long periods of time without updating. (And "Equestria: Total War", whose Author has vanished off the face of the planet without a word. ...well, some people THINK they found him over somewhere, but he apparently doesn't respond to their calls, and it could be different guy with the same handle.)
So, what happened?
The first step to doing better is to review what went wrong. I'd like to say life got in the way, but...well, really, it was a lot of things. Note, this isn't a complete list of everything that happened last year, or everything that's in my life...but it is a pretty good breakdown of where all my free time went.
TAKING TOO MUCH TIME WRITING POSTS ON THE INTERNET: This is includes this blog (case in point, I started on Jan. 2, I was going to start New Years day, but I got sick and had to turn in early). Sometimes, I tend to ramble on and don't always finish things in a quick, concise manner. Arguments get particularly nasty in this case (more on that in MASS EFFECT 3 AND OTHER ARGUMENTS), and when you factor in that some of those arguments have been emotionally draining and I have to quit. It can take days to finish.
MY HOME SITUATION: You remember that I mentioned back in October '11 that I borrowed a laptop from my brother? That's because he's moved in with me. And his wife. I'm not saying they've been a huge disruption, but on top of the rest of the stuff on this list, I do have to feel that going from being completely alone most of the time to having two more people in my home pretty much all the time might constituent a sudden change in the work environment. Still...I'm not about to complain now. I really don't want to blame them for anything, and wouldn't want to make them feel bad even if I did.
Besides, they're looking at houses right now and they plan to move back out by the end of the month or so. No sense making anything of this now.
DISTRACTION ONSLAUGHT: One thing I am technically going to blame my brother is Skyrim. Well, I suppose I should blame myself but... Okay. The story is, I don't have a lot of up-to-date game systems and my Dell computer is almost a decade old. There's not many modern games it can play. So, when I started to get a little bit interested in all the hub-bub about games like Skyrim, or the[url=sfdebris.com/videos/other/masseffect2.asp] Mass Effect series[/url], I kind of was hosed. But then my brother, who had been working at a pawn shop to make ends meet, decided to by an Xbox with Kinect at a discount price. I broke down and got the ginormous time sink that was the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. (Although, I had lost interest in the Mass Effect series when the controversy convinced me to check out the ending.) That wasn't good for anybody. Yet, I was still able to tear myself away from getting launched into orbit by giants long enough to get Chapter 16, part 2 up.
Summer 2012 (or as I like to call it, "Beginning of Failure"), had me watch a video that got me kind of interested in the early diablo series, which I had missed out on before.
And in quick order after that, I found a copy of the Diablo battle chest for a discount price. That was not a good day for Chapter 16, part 3's progress. And then, in October, I got a new computer.
NEW COMPUTER: This is more of a subset of "Distraction Onslaught", but add "trying to find a better power supply for the crappy one it came with" and "have to switch between both computers to do different things on them because while I have backed up all my word documents on the new computer, I can't find my Microsoft office disks." on top of the ability to play modern games.
MASS EFFECT 3 AND OTHER ARGUMENTS: Never try to argue in the comment line of Movie Bob's blog. This should've gone away in the spring, but people had another crying fit over the death of art when the extended cut came out, and then again in the fall, when I thought I was done with this shit, I got involved in another argument on Film Critic Hulk's blog, with the Hulkster himself. Unlike Bob, Hulk feigned interest for a while (if being tellingly fixated on the fact that I never played series as if this therefore somehow makes me unqualified to say that an ending where "the antagonist REVEALS HE IS THE ANTAGONIST and then tells the protagonist to do something for him because TRUST HIM, and the protagonist DOES IT" is simply a narrative failure, no matter WHAT the rest of the story tries to do to set up such bullshit) before disappearing. And after he was the one talking about extending an olive branch.
The whole ordeal was mentally exhausting and kept pulling me back in. I'm especially not interested in renewing it now. What's that? The "other arguments?" Just repeat after me: Never feed the trolls. Never feed the trolls. Never feed the trolls.
I GOT AN EDITOR!: ...Okay, I can hear the "lulwuts" from here. "Shouldn't this have sped up the process? Or something?" Well, no. First of all, I don't actually "have" one all to myself, its technically BeeAre (deviantart account), one of the guys working on the fanfiction Crisis: Equestria. I got into a discussion about the character "Red Velvet" in that fic with him, and since "Red Velvet" basically also is inspired by "Cupcakes", I got to talking about my story and mentioned in passing that I was stuck. He then expressed interest in the story.
I spent a long, long time writing a recap of the story and explaining what the exact issues are with the chapter I'm writing. I've taken care of everything, but there's some things on his end that have forbidden him from giving a speedy answer, but for now he seems interested in talking about the story on a level I really needed someone else to talk with about. Oh, and speaking of which...
CHAPTER 16 IS A NIGHTMARE: Exactly what it says on the tin. This chapter was supposed to be something else, but it didn't pan out. I've long since rebooted my plans for the chapter, and I have NO intention of rewriting parts 1 and 2, but the conclusion, the major event that was being built up to has become increasingly hard to get on paper. Still, the fact that this one segment of the story is so screwed up has contributed to why its shadow has been cast over the entire length of a year.
So, that's basically the story. Dark Side isn't dead, and I've totally got the rest of the story planned out. Its just that its been really crazy. I don't have much to promise right now other than I'm doing my best and hopefully when I finally get over this hill, I'll be back in the swing of things.
Here's to a better year, and to long life for the fandom community we all love! Seriously, you guys are awesome.
(Oh yes, Technically, I did have Bioweapon 155 edit part two of "Pinkie of the Colossus", but I haven't heard from him since last time I tried to get in touch...)