• Member Since 15th Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen October 8th

Bookish Delight

Something for your mind, your body, and soul

More Blog Posts488

  • 7 weeks
    Bookish's Plan For World Peace

    As someone who's been in fandom for 25+ years, and witnessed no less than 2,500 ship wars in real time:

    If we just declared all fictional characters bi/pan/takeyourpick up front (as opposed to waiting, y'know, half a decade), we could legit save enough human energy to perpetually power a small continent.

    Like Australia.

    Think about it.

    We could power Australia.

    25 comments · 288 views
  • 11 weeks
    Help Save A Good Pupper!

    Hey all!

    Read More

    8 comments · 357 views
  • 12 weeks
    Admit it. You missed her.

    After the Equestria Land parade fiasco damages her perfect social media image, Vignette Valencia is reminded that sometimes, you need to find your family.
    Bookish Delight · 8.1k words  ·  28  0 · 294 views

    Vignette Valencia's tale is back on the #UpdateTrain.

    2 comments · 99 views
  • 13 weeks
    Harassment PSA

    Read this right now.

    There's a bullying scumbag going around the site harassing users mostly female or anyone who seems remotely female-presenting, because of course I guess it's just fucking everyone oh well with comments spam, threats, and overall general whining. You've likely already come across them.

    Read More

    43 comments · 597 views
  • 13 weeks
    Short Break

    Fic updates, including Miss Valencia's character study, will be undergoing a short pause as I do the self-care thing for a few days. Be back soon.

    Wallflower Blush strikes up an unexpected close friendship with a quirky indie movie director. In fact, _best_ friendship status could well be a possibility—if she can just keep this pesky redemption arc under control.
    Bookish Delight · 36k words  ·  146  9 · 1.7k views

    Read More

    5 comments · 117 views

Writer Time: The Real Twist · 6:07am July 21st

Bookish vs Critical Voice

Looks like we're just about done with Shining Together! Just wrapped up the climax, and we've got two denouement chapters tomorrow and Monday and that's it.

And now, for the twist: This story was written entirely improvisationally.

Yup, daily, seat-of-pants. There were a few instances I'd do a chapter in advance because I knew I'd be busy the next day, but that's it.

A few of you might have guessed this; if so, congratulations, you have earned a single gummy bear, I guess.

How we got here: previously I mentioned that I did about 100K words over the last half-year, made up equally of brainstorm scribbles, skeleton script, and finished prose. However, during this process, I know now that I was trying to put together a whole bunch of magnum opus stories and got a whole lot of words out to try to make them--but then I kept trying to write and then rewrite and then polish and re-polish and make everything perfect and treating each story as an Event(tm) and one then day I woke up and hated writing.

Many tears were shed, didn't know what to do for weeks really.

So, took a step back, tried to figure it out. Eventually, inspired by entities such as GaryOak, Dean Wesley Smith, Brene Brown, and a certain pair of recently-introduced best friends who you'd better believe will eventually be getting back together for one <3 incredible night <3, I decided to just... type.

Type, and get words out and--this was the key--to stop myself from constantly trying to perfectionize and rewrite myself into oblivion, just publish the best I could do every 24 hours. Embrace the ideas, damn the chase for perfection, fuck it, we'll do it live. Decided to make it a 30-day experiment a la what Gary did. (Thanks, guy.)

I chose a minimum of 500 words a day because that's a no-pressure daily total for me, but allowed myself to go over if I got inspired. As you can see there were a lot of days when that happened, and some days when I just did not feel like writing or didn't know what to write and you then either got Filler(tm) or a surprise character introspection chapter, a few of which actually came in handy later.

And I resolved to ignore the stupid everpresent voice in the back of my head (cultivated by 20 years of professional critique and 10 years of being on this site) that exists to do nothing but tell me that my stuff is ass. I did still edit all chapters to the best of my ability. On a workday I can do 2-3 passes for a 500-word chunk before my creative voice just doesn't care anymore.

Every day posting has been terrifying. Some have been 20% less terrifying than others. Votes were turned off because if they hadn't been, I would have been a crumbling, shivering wreck before a week was up. To those who understood, thank you very much. To those who unironically bitched and wrote huge self-entitled speeches about how taking away your power to slap around social media-style thumbvotes will lead to anarchy: congratulations. You're literally what's wrong with this fandom.*

Here we are on the other side, though, and... I've never done 20K words in a month before. Holy shit.

At the end of this experiment, I'm in love. I like this approach so much that I think I want to stick to it. It provides me a outlet to the bottleneck of story concepts I've built up over the past couple years with no sign of stopping, provides catharsis, and teaches me to stop obsessing over a million nitty things and just write, while also letting me more readily see places where I can improve my technique. To help keep projects straight as I write, I've downloaded Trello and adopted a personal kanban system with all of the stories I have ready to start fully prosing in a nice list ready to be processed and get out there to y'all.

I'll deal with the, uh, killer butterflies, via routine, I'm sure. :pinkiesad2: Worth.

However, I am curious as to reader reactions. So, questions to those of you who followed this all the way to the end (thanks!) and even those who've just been waiting till this is done to binge:

- Did you like this new, shorter-but-speedier approach, and would you be okay with it being how I mainly release stories? Or do you like longer chapters which take more time between publishings?
- Would you be okay seeing this approach be used to finish off already-in-progress stories (like Blooming)?

This is a phrase you'll probably never hear me say again, but, yeah, let me know in the comments.

*Well, okay, one of the things. It's a long list, you'd be #18 or thereabouts.

Report Bookish Delight · 200 views · Story: Shining Together ·
Comments ( 17 )

Well, good thing you had fun.

Huh. I didn't know you were struggling with trying to make your stories perfect. I've been writing by the seat of my pants (for the most part) since I've started and thank god for the comments section, because some people have pointed out continuity errors that I've since corrected.

I will admit, at first the 500-ish words a chapter was a little odd at first, but I got used to it. =) You pulled it off. Honestly, I'm just glad you're writing and enjoying it again. I could take either/or.

What's Trello, and I'm guessing "kanban" is a Japanese thing.

This is a phrase you'll probably never hear me say again, but let me know in the comments. :P

Nothing's wrong with a little feedback. Then again, I could be misreading some subtleties there. It's nearly 1:30am, but I don't have work.


*Steals gummy bear*

Eee! I'm so happy for you! :pinkiehappy: This was exactly the type of response I was hoping for when I posted my productivity blog.

Huh! I did not pick up that this was seat-of-the-pants writing at all.

Yes, I did like the constant flow of small chapters! If that feels like a good way for you to write, then I encourage you to continue and use the same approach for unfinished stories, too.

I genuinely didn't know that Shining Together is written on the fly. And I enjoy it immensely. So, I think that's a good move, and you have fun writing it, so it's a win-win.
I think it's fun that you do something like this. Sometimes there would just be nothing to read on a particular day, and I'm a self-described avid reader, so seeing something to read is just fun. (Or mentally exhausting, depending on what story it is ☺)
I don't mind if you go and release Blooming in speed, but I think Blooming is a slow-burning romance story, and should stay as it is.
And future stories? I don't mind if it's released daily. Really, I don't.

Oh. That's why you turned off the ratings. Now it makes perfect sense... and seems kind of obvious in hindsight.

I'm very glad to hear this style works for you, but I'm not sure how well it will work out for preexisting stories. It could be a rather abrupt transition from the longer-form chapters to more bite-sized ones. That said, it should work out great for future releases.

I had a small inkling this was an on the fly thing, but wasn't sure. Honestly, that's kinda similar to a technique that one of my creative writing professors one had us use: take a pencil, sit down, stop thinking so much, and just let the words flow. The idea was to let the story tell itself, and only after the thing was down on paper (or computer screen), were you allowed to go back and clean it up / change it. It's the method that I tend to use most often, because I know the pain of chasing perfection too.

So, if this format is what helps you get your words out, then by all means, go for it.

Regarding the "no upvote/downvote thing", if that's how you want to publish your stuff, then I'm fine with that. I don't need a little thumbs up icon to express my enjoyment of a story (I can do that in the comments), so if its giving you fits, then leave it turned off.

I'm glad to see you back Bookish. Your stories were some of the ones that really got me to fall in love with this site, so its always a treat to see you posting. So, thank you for what you do.

Sciz #8 · July 21st · · ·

and one then day I woke up and hated writing.


At the end of this experiment, I'm in love. I like this approach so much that I think I want to stick to it.

I'm curious to see what a short story in the vein of the job series looks like when ~3000 words of a single scene is broken up into a small chapter structure, but I don't think your tone has changed an iota in the process, and as far as I'm concerned, the quotes above already say it all. :twilightsmile:

Can't help with swatting the butterflies, though.

Thank you very much. Things like this make me really happy to hear and keep me going.

Kanban is basically a process management methodology. Traditionally it's done by writing down tasks to be done on cards and tracking the progress of those tasks on a board, moving the cards across as work on them progresses. As work is completed, new tasks get pulled in.

It's used a lot in software development (where I'm familiar with it), tho it originated at Toyota for manufacturing.

Trello is a software version of the process, rather than using physical cards and board.

Cooliez! Thanks for the info!

I've fallen a bit behind on reading because Bronycon madness, (And Prime Day, whew lad) but it's good to hear your enjoying yourself again, nonetheless. Rest assured I will be enjoying the story soon. (And I am certain I will enjoy it :raritywink:)

Thanks to getting to it before I could :pinkiehappy: busy day and stuff.

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Thanks a ton for the feedback! I'm still working on how I can get this going for multiple and older stories, to say nothing of seeing how I can make this work for bigger chapters. More updates as they develop, and stuff.

:pinkiehappy: Happy to have helped! :pinkiehappy:

Improvisationally? Damn!?!

I'll say this much: there is indeed a certain intricacy to the way you usually construct and render your stories that I really love and which wasn't really present in "Shining Together"; that isn't even a criticism as such because its absence is something the story as a whole meaningfully turns to its advantage (which I'll talk about at length when I review it hopefully some time this week X3). Rather it's an observation of something that does separate stories made in one mode from a story made in another mode, and it's an aspect I have a very personal fondness of. But even so? I say keep this new method up!
a) It makes you love writing again! That's almost the only thing here that actually meaningfully matters; this is Free Work we do purely out of Love! If we can't enjoy making it what's even the point?
b) The results speak for themselves! "Shining Together" is a GREAT read with a lot to love in it!
and c) It may mean the end of One Kind Of Bookish Story but we also have something close to a DECADE of that One Kind Of Bookish Story to look back on; moving forward often means evolving, changing, trying new things! To my mind this just means the beginning of a new exciting era for Bookish Fanfics and I am ALL for THAT!

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