• Member Since 3rd Apr, 2013
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Gamma Deekay

More Blog Posts302

  • Friday
    Time keeps on slippin' (Chapter 98 of Long Haul is out!)

    Geeze, what day is it? Time just keeps on flying by and what feels like an ever increasing rate. Oh, right, it's already yet another Friday! So as always, I have yet another chapter of Long Haul up and ready for you all to read! A lot of good stuff going on in this chapter as I set up some things for rounding out and finishing off a few character arcs in the story. It's funny to write that,

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    0 comments · 25 views
  • 2 weeks
    And we're back! (Chapter 97 of Long Haul is out!)

    Howdy there everyone! It's finally February, and that means it's time for me to get posting again. I'm back from my month long writing sabbatical, and have posted up a new chapter to Long Haul for you all to read and enjoy. While the break did go much faster than I anticipated it would, it was nice to have some time to work through some stuff in my mind. So, now I just need to get back into

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    1 comments · 29 views
  • 8 weeks
    Break. (Chapter 96 of Long Haul is out!)

    Howdy there everyone, it's Friday again, so you know what that means. Yup, yet another chapter of Long Haul is up for you all to read and enjoy. And while I am happy to finally be starting the Vanhoover arc of the story in ernest with this chapter, unfortunately, I will be taking a break for January. I haven't been feeling myself recently, and up until yesterday, I thought I'd avoided most of

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    1 comments · 36 views
  • 10 weeks
    The limitations of 'Canon' (Chapter 95 of Long Haul is out!)

    Howdy there, everyone! It's Friday again, so you all know what that means! That's right, there's a new chapter of Long Haul up for you all to dive into, and I hope you all enjoy it. This week, Long Haul moves into a new area that I've waited years to get to; the Vanhoover region. Some of you may not know why that is important to me,

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    0 comments · 43 views
  • 12 weeks
    One Million. (Chapter 94 of Long Haul is out!)

    Howdy there, everyone! It's Friday again, so you know what that means. That's right, there's a new chapter of Long Haul going up for you all to dig into over this weekend. I hope you from the US all had a good Thanksgiving yesterday, I know I was pleasantly surprised to not have it ruined this year by political infighting among family members. That, I do generally like to keep nice and

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    2 comments · 49 views

The Marathon. (Chapter 93 of Long Haul is out!) · 8:50pm Nov 15th, 2019

Howdy there, everyone! It's Friday again, and that means there's a new chapter of Long Haul out for you all to enjoy! Now, before you go and read it, I wanted to talk about the state of the story a bit. It's nothing bad, mind you, but this has been spurred by a comment left on chapter 92 that got me thinking about it. So if you're only here for this week's chapter, go and have at it! Otherwise, if you like my sort of behind-the-scenes dives I do now and again, feel free to keep on reading.

Most of you who've been around since the start of it knew I planned to run a long story. Back when I'd started work on it, I knew Long Haul would be my most ambitious story. And while in some parts, I have let it get away from me a bit, the story has mostly progressed as I've planned. Now, to some it seems a bit insane to plan for something this long, but there are sort of tried and true methods for containing such a lengthy epic while keeping it entertaining. The method I've gone with for Long Haul is actually one that everyone here knows well from the later seasons of MLP, and that is an 'episodic season'.

Episode one opens with introducing the characters, the 'evil'/antagonist, and sets a tone for the overall season. From there, episodes help guide characters through their own steps of progression, all while building and mounting tension in the background. That is, right up until towards the final episodes, the full weight of the plot starts to draw in the characters towards the epic conclusion. Repeat season after season until the show ends. Now, this is a complete oversimplification of it, mind you, but in a nutshell, that's the pattern Long Haul has been set up with.

To give a sort of real world example I've tried my best to adapt into the story, is Star Trek, or more specifically, Star Trek Voyager. Voyager is about a Federation Starship that's thrown 70,000 light years from Earth, that even with advanced warp drive capabilities, means it would take 80 years to get home. Each and every episode past the first, has them in a new sector, going to new planets, and meeting with new races. There were a few exceptions, but that drive forward meant that they never stopped at the same planet twice, or spent an episode anywhere we could get used to.

Sound familiar?

I hear you when you say it feels like the pacing has become predictable. How Night and friends seem to stop at a place for a few chapters, solve an issue, and then move on. How for a bad guy, we don't really see all that much of Solomon and his lackeys. And I'm here to say, that's exactly how it's supposed to be. This story was never a sprint, rather, it's a marathon. One that's admittedly tougher and longer than I'd expected, but something I intend to finish all the same. It's tough to write a journey this long and keep it interesting for everyone when with each new step forward, the characters are somewhere entirely new. But I've been trying my best given what I've cut out for the sake of keeping the story moving forwards.

I'd hope that if you've made it this far, you're at least invested in the characters and their unique issues, because that's what's remained a constant throughout all of this. And I hear you that the story does tend to drag on at some points, but know that while I'm trying my hardest to keep that from happening, sometimes, for some folks, it'll feel that way. But as it has for nearly four years now, the story will continue as planned. I'm sort of past the notion of giving estimates for how much story is left, as I always seem to overrun way past those. However, I can say with a degree of certainty, that at my current rate of a chapter every two weeks, it won't be until early 2021 that this story will reach it's final destination.

At this point, just over one more year isn't an estimate I'm going to overrun, and for you, should be easy enough to help decide if you want to put the story down for now and wait until it's finished. There's nothing wrong with feeling a bit of story burnout, we've all been there at one point or another. But either way, even if it has been getting a bit slow and episodic for you all, I do hope at the very least that you've been entertained by the story so far.

Lastly, this might come across as somewhat aggressive, but believe me when I say I don't aim it at anyone with any sort of hostility. I write this story for me. Those of you who've been around since I started writing Merchants of Hope have heard this many times before, but, that's who I write for. I post my stories up for those who are interested in following along, but ultimately, if I'm not happy with what I'm writing, I don't write it. And from the get go, I wanted to get this long, episodic story out of my mind and onto paper, because I want to see it finished. I welcome all comments and critiques along the way, and I've taken my fair share of them into consideration, but that's why this blog post is a thing. I wanted to explain why I chose to make the story this way, and I hope that you all can understand where I'm coming from a bit more now.

Anyway, that's all for my rambling this week. Of course, I'll be back in two to post up yet another chapter of Long Haul! So for those of you who are looking forward to that, I'll see you right back here once more. Until then, do take care, enjoy the chapter, and I'll see you all next time.

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Comments ( 2 )

However, I can say with a degree of certainty, that at my current rate of a chapter every two weeks, it won't be until early 2021 that this story will reach it's final destination.

Why would you make this story run on for that long?


Because that's what I've had planned out for it, given where I want the story to end up and the events I have planned along the way. When you look at it, I average about 23 chapters a year, and at 3-4 chapters per location, and with 7-8 locations left to hit, that's why my estimate is what it is. I've still got locations to explore, character arcs to fill out, and a bit more setup for the final showdown.

To be fair, I realized I'd made a mistake about the time I hit chapter 34. What I should have done was turn this story into a series, split up between it's major arcs. But as I plowed forward, I figured that once the story itself was done, I could go through and shift things around to set it up as that. Even so, it's too late to really format it in any meaningful way on FimFic, as I can't repost stories that have already been posted, even if they're edited and reformatted. But again, right now my goal is simply to finish it.

I'm not sure if you've been with me since before I started the story, but I've mentioned that this is my final long-form story I'm writing. Which, again to be fair, is also why I feel justified in going all in on it. Everything else I post up won't be anywhere near as long, and won't ever even get close to being as long as Better Days. But while that might be more what you're comfortable reading, I still won't be posting anything else really until Long Haul is over.

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