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brit_columbia
 I'm going to be posting the next chapter of FAKE First Year Together: A New Day  tomorrow night, so I'm just mentioning it now in case people want to cancel hot dates, restaurant dinners or party plans to stay home and read it.  No?  Didn't think so!  Oh well, there's always Sunday.  Or Monday. Or next week. Or whenever you have time.

</b></a>daxemon , thanks for having faith that I won't leave you hanging.  That's actually something I wanted to talk about tonight. 
 

It drives me crazy when an author just abandons her fic midway through, or only updates once every six to eight months or even longer.  I have been TRAUMATIZED by such things!  There was one fic I was reading about a year ago that I can only think of now with a sense of wistful sorrow because it was so compelling and really had me by the heart...until one day the author announced that she was getting bored with that fandom and wanted to focus on other fandoms for a while, so she was putting that story on hold indefinitely!   Talk about heartbreak!  I'm still sad about it.  If I had known she was going to do that,  I never would have read the first chapter.

I believe that even though  fanfiction authors are generously donating  their time and energy to create something for the enjoyment of others,  they should still behave responsibly toward their fans.  It's only fair.  The reader devotes his or her valuable time to reading fanfics, and sometimes gets emotionally invested in the story and the way the author portrays the characters.  The writer should at least try to keep that in mind. 

I'm wary about getting drawn into serially published fanfics now.  I ask you, how do I know I can trust the author not to leave me dangling?  And by now, you're probably asking yourself, 'What is the point of this whole rambling discourse anyway?' The point is that I'm glad that some people have enough confidence in me to keep reading my story, chapter after chapter.  Your trust is not misplaced.  I promise that I'll post regularly --every two to three weeks-- until the end of this story.  (I wish I could post more often than that, but I just can't!)  I will not suddenly lose interest in FAKE, or announce that I'm stuck and I have no idea which direction to take the story in.  I know where A New Day is going right down to the last detail, and even if I think everyone has lost interest and has stopped reading, I'll still see it through to the end.  The only thing that could stop me would be a serious technical or health problem like a major server crash, or getting knocked off my bicycle by a tour bus or something!   And hey, let's all think positive here... I bought myself a cool reflective cycling vest with blinky lights all over it today!  I look like a flippin' Christmas tree on a bicycle, dammit! 

So to all you nice people who read my fics when you could be doing other things with your time: thank you!  I won't let you down.

 

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Thank you so much! Yes, the readers are the main reason why I'm here, speaking for myself. Because I'm a reader as well as a writer, I want to take the readers' feelings into account. It's one of those 'Do unto others" things.

on behalf of the lurkers

There are a ton of people out in the void that come regularly to your page to read your next update... Thank you for understanding that although we may not post saying how wonderful your stories are, we will be crushed if you decided not to continue. That being said... this isn't the last story? is it? oh I hope not!!

Re: on behalf of the lurkers

Hello there, lurker spokesperson! Thanks for visiting me.

Oh no, A New Day is far from the last story. I have several other partially finished ones that I work on from time to time, but right now, finishing A New Day is my primary focus. I actually do understand that not everybody who likes my story is able or motivated to review. Sometimes I surprise myself by not being able to find the right words to put in a review for another author, and then I put if off until later and often never get back to it. However, I'll always finish whatever stories I start, reviews or no. I think of both my current and my future readers! Even if nobody liked something I was writing, a new reader might come along a few months from now and love it.

Interesting you should post this, just as I was writing the author's note to the next chapter of Young Dogs, once again apologising for the long wait between chapters.

Although I understand where you're coming from, I can't help but feel a little sad that slower posting is deemed 'irresponsible'.

Several years ago, I was posting a new, 4000+ word chapter, every week without fail. I even gave a friend my login details at ff.net so she could post a chapter for me when I was on vacation for two weeks. But ten years of writing fanfiction, five of which have been spent in the FAKE fandom, have meant that I don't have quite the same level of enthusiasm that I once did.

I still love the guys and don't plan on stopping yet but I'd be lying if I said I could post something new so frequently.

Reviews are wonderful and keep you motivated without a shadow of a doubt, but I still like to think I write for me, first and foremost. If other people like it, that's a bonus. And if I get only one review for a chapter I worked hard on then I'm not going to get down about it.

Sorry to sound like a grumpy old sod, but I'd be interested to see if you still feel the same in ten years' time. :)

~Swordy x

Don't be sad, dear Swordy. You are one of the original Fake fanfic writers and all of the people who love Fake owe you a debt of gratitude for getting the ball rolling and writing all those excellent stories that people will still be reading and enjoying ten and more years from now. YOU are one of the few Fake fanfic writers that I trust to consistently put out an excellent product. It never occurred to me even once that you might abandon me (us!) in the middle of a story. Has it been about 3 months since you last published a chapter of Young Dogs? Yeah, that's a long time (grumble, grumble), but it's not 6 or 8 months and nor have you upped and quit on us.

Just to clarify, I'm only going to be posting every two to three weeks when I'm writing a story that has more than one chapter. There's no way I could keep up that pace on a regular basis. I honestly can't imagine how you wrote 4000 words a week without your family forgetting what you looked like! After A New Day is finished, I'll take a little break and work on some shorter pieces I'm in the middle of.

In my case, although I love reviews (who doesn't?), I'm really writing for the fans. I'll write for all the silent ones whether I get reviews or not. In everything I do, 'service' is a motivator for me. Back when I was doing Karate, I often had to teach the class and I was never so motivated as a Karateka as when I thought that people needed to know the information I had to impart. I always improved my own skills more quickly when there were higher levels of white and yellow belts in the class who looked to me for guidance.

I'm sure many writers write for themselves, first and foremost, but if they take the step of putting their work out there in the public domain, they are entering into a kind of relationship with their readers, twisted though that may sound. Even the people who never contact us have their minds on us as they read our stories. There's a sort of connection. The writer has the power to break hearts. Of course it's his/her prerogative to say in the middle (grr) of a story, "Well, I'm bored now. I'm outta here until further notice," but it leaves me, as a reader, feeling like a dog or cat whose owner has gone on vacation. I have no way of knowing if they'll ever come back.

Please don't take any of this the wrong way. I've had a few long waits between posts myself. I think I didn't post for about six weeks after I was K.O.d by my trip to Japan followed by renovations and Christmas. And then in the spring, I had another long wait because I was so busy at work and all the overtime was chewing up my writing time. My complaint is about authors who don't take their fans' feelings into account AT ALL, and I would never classify you as one of those.

In ten years' time I may not be writing fanfiction anymore! I HOPE to be too busy publishing graphic novels and creating animation, and if so, I'll probably still set deadlines for myself. I can't imagine that I'll ever stop loving Dee and Ryo, though, so you never know.

And even ten years from now, I'll still be one of your fans! You're stuck with me, I'm afraid.

I feel exactly the same! I've been planning to join the void of fanfic authors for some time now, and just to make sure, I'm plowing through a little over half of the fic itself before I even think of posting the first chapter. It's frustrating while waiting for an amazing piece of writing to update, isn't it?

Yeah, it's frustrating, all right. I'm sometimes amazed that people haven't given up on me. I often wish I had waited until I was closer to the end before I started posting chapters to this story. However, on the plus side, it has forced me to be more self-disciplined and to try to adhere to a writing schedule. It's amazing how much time it can eat up, though.

You're active enough on LJ already, so we all know something horrible hasn't happened to you. Those sorts that drop all internet contact with their readers for months at a time, then mysteriously pop up moons later to post, or God forbid, say they've gotten 'bored' with their fic halfway through, are the ones I'm wary of.

I have total faith in you. :)

I can't believe me mentioning that my faith never waivered on whether or not you would update would cause such an uproar. AWESOME!!!! I feel so GREAT!!! It honestly never occured to me that you wouldn't updated....maybe I sensed it in your writting and how caringly you crafted your fanfic around Sanami Matoh's wonderful creations. I will be looking forward to the next update....I'm itching to see what happens next.

Later

Yeah, we really got a good discussion going for a while there, thanks to you!

Thank you Brit. Sometimes I get upset when a good story stops and there are no updates for months - sometimes there are no updates AT ALL. Then I feel guilty because I don't know what's going on in the life of the writer, and what right do I have to insist that they finish their own story? But that has happened (in fact right now) and the story was really, really wonderful. But there has been no update since forever, and now the writer's LJ account has been deleted on top of everything! So, even if my feedback sucks or is repetitious, I try to say something to let the author know that I appreciate their work and time, and that I will stay with them until their fic is finished.

You know, you really are a kind human being, and I hope your family and friends appreciate you!  You have a sweet way of putting yourself in the other person's shoes and trying to imagine a situation from their point of view.

  I think we do have a right to expect writers to finish their stories, just as they have a right to abandon their stories without a word. I'm sure some have good reasons for it, too. But as I said, I expect them to finish their stories, just like I expect people to be polite, sane, reasonable or fair. I prefer to go into all situations with my fellow human beings expecting the best of them. But like all things that are not enforceable, nobody HAS to think about anybody but themselves. Especially in this anonymous, online environment where no one ever has to face the disappointment in anyone's eyes.

All I can do is protect myself as best I may by avoiding authors who have demonstrated that they don't give a damn about me and my pesky feelings. I either stop reading them altogether, or I wait until they're finally finished. In some cases, they never finish, in other cases, they might still finish someday, but at the rate they're going I might well be dead of old age by the time they finally do! And sadly, because of them, I'm now wary of trusting anybody. This is why I'm so amazed that my readers still appear to trust me, and why I felt the need to make my little announcement that I will finish this story, and in fact any story I go so far as to publicly post, in as timely a manner as possible, no matter what.

For your sake, I hope the writer of that fic you were enjoying so much surfaces somewhere else and continues her story. And please never feel that your feedback isn't worthy! I just want you to know that I appreciate your faithfulness and I'm always thrilled to hear from you.

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