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 For those readers who are wondering what the hell happened to FAKE First Year Together: A New Day (May), here's an update.  My writing, which has never been particularly fast even at the best of times, recently slowed down to the pace of an aged snail with a bad cold and its butt in a sling.  This was due to the usual external factors, plus several internal ones.

I am about to ramble on at length about my internal/external slowdown factors, plus my writing process, so if you'd like to skip all that and just find out when the next chapter is coming, I'll tell you now.  I'll be publishing A New Day, Chapter 39 next weekend, either Friday or Saturday night, depending on how much rewriting has to be done once the chapter comes back from the betas.


The external distractions included a couple of lemons, a 40K bike ride (it was wonderful!  Imagine being high on endorphins for over two hours!) visitors, a brief but very debilitating illness, and house-painting.  But interruptions like these that come from outside me are par for the course in my life.  They will always be there and I accept that. 

It was the internal distractions that caught me by surprise.

I am not a person who has to be in a certain mood to write. My creativity is not a tap that turns on and off by itself. I don't wait for 'muses' or anything like that. I don't even have to be well-rested, alert, or in good health. (In fact, I've done some of my best writing when I was as sick as a dog, and therefore home from work) I have enough self-discipline, most of the time, to make myself sit down and write when I'd rather do something else.  For me, the main difficulty is time. I have a very full and busy life. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, my head is like a cineplex, playing movies all the time, and I constantly have to push them back and keep them at bay so I can do my job and play my various roles in life without slowing down and staring off into space. When I get a piece of uninterrupted time, even if it's just 15 minutes, I sit down and write something.

Of course, sometimes I may not be in the mood to write one thing in particular. For example, sometimes I'm not in a lemon-writing mood, I'm in an action or angst-writing mood. I have multiple projects going for that reason. One story's call might be stronger than another's on any given day. I rarely write my stories in chronological order because it's not necessary. I know where they're going, so I can write key scenes from any point in the timeline whenever I feel like writing a particular kind of scene.

So what happened recently was that I ran into an internal block. A New Day just wouldn't move forward. The problem was not that I didn't know what was going to happen. The problem was that I became concerned about my excessive wordiness and the excessive length of this story. I wanted to keep it within 40 chapters, and in order to do that, I was facing cutting out a lot of scenes that really wanted to be written. I reasoned that I could still impart the plot-central information from these scenes by referring to them, or reporting them instead of letting the information come out at the more roundabout pace that it wanted to. I became preoccupied with choosing which scenes to cut and which ones to abridge and ended up choking off the flow and working against myself.

It's true that this story is too long. This has really been a learning experience for me, and I can't even say I've learned the lesson. I don't actually know if I can make the next one shorter and tighter. If I were to go over A New Day and cut out, say, 200 pages, to make it a more normal length, I don't think I would know where to begin.

But it's possible that I'll be able to keep length in mind as I write the next one and make it tighter and more disciplined as I go. I'll have to wait and see.  A New Day was the first creative writing I have done in my non-student adult-life, apart from one doomed effort in my mid-twenties. (I wrote 4 pages before my interest died)  My experience with A New Day has been like writing a book, and I've never written a book before. Nor have I written any short stories in my life, except the ones I've written for the Fake fandom.

I think I've improved as a writer since I began posting Fake stories about two years ago. At one point I thought I should maybe read a book about how to write, so I went to the library and read one and basically learned that I was already instinctively doing most of the things that the book said I should. But I still have a lot more to learn, like how not to write books that would weigh sixteen pounds if they were actual books!

I'm sure there are people out there who have read and enjoyed my shorter stories, but find their spirits quail at the enormous time commitment that A New Day poses!

So as I said earlier, look for Chapter 39 here on my LJ next weekend. There won't be nearly as long a wait for Chapter 40. Now that I've given myself permission to take as many chapters as I need to finish this story, the flow is back to normal.

Thank you all for your patience. I personally hate waiting, so I really wish I didn't have to make you wait so long between chapters.

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Yea! Good to hear you're over that silliness. Long doesn't mean wordiness and certainly not in your case. I think that what makes more people hesitate is more the WIP than the length. So many really great fics get abandoned. I lurked in your journal for months until I was sure you would keep updating regularly. Once I was sure of that, I could be patient.

I certainly know about fics getting suddenly longer. I have decided that my DS9 fic wants to be three parts and now I have decide whether to post in pieces or all at once. I have part 1 ready for beta, part 2 nearly ready, but part 3 in only a vague outline. I've never posted a WIP and it frankly freaks me a bit. Don't worry about us being patient. It will be worth the wait.:)

Yes, I'm over it and writing up a storm! Chapter 40 is almost done! I can't believe myself. I may not be able to finish it tonight though, because my husband seems bent on finding little jobs for me to do. (Right now he's fixing the ironing board and keeps summoning me every five minutes)

You know, you're probably right about the WIP factor. I really hate having to trust an author not to leave me hanging. I still never fail to be amazed that people are willing to trust me!

I'm glad your DS9 fic has three parts now. I'm looking forward to reading more Garak and Julian! Will Julian ever get accustomed to Garak's awesome size? That's what I want to know!

Thanks for being patient. I believe I'll be back on my normal posting schedule for fall.

Amen to ending that word limit. A good story will always make itself be written properly. Keep up the good work. I, for one, really like long stories. My original reading of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' was from an edition over 1400 pages long. Didn't stop me from enjoying reading it many more times.


Love your icon! That's our gorgeous Ryo.

Actually, I like long stories too. I like to spend many hours immersing myself in someone's painstakingly created world. And when something is really good, I don't want to come up for air! But usually my family or my job forces me to.

Yeah, that word limit was really holding me back. And if I was going to impose a word limit on myself, I should have been thinking about that a little earlier than right near the end of the story. I've realized that I just have to let this story come out the way it wants to.

Thanks for your good, commonsense support!

It's so interesting to hear that you were worried about the length of A New Day.

I wanted to keep it within 40 chapters, and in order to do that, I was facing cutting out a lot of scenes that really wanted to be written.

I can understand setting guidelines at the beginning, so that you end up with a cohesive body of work. But to me, verbosity doesn't really come into play. I think you just enjoy telling this particular story, and I certainly enjoy reading it. But I think that writers are their own worst critics. To me, a lengthy novel means I will have the joy of reading it a second or third time, and coming away with a new experience afterwards.

I also think it's wonderful that you write instinctively. What an awesome gift! I dabble in storytelling, but I am nowhere near the point where I feel comfortable enough to put it out there for anyone to see. I'll get there eventually, but the confidence in my abilities is not where it needs to be. I was wondering just yesterday if writing well comes natually, or if it has to be learned. Or perhaps it's a combination of the two?

But anyway, this comment is beginning to ramble so I will conclude by saying that I have observed your growth as a writer, and that I enjoy reading anything that you are kind enough to share with us.

Do you believe in the old saying that you must write to become a better writer? I think as long as the story progresses to a satisfying conclusion, you don't have to be too worried about length. But on the other hand, you don't want A New Day to be your only work of art ;D

love & kisses,
Shelley

I had written a lot more than this - ironic, considering the topic - but LJ didn't like the length of my comment, so I boiled it down to this:

I think writing is like anything else. If one does anything often and diligently, particularly if one does if with a commitment to improving, one is bound to get better.

Writing comes naturally to some people, just like languages do, or mathematics, or dance. But anyone can learn those things if they apply themselves, even those who don't have what looks like a natural affinity for it.

If you keep writing, I believe 100% that you'll get there eventually. And when you do, puff up your courage and post! And when you post, ask for concrit and give serious consideration to whatever is said. It's an opportunity to learn and improve, which can only be a good thing. And of course, the best that can happen is that people will love it, and that in turn, will boost your confidence! So you see, you can't really lose.

las vegas

(Anonymous)
Hey Brit...some of the authors of AFF and media miner were thinking about getting together in Las Vegas next year...thought it would be fun to just hang and get to know faces to names...if you are intested email me, k?..cattibridourden@yahoo.com...

Hi! I tried to email you but it bounced back. I basically just wanted to know whether this is a Fake author thing or if it's for Yaoi authors in general. Also, which month would it be likely to happen?

"My writing, which has never been particularly fast even at the best of times, recently slowed down to the pace of an aged snail with a bad cold and its butt in a sling"

Hey Brit,

To pardon my french, but you fucking crack me up. Thanks for the laugh before I go to bed. You are priceless.

I decided to forgoe the ramblings for now. I'll take a peek later.

Will be looking forward to the update.

Later Brit

Thank you, Dax. The mental picture of the snail IS rather pathetic, isn't it? Although I'm not sure precisely which part of the snail could be considered its butt. The back half? Third? But you get the general idea.

Hope you had a good sleep!

You know, the internet and serialized works are a sort of new technology. So written works may just end up longer, and that may make them better too. Like a whole season's worth of your favorite show. Or the way stories were serialized in newspapers long ago. Where a book may not be popular at over 700 pages (unless it's Harry Potter), computerized writing is perfectly acceptable running really long.

All your entries are worth reading. And you have definitely gotten better as you've gone along. Can't wait to read your own original work someday!


Moontatoo

That's true: I am writing a serialized work, aren't I? Maybe I can stretch the rules a little.

In my mind, A New Day was always book-writing practice. My father seems to think that internet publishing is going to take over and soon no one will buy actual books anymore. I disagree because books are portable and you can spill coffee all over them without having just ruined an expensive electronic device. They don't require electricity or batteries.

But I've read some really good stuff online, and I like the excitement of sitting down to read a new installment, along with the prospect of being able to 'discuss' it after by leaving my two cents about it, as well as reading others' comments.

Unfortunately, there's always the ever-present worry that something won't be continued for whatever reason. What I like about actual books is that I know for sure the author finished it, and there it is, whole and complete, in my hands.

Anyway, thanks for your kind words about my writing! I hope to get better as I go along. And you will definitely read my original work someday...I'm hoping you'll be willing to beta it for me, chapter by chapter of course!

You'll never hear this girl complain that you 'write too much' or that your stories 'are too many chapters'! I prefer longer fics, to be honest, as they have time to fill out character and plot, and are generally better planned out than shorter fics that leaves huge gaps in the timeline. Typically, I find 1 - 3 long fics to hold my interest, as the updates are never at the same time (obviously), and then find a bunch of one-shots or shorter fics (say, 10 - 20 chapters)to keep me occupied between the updates for the longer stories.

So, please, take your time, write as much as you want/need to, and know that I'll be waiting for each and every chapter, no matter how long it takes. Happy writing!!!

Thank you! I hope you know how happy that makes me. And you've obviously got a good system going with your fic-reading. Thanks for being willing to trust me.

Incidentally, I'll be publishing Chapter 39 of A New Day within the next half hour.

Ooh! On my way to go read that now. Yay!

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