Why Asking When Something’s Going to be Updated Isn’t Helpful

Just what it says on the tin.

Or, on the blog as it so happens…

One of the things I find… if not irritating, then at least disappointing, is when people comment on my ongoing stories and they don’t actually have anything to say.

And no, I’m not talking about the people who leave one worded things, like “Nice!” or any other bit of smallish feedback, because that’s actual feedback.

It’s when any of this happens that I get frustrated.

“Update!”

“Plz update!”

“When are you going to update?”

and even the occasional

“Have you forgotten about this story?”

No. No I haven’t.

I just haven’t had the chance, the inspiration, or the right mindset to write for this fandom, to write in this ‘verse, to write this particular fic.

And no, I don’t know when I”m going to update.

Some authors can do the scheduled update thing–and kudos to them.

But unless I have most of a chapter written out, the most I can give you is a rough estimation–and if I know that, I’ll mention it at the end of the last chapter I posted.

So why I appreciate the thought behind it, the implied “I like your story so much I’d like you to continue!”, there isn’t much I can say to that.

(and I do like talking, responding, to reviewers, so if I have ever not responded, either I’m late in replying, or I have nothing to say to your not-really-a-comment-on-my-story review.)

Again, I like the thought behind it, but it’s not really necessary to, oh, I dunno, remind me to continue the story.

If you want to say something about the story, you’re welcome to it… just please keep in mind that in most cases adding an “UPDATE!” at the end isn’t cute.

If you really feel the need, maybe try less of a demand and more of a “I hope you get a chance to update this soon,” or “Hope you get inspired!” or something positive and supportive. It may take a little bit longer to type out, but hey, you’re already taking time out to comment, so…. why not?

I dunno, I hope this doesn’t seem rant-ish, but it does get disappointing, for multiple reasons, when I see that I’ve gotten a new review, or a new comment, or any sort of feedback, and it’s one line demanding more… especially when I’ve just updated the story.

Honestly, if it’s really too much to write…

I’m going to put it out there that I’d even prefer a smiley face, or any sort of emoticon over an update demand.

Because even if you give me a

:\

or a

ūüėź

or even a

:#

it’ll give me more feedback than “UPDATE!”, and won’t bring to mind a faceless being shouting at me, demanding for more.

I don’t get paid for this (oh, but what a world it would be if I were), and you aren’t my boss. Please stop shouting at me to get work done.

 

 

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My First (Writing Experience)

I think that one of the main reasons people don’t write is because they think they have to be good at it right away.

That it should come along the same way we first learned to write, in that it comes along with reading.

You read a lot–ergo, you must be able to write well, hmm??? You’ve read so much you should be able to pump out a good novel pretty easily, right?

Noooooo, that’s not quite how it works.

I¬†should¬†probably change that ‘noooo’, make it something less negative, but I’m not quite sure at the moment how I¬†should¬†be getting across that sort of tone.

Anyway, not to toot my own horn-or, as the case might be, review my own book–but I’m a pretty good writer.

I don’t always have the best grammar, and the from vs form thing that slips past spell check, along with the randomly floating o’s and s’s and f’s drive me crazy… but I’m a good writer.

Mostly Fanfiction right now, but I find it’s easier to iron out plot holes and specifics in fanfiction, easier to get regular feedback, and since in fanfiction you usually have a good idea of what a character is like it means you can really focus on the plot.

It also makes you focus on the actual characters and how to build a situation around preconceived notions, and how to change them.

And, to go back to what I was saying before about the correlation between reading and writing–reading a lot doesn’t mean that you’ll be great at writing, or that writing will come to you easily.

But it’ll help. Boy, it’ll help.

I read a lot of fanfiction, and I read a lot of ‘real’ books, the published kind.

I think fanfiction writers have it a bit easier, because when you read fanfiction you already have a bit of an emotional investment in certain characters (To quote my friend Lisa, who’s been agonizing about the amount of tragedy that’s made it into my And I Wake Up story, “Ianto my babbbyyyyyyy!”), the kind that ‘real’ published books have to work towards.

Gah, and if it tells you how much of a good writer I am, I’m usually a bit better at being cohesive and keep the flow in my writing, but in case you didn’t notice the title, what I’m *trying* to tell you about is my first writing experience.

The non-school kind.

Short stories you’re assigned to write don’t count. Not really to me, but then I never actually got into my short stories, so…

Yeah.

Emma (Middle sibling of te household) has been writing since forever (I think she got into it when she was in the womb…might be why I like reading, she probably left wall scrawls as an embryo–no, weird gross thought, weird gross thought, ick, stoppit, blah, no mom thoughts like that >< ), and if you have siblings you know that some things just end up being their thing.

Like you each have your own seat in the car, your own certain seat, same with your spot at the table, and really, jut about everything gets turned into a ‘but that’s MY ____’ situation at some point.

So writing was her thing.

Anime was also her thing… at first.

She was the one to introduce me to my first fandom. InuYasha.

_-_-_-Brief intermission-_-_-_

Fandom: [Fan-dumb] A show/book/series/pretty much anything that you ‘get into’ and follow¬†regularly. Like Gleeks. Or the people into CSI: (whatever). Or Whovians. Trekkies. Whatever. Lots of stuff.

InuYasha: [Ee-nu-yah-sh-ah] anime about a school girl Kagome who gets pulled back to the feudal era by a demon, where she sees and meets other demons, freaks out when the half-demon InuYasha tries to kill her for looking like the Priestess Kikyo–a pretty bitchy character who pinned him to a tree with an arrow for various reasons. There’s also a jewel. Check out the link, but that’s enough of a hook, yeah? Yeah.

_-_-_-Intermission over-_-_-_

So she got me into InuYasha, and I got really into it. Like, I had my own tape so I could record the episodes every Friday… I can’t remember when it was on, but One Piece was on right after it. I also looked up art for it, fan art and everything, and then I was introduced to fanfiction. Went a bit (a lot) crazy over it.

Yeah. I was born to dive head first into fandom.

But, like every person first getting into a fandom, and then discovering fanfction, I thought I could include my own character. I¬†would¬†write fanfiction. That’s different from writing regular stories, yeah? Yeah.

So I developed my character in my head, first, occupying my thoughts to this development during long car rides, when I was bored in class, any time I was listening to music… pretty much all the damn time.

Her name was Alex. (Lexy, I know, but I needed a unisex name because Alex could also turn herself into a himself at will, and yeah this says something about how well this character works out…)

Alex had black hair with silver tips–not dyed, you understand, but whenever you cut her hair the tips would slowly bleach to silver–usually pressed down with a baseball cap.

To those who know me you now know when this character came to be. For those who don’t, I wore a baseball cap all the freaking time for a certain age, indoors or outdoors didn’t matter. Linkylink for more on that.

She also wore a hoody and jeans, usually, and she kicked ass. She came in and fixed every damn thing that I found wrong in the series. Just about every character had a crush on her, and any time a character canonically did something that annoyed me, she would show them the error of their ways–Kikyo was a thing of the past, never mind the evil Naraku (who was also crushing on Alex, btw), and ¬†EERYBODY LOVED HER! She was awesome, and had twin brothers who she loved very much (who I think were named Dylan and Scott…) and were the only ones to be able to rein her in.

She could do no wrong, she occasionally had animal ears and a tail, and, oh yeah, she could bring people back to life when she cried about her tragic past.

Okay, so I created a Mary Sue. The annoyingly perfect character that has no place outside of a children’s show.

To be fair (to me), I think this all happened around ’06 or so… and to put that into perspective, I posted my first actual consistent writing venture in ’09.

So one day I sat down and started to write the ultimate intro of Alex to the show, the rock solid base to my obviously huge venture…

It would be epic, Alex would be flippant about her awesomeness, shit would go down and she’d be able to deal with it looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth… Oh yeah, I was prepared to write the epic story for this girl.

I think I got maybe half a page of writing out before I got bored and frustrated, saved the file to a floppy disk, and went to play outside.

I think it may still be on a floppy disk, somewhere. Lost. Forgotten. Ish.

Aaaand once again, that was probably around ’06, maybe ’07… 2-3 years before I actually tried again.

I think I’m rather lucky. I managed to get my first bad writing out of the way. I also managed to figure out what a waste of time a Mary Sue is, though it wasn’t for a long time that ¬†I found out what it *was*…. this, however, didn’t make me stop imagining her universe jumping to other shows, and singing and dancing and FIXING her way through their fandoms, either.

I just think more people should write, take a chance, and invest themselves into making up a whole new character, a whole new world *cue music* and all that jazz.

Even if your first attempt isn’t something you’re happy with, or, hell, if your first attempt is something that you are happy with, you¬†shouldn’t¬†be afraid to just sit down and write.

My challenge to you is to joining Camp NaNoWriMo, set a goal for yourself (the default is 50,000 words, but some people are doing 10,000 and less), and reach it before the end of the month.
Also, Regular NaNoWriMo, that’s in November. That’s awesome, too.

 

Eviction Notice

So, Lexy was the one who chose the phrase for this writing challenge via From My Write Side, and since I keep meaning to try out writing for one of these things…

I have to include the following phrase into my story ūüôā

master-class-chalkboard-6Enjoy!

~_~_~_~

Continue reading

Things I’ve Noticed About Good Fanfiction Stories Turning Into Bad!fics

Just a couple of things I’ve noticed that… well, if they don’t change the story entirely, it is a good indicator that either the story will be going to a dark place, or else will be put in hiatus soon.
Or else will show that the good start was an illusion.

CLUB SCENES
Club scenes are good if you have an actual purpose for them. If you have an informant, or are looking for someone, or else are looking for a quick scene to be the start of what-did-I-do-last-night problems.
But if you decide it’s time for your character and all his/her friends to make it to a club just because… It makes me assume you don’t have any idea where you’re going from there. You have decided to forgo cohesive plot lines and have blanked out the idea of pacing in your story, and decide to describe dancing and singing and really, there’s a reason why there are dance/singing movies by the dozen, but hardly a book to be seen.
If going to the club doesn’t have any purpose, don’t use it. Chekhov’s gun is applicable here–don’t mention something unless it’s important. Don’t mention the gun above the¬†mantle place¬†unless it’s going to be used, and don’t gush over dance moves unless dancing will be important later.

REVIEWS PLS LOL JK BUT SRSLY
This is two in on, the ridiculous abbreviations and begging for reviews. I don’t really take people who use srsly and lol and rofl and whatever else in excess. You’re trying to write a story here, use your words. No–no, use ALL of each word. If you have a character that speaks in these shortenings, well,¬†that’s¬†you using them responsibly. But in AN’s and the like it makes you sound–dare I say it?–Derpy.
And the begging for reviews… Well, those occasionally get paired with what I call the hostage situation.
“If I don’t get X amount of reviews I’m not posting the next chapter lol”
Right. Well then. So sorry to have wasted my time, as you obviously have no interest in writing or posting this story if you have to be cajoled into writing. You apparently also don’t care about the quality of reviews, if you’re inviting dozens of ‘update soon’ reviews.
If you’re writing a story, and are serious about it, people will review when they have something to say. You want reviews? Write something that creates a reaction. but do it with a plan.
Don’t just kill off a character just because, do it because it’s time. Don’t just randomly decide for something to happen, because then it’s weirdly random, and not enjoyable.
So yeah, use your words and stop begging and holding chapters hostage. It’s annoying, and *I’m* certainly not going to be the one to drag you kicking and screaming into writing your own damn story.

CAMEOS
If you aren’t writing a crossover, don’t do it.
If they have no reason to be there, don’t do it.
If you just really like so-and-so and want to write a story with them in it, don’t choose any random story to include them in. It’s weird and if someone¬†doesn’t¬†know them, it’s weird and confusing.
If you want character from X show to interact with character with Y show, then write a crossover. COMMIT.
A lot of stories that suddenly have cameos end up with Mary Sues, too, and that’s just not good.
Or else the author has given up on writing anything of value, and has just let their fantasies go wild.
More on Mary Sue’s later, but an example of cameos gone wrong is an InuYasha fanfiction, very clearly Kagome/InuYasha, and the author brought in the lead singer of Simple Plan, and had him in love with Kagome, not to mention the number of famous actors and record companies after her for her amazing voice and stellar dance moves earlier displayed at the club. WHY did they bring it up in a story about general high school problems? No clue. It did nothing for it.

MARY SUE’S and STU’S and OC’s TAKING OVER
If you want to write yourself into a story, do so, but don’t disguise yourself as a character already part of the story. If you’re planning on writing a story about an entirely self-made character who¬†waltzes¬†into a series you like, go ahead. But it gets REALLY irritating when part way through a story I’ve invested myself in, you introduce one fo these characters and instead of having the story I’ve invested in I now have a story about your OC. Your Other Character has hijacked your story, and you don’t even seem to mind.
Now, occasionally these OC’s don’t end up Mary Sue’s and Stu’s, but it is a rare¬†occurrence. This is because we put a lot of effort into creating our own characters, and it’s hard to have our babies ride in the back seta, or even the passenger seat when we have the ability to put them in the driver’s seat. But go out and write them their own story, or else don’t let them hijack your other projects.
And Mary Sue’s/Stu’s… If your character, self-made or adopted form a series, has no problems, no weaknesses, and fixes every problem that heads their way, then you are making a Mary Sue. Wild Hair, amazing voice, fabulous dancer, AND they prevented that one character from dying like they did in canon? Wowza, what a Mary Sue.
And what? Oh, pardon me, they *do* have problems don’t they… What a tragic past they’ve overcome, what hardships they’ve dealt with, and they’ve gotten over their emotional trauma just in time for them to save the day… convenient, yes?
If you think I’m just making fun, check out¬†this comic¬†that shows all the problems with such a character, and enjoy, and maybe you’ll be able to recognize a Mary Sue in the future. Ensign Sue Must Die is a fantastic comic, as is its sequel Revenge of the Sue (can be found through the link above, seriously looking for ‘revenge of¬†the¬†sue’ will get you angry p0rn)

And, just to be honest, I was very close to writing my own Sue and posting it. But then I recognized that what I was writing was a plot-less fix-it-all and stopped.
As for OC’s taking over…
If you’ve read my story¬†It’s Green, you’ll know I have a number of OC’s in it. Most of which were¬†entirely¬†unintentional. Max was supposed to be a one time deal, Mr. Baryn a fluff character, all of them not even riding in the back seat–they aren’t even in the car. But I wrote them intending for them to be side characters, and not even¬†significant¬†ones, and they developed on their own into something a bit more.
Not enough to take over the story, and in fact I’ve had a number of comments on how non-confrontational my OC’s are in regards to plot development. They are obviously different characters, they don’t have the cut and paste feel of reusing a characters trait and style, and they have plots and ideas of their own… but they aren’t¬†the¬†main character. They occasionally HELP the main character, but that’s it. They’re doing their job as side characters. And that’s it.
I also have a more Main Character OC in my Torchwood story (CoE Fix-it¬†HERE, sequel now up), again a character who I was intending on being a one-off character, but he’s a villain. And he doesn’t have a real name yet, either. Right now he’s just Boss Man.
I also have a couple of OC’s in there that I rather like, and intentionally developed the¬†characters (for a change)¬†of for plotty reasons (before, they were just names and not even part-playing characters), but I made them for plot reasons, and they still aren’t going to take over the story. I just happen to have one big plot, with a couple smaller plots within and beside it, and this OC plot has its own uses.

So really, use your OC’s responsibly, and if you¬†want¬†them to be centre stage… well, why not START a story with that in mind, hmm? Aren’t they worth their own story?
And beware of can-do-no-wrong fix-it-all characters, because you may be writing a Sue.

And, for a last thing that, while it doesn’t show that a story is heading to a dark place or will be put on Hiatus, is irritating…

SRRY, BAD AT SUMMARIES
Really? Well, if you’re bad at summaries perhaps you aren’t that great at writing stories.
This is not to say you can’t be good at writing stories and be bad at writing¬†the¬†hook, the summary.. just, when looking for a story I’m already looking for something that attracts my interest. This is an unsure thing, because the story I pick might not be all¬†that¬†great, or might disinterest me, and really I enjoy finding the well written, well thought out stories. When you tell me, point blank, that you aren’t good at summaries, it seems like you’re telling me “I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN MY WRITING IT MAY BE BAD LOL READ IT ANYWAY!” If it turns out that you would’ve written a better summary, eventually you can change it. But when you say the summary is bad, you’re telling me you think the summary is bad, and that you went with it anyway. It’s not attractive, it doesn’t give me the sense that your story might be good, and the worst of it is that before you said anything about it, I might not have thought that the summary was all that bad. If it was bad and still gained my interest, then good for you. But what if I thought it was good and you still said this? Well, the I’m not interested in what you label as good or bad, because you obviously can’t handle having your work out there for viewing, for critique, because you’re pretty much trying to beat me to the punch.
Lol I know it was bad, I said as much didn’t I? Yeah, now noting you can say will hurt meeee because–ooh, ouch! Wh would you say that? You’re just repeating me! YOU CAN’T INJUR ME! *cue hurt look and sniffles*
The laughing at your own problems thing isn’t fool-proof, and again, is generally unattractive.
The same can be said for the “First Fic!” mentions in the summary, because it’s pretty obvious you’re trying to make SURE you have an excuse out there in case people don’t read AN’s. Because if you just write it in an AN then someone could miss it and judge your writing thinking that you’re a seasoned writer.
It’s unattractive, and ridiculous, and mentioning it in the summary makes me think that, as your first fic, you’re not experienced enough to know about things like quality.

Anyway, yes I know it’s a bit rant-y, but I’ve noticed quite a few fics have these horribly annoying ‘first fics’, ‘bad summary’ and lol’s in them, and a couple fo the stories I’ve been following for a couple of years now have either petered out into Hiatus, or else have forced me to stop following because they’ve decided to turn this story about the mafia into a Dancing, singing, reality show, or else a story about a girl dealing with the problems of teen pregnancy finding that she can be an actor while giving the best care to her toddler, as well as satisfying her harem of uuber rich suitors. All of whom are interested in a relationship with her even knowing about her kid.
Reeeeally annoyed at this shit.
If anyone else has anything that points to a story changing track, or turn-offs for summaries, let me know.

 

My Solution to not Knitting

So, recently I was shown this video through an author who was, at the time, writing about a wood-carver and how he made drop spindles.

He (the character) grew up in an area where it wasn’t strange to know how to use a drop spindle, and the author provided a link to show what a drop spindle looks like, as well as showing how to use one.

And I think it would be cool.

I have coloured wool from an abandoned arts project I was planning on doing, but couldn’t figure out what I would make a picture of (trust me, it sounds stupid but I don’t want to explain it, if you’re really that curious ask in comments and I’ll explain), and all I would need is a drop spindle.

These things can come cheap, and if it’s the kind of hobby that I want to continue doing but with a better drop spindle, then I can get a better, fancier, more expensive one if I want.

I’ve tried knitting, and don’t have the patience (or apparently the ability to keep the mental how-to in my head long enough to be able) to knit for more than one day.

I admire my friends and family who CAN knit, but it is not for me.

But…

But what if I could make wool?

Then… Then things would be different.

“Cool scarf sis, I believe that’s mine.”

“What? No, I made it, my scarf, I can make you one later.”

“Noooooo…. I got the wool, I made it into yarn, MY SCARF! BWAHAHA! And you thought I was being NICE letting you use my hours and hours of long work!”

So I decided to tell my Mom about this decision of mine, and I explained to her that I wasn’t much into knitting…

We talked about it a bit, and then, in my bid to make sure this sounds like a fantastic idea… I made a booboo. A tiny one.

“Besides, I really can’t take up knitting. If this house has any more yarn in it it’ll explode!”

Oh, the look Mom gave me…

Anyway, I’ll post pictures of what will undoubtedly be knotted and lumpy yarn, and live in hope that these pictures will soon be of regular, non-lumpy/knotted yarn.

Cheers!

(Lexy, If I make enough of it for you to use, I would like any possible future scarf to be mine, but in the time it would take you to make one, I would likely have enough practice and time to make you more, and in your colour of choice. Keep that in mind. :D)

Musical Mondays – Peter Hollens A Capella

I really want to play Skyrim.

Like, really really, it’s so cool!

I had this desire renewed from it’s lull after watching another Lindsey Stirling video, but the video was also by Peter Hollens (who is By the by, AMAZING and does a capella), and his stuff was introduced to me as well.

So here is the Skyrim video that I have been listening to so much of lately.

This is just full of amazing, and I hope you check out Peter Hollens and Lindsey Stirling, and HERE is a link to one of Peter Hollens Music videos. (Somebody that I used to know)

Hope you all enjoy! Have a nice Easter Monday, and My apologies for this coming out so late. I was just sending off my family from visiting me this long weekend.