18 days until I turn 36!
Aku Soku Zan(za) — The previous version of this story was like a prototype, a framework for many of the ideas I wanted to convey with not nearly as much flesh to them as I would like. So I’m trying, this time around, to do better justice to those ideas. One example that’s come up recently is that I never got across, the way I wanted, just how different Sano’s life is after receives Saitou’s verbal smackdown.
In canon we don’t really see a lot of Sano’s home life — what his apartment is like, what his eating habits are, and so on — but there are some guesses that are only natural to make, and I’ve made them. I want to give a good, solid peek into what his life’s been like for the last several years so I can show how that changes under Saitou’s influence. And it’s not a big thing, but it is something that can be fleshed out with a level of detail the story was lacking before. I continue to like the new version a lot better :D
I’m not sure my repost method is working as hoped. Of course it was just a test, and it’s only been three months, but the story has barely gotten any hits, and only one comment… I’m not sure if people are aware it’s updated. I’ll keep it up for a while longer, though, because organization-wise it’s still the most convenient method.
Heretic’s Reward — I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’ma mention it again because it’s on my mind. In AU’s, there’s sometimes a great temptation to throw in lots of parallels to canon — similar events and conversations and relationships and shit, either for the fun of callback or to revel in a different outcome or angle. And sometimes it gets… silly. Like, the parallels are totally unnecessary and cheesy.
Yeah, there’s some of that going on in HR. And you know what? I’m unrepentant. If I had the story to compose all over again, I might not choose to throw in all these needless parallels, but with the way it is? Whatevs. I’m rolling with it. There’s one coming up further along that I am hella excited about, in fact.
So once again I have decided that the events I’m working on need two chapters to tell. What the hell; we’ll just have another two kinda short chapters. And chapter 21 has reached linear completion; I may be able to finish it next weekend. A lot of chapter 22 is written as well; that was necessary to determine where the break would be. Chapter 22’s going to be the real heavy hitter; chapter 21’s mostly just the unnecessary parallel. And then once we get to 23, we’re essentially going to leave this part of the story behind. So enjoy it while you can!
The Test — Some spoilery thoughts this time. So obviously there’s a Test in this story. Duo is the one being subjected to this test, and it’s meant to be silly and amusing. But there’s another, informal test that Heero has to pass in the background, and I’ve reached the part of the story where he is most pointedly tested. It’s a little tricky to make it both subtle and solid.
It’s also one of those somewhat difficult-to-get-through scenes where I feel accomplished if I’ve written, like, one paragraph XD This story will be finished eventually, I promise! But this scene is the type where stuff needs to happen concisely so as not to be boring as shit, so I have to work with a certain level of summarizing prose without getting either too far from or too close to the action.
TLY — I just reread all 70k (or so) words I have written of this so far, and you know what? I LOVE IT. Yeah, I know, that’s nothing new coming from me, but still… it’s nice to look at the work you’ve done so far and think, This is definitely worth continuing..
Chapter 18 is starting to pick up momentum. It’s got a bit more summarizing to do (a wider view) than the part of a different story I just mentioned above, and it was difficult to get into that at first. But I’ve kinda gotten into the swing by now, and it should be easier going from here.
I’m really excited about the events that come after the current little summarizey bit. I wouldn’t want to say something like, “The real story starts there,” because everything that’s gone before is important too (it had better be, at 70k words!), but it is the part of the story that is the most tied in with the overarching events of the series as a whole. Also there’s some stuff I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.
He Can Be Taught audio recording — I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m currently working on the fine and pretty much final editing of this recording. The rate at which I’ve been getting this shit done does not paint an optimistic picture for any longer stories. It is just under four hours long, and I can’t even guess how many months or even years I’ve been trying to finish it.
Plastic (admittedly mostly raw recordings at the moment) is 15.5 hours long, and since I keep feeling the need to re-record the entire thing, I kinda doubt it will ever be ready for public consumption. I’m afraid I’m destined to use my own longer recordings solely for my own convenience forever more. The good news about that is that I’m not aware of anyone ever having downloaded any of my recordings anyway, heh.
Anyway. Working on HCBT, I always get snagged and slowed up on the fifteenth part, the part where Sano fights that dude in the street and then has snacks with Kenshin. Because it is B-O-R-BORING, and I just want to get back to Saitou. It’s the weakest part of the story, I think, though an absolutely necessary one, and the point where I tend to get bored and wander off no matter how I’m experiencing the fic. And guess where I am now in the fine editing of my recording? Yep. We’ll see how many months it takes me to get through just this one part, which is 13 minutes long :\