1. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Population 602: My Job to Reduce That Number

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Wild Knight, Dec 24, 2015.

    Over six-hundred pages worth of notebook paper. I want to find out if I can make it much better than the time that I had written it. From what I had read, a lot of it was more clever than I had thought, and I even laughed a couple of times at some of the dialogue. But after having stopped unexpectedly, and checking back on it after five years' absence... I saw that there were problem areas. I mean, the "Prologue" of the second part alone was over a hundred pages. A HUNDRED!!! How in the hell did I manage that? Not in a good way, either. How many pages of that is wasted content?!

    Admittedly, I was at a very low point in my life at that time.

    I don't even remember everything about the plot, what I had originally intended. I only know that they are my own take on magical girls, along with some commentary that is surprisingly still relevant today... but I think that they were to take on a demon tower in the future. I had ended the story on a cliffhanger.

    I hope to find out soon enough, but I already suspect that it may change in meaning in the process. By now, I'm ready to accept that.

    There are already two characters that I have decided to cut. They contributed little to the plot, and I replaced another, and renamed two. That should reduce some words, which will reduce the pages of notebook paper. There will be other pages of content that I will have to cut out entirely.

    So I'll envision those loose leaf papers as an army of over 600. My pen is my sword. I'll start cutting. At the end of this, how many of that 600 will be reduced?

    Let the fun begin!:cheerleader:
    :write::twisted: I'm going to enjoy killing the wasted content!
     
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  2. WriterMMS
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    WriterMMS Member

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    600 pages of note book isnt all that much on word from my personal experience.

    Also sounds like ur tale would be better as a manga, learning to draw would suit ur needs.
     
  3. Sam Frost
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    It would be cool if it was a manga! I love your take on cutting them down like they're an army. And I get what you mean about cutting characters- the story I'm writing was at one point going to be a 200k epic fantasy series (each book ending up around that size). I cut it down (which ended up making the story better) and had to lose some characters in the process. At first I was upset, but then I remembered that perhaps I can revisit them someday, whether in this story's world or in another story altogether. Best of luck on your campaign!
     
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  4. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Okay, I was going to update yesterday evening, but things just happened. I had spent most of Christmas morning getting started. I believe that I had at least cut three pages of worthless content so far. I exhausted myself pretty quickly. I'm still feeling that today, so I didn't get any work done.

    So about my work, I'm cutting content, but also rewriting it with a less "humor", and more... wistfulness? I don't know. Like, why did I think that having one of my characters jump into a duck pond that appeared out of nowhere would be funny? Yeah, out that went. I know exactly what to cut next, to give it a sort of whiplash. From wistfulness to horror. Suspense. My heroine had no idea from whom or what she was being protected from, and that cat is coming out of the bag fast.

    I might stay up later tonight to make up for my lack of work today.
     
  5. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    So I started straying a little bit. I had found myself obsessing over one character's backstory to the point of considering writing a story based on that. Not to mention that the story is changing direction.

    I finally worked on it again last night, but I found myself more bored by the beginning of the story. Boredom is a death sentence for my story beginnings. So that is a whole twenty plus pages of content cut, and now it is being started with the characters already IN the forest instead of outside of a house to discover a bloody scene. They didn't exactly react naturally to the sight of all that blood in their guardian's room, and I don't know how to have them react appropriately without wasting time with overreacting.

    Maybe I should consider more characters on the chopping block? They are all overcrowding each other, demanding my full attention, and none of them deserve to be overshadowed by the other, and come to think of it, I had always hated it when all of the important characters joined each other right smack dab at the beginning. I don't really know why.

    The question is, though, who? I'll chug on ahead anyway for now and see what happens. But from the magical transportation to the forest on is when the story picked up. Time to turn the humor back on.
     
  6. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Now I'm switching gears. Still the same story, but I am playing around with lead characters. I have erased yet another character because I had realized that the girls had only gained their power because of him. I'm not exactly sure of how to feel about that. So I had introduced at least two characters who'd serve the role of co-villains, though not together. I have yet to determine between the two of them who is the biggest threat to the heroine, but they are a threat distracted by one another for now.

    I am still not sure if I'm satisfied with the beginning of the story, and I may go back to fix it one more time. I am never satisfied.

    Meanwhile, I had introduced a hero of another story. He had only just now stepped into a situation that was way over his head.

    That's all I've got for now. Me and my slow updates. I swear.
     
  7. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Well. This story ain't ever going to be the same again.
    All because I had peaked in on an old dream journal that I had. I was filled with determination, and that got me... reduced to one whole page of beginning so far. Like I said. Hate writing beginnings. Just glossed over it, put in a new setting, and the former heroine? Replaced her with someone else.
    I wasn't going to, but she just didn't have the mischievous streak that I wanted, no matter how much I tried. So she'll appear in the next part of the story instead, since she still plays too important of a role in the story to toss out, as much as I dislike her vanilla personality.
    My new heroine shows a lot of promise, though. She's a darling, and I already like what she's doing, even though so far, it's much due to the beginning being reduced to one page.
    Maybe I should get to map making, but I have NO idea how to draw a town map; only an overworld map of a whole country, with dots, circles, and squares indicating towns. That way, I can at least get some idea as to where our little "princess" is going when she escapes the room that she was locked in. Otherwise, she'll be wandering around in a vacuum, pretty much, and I really don't want that. I at least want the setting to seem somewhat real.
    The sky, state of the weather, flowers, snow, something. The state of decay. Whatever I need.
     
  8. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Okay, my reason for waiting a whole month? I felt ashamed that I don't quite know how to write that story. So like an incredibly intelligent genius, I only ended up shutting down mentally, convinced that I was all talk and no action.
    Then I remembered that I had been working strong since December, a reminder that I'm just stuck for right now.
    So in order to keep my mind working, I started working on another story just a couple of days ago. I fell in love.
    It's possible that, like with hair, I had torn out too much of the story for it to be workable at the moment, and it doesn't help with my current state of mind right now.
    Somewhere along the line, something went wrong, I don't know what.
    Let's hope that this little story will get me going, bring me back in spirit. I'm two chapters in so far. It is giving me ideas for how to work with the project that was meant to be progressed to begin with. It's just a matter of determining the method of mine.
    Just try not to think "is this realistic?" It's a mood killer for me, personally.
     
  9. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Yay! The pages for this new story are starting to really pile on. I am getting more of an idea as to how to rewrite the original story, the reason why I had started this journal to begin with.

    But I'm surprised by the progress of this new story. I am trying my damndest to stick with one story at a time, and so I am trying my best to get this story done before the First of next month, so that I can get back to what I'll dub the "Main Magical Girl Story Project". Get it, me? MMGS Project, so that I can reference it as such in the story in the future.

    The current WIP? Gothic Rebuild x Fantasy Resurrection. Dramatic and overly long title, but I'm all about the really out there titles. So that is... GRxFR. Sounds great.

    MMGS Progress? Unknown, and halted. To be resumed once I have time on my hands, after the completion of the other project (see below).

    GRxFR Progress? Looking good. Could well be done before the end of the month, may possibly expand on it in the future.

    I have had a really good week so far now that I have prioritized and started scheduling myself. What I had needed all along was at least some semblence of structure. Hence my being away from the laptop.
     
  10. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Okay, here's a thought about my progress.

    I am almost at the end. And here's a confession: I started getting tired of GRxFR to the point where I wanted to rend the pages. But I swore to myself that I'd stop doing that, no matter what it is that I had failed to do with it. In this case, I had made the story far too short. Typically, short stories don't result in unexpected curve balls or great character development. And that showed.
    And only near the end did the story start improving, but the characters still won't develop properly in time. I am this close to being "done" with it so that I can put it aside, and at least attempt a resume on my main project.
    When I go back to the current story, I know how I can fix it. Count the words, though I had never really done that much due to how unattached I want to remain to the written word. So that will be surprisingly difficult for me to do so.
     
  11. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Well, I finished SOMETHING. Or I may as well consider it finished. Just as I had thought: the ending wasn't satisfactory. When I write stories, I care very much about character development... and writing something "short" didn't do what I had wanted for it. I really am severely disappointed. I could have done a lot better with this unrelated story. A lot better.
    So I'm going to sulk about it, think about what I'd done, and what I can do to fix it.
    I don't know how to write short stories. I can only attempt novels.
    Still, I'm hooked on this story enough to want to go back and fix it. Maybe give it a new beginning where I actually introduce characters before the inciting event, and lengthen the story until I get the character development I want for the characters.
    Of course, there is no rest for the weary.
    I have my main project to resume. Or start over. Whichever I prefer, since I insist on perfect beginnings. I'm obsessed with the idea of hooking the reader. I have to learn the art of hooking myself.
     
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  12. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Okay, so I meant to further the progress in my main story yesterday. I really did. But I hardly ended up with a paragraph by the end of the day. Why?
    Because I started thinking about the world that I am writing this thing in... and I kept writing the rules, the limitations. And I just couldn't stop.
    That was what I used to do as a kid when I was world-building. I liked having an actual world, and I had forgotten that key part. So I'm keeping spare notebooks for the listing of rules, since my stories are probably always going to be anything other than general fiction.

    I didn't feel "safe" about writing anything specific about the story before, just the basic idea, because I've been so fickle before, that I'd keep writing different stories in a desperate attempt to regain what I had lost from that era.

    Now that I'm looking at this "official canon" of mine, though, I do feel it's safe enough because the main story is more solid to me.

    So I have three basic "classes" of the magi, a gender neutral term that I'm using as a handle for now until I can come up with something better, because I do like the idea of "magical boys" existing in my story's world, even if they are somewhat rarer than the magical girls.
    What I have? The three classes of magi are, as follows: the Warrior/Raider, the Idol/Siren, and the Witch/Warlock.

    The Warrior is a combat-oriented girl/boy, typically with a few "magic tricks" up their sleeve, but they still excel at the physical.
    The Idol's main trait is their charisma. They don't typically participate in battle, because they're usually too busy trying to make it big with their talents, whether it be music or art.
    The Witch specializes in magic, as is obvious by their title. The typical day in the life of the girl/boy is to use their power to aid, and they can curse or aid others at their whims.

    Almost no magi is solidly one or the other, as there are sub-classes that weave in between each grid. So there can be a Warrior who charges her summoned sword with electricity before charging into battle, indicating that she leans at least somewhat in the direction of the Witch, for instance. That way, this allows for flexibility, and no one is "locked" in one point or another.

    Like I said, I had too much fun with deciding who, among the current (and growing) cast can do what. A few characters are "Hero" types, even down to one of them flying like a superhero and having superstrength, to boot. Another character is a Medic, poor at combat, but she can at least protect herself and others with barriers, and even slap people around with little barriers.

    The magis, by the way, are out in the open, and well-known by the populace, though most of them still want to remain anonymous due to the periodic ebb and flow of acceptance and suspicion.

    In order to keep this from escalating, the Administration exists for budding magis to register with them to doubly keep tabs on their location and to protect them, as is per the intention of the new leader, who had overhauled the (in his words) "previous despotic leader who only wanted a sick utopia where everyone is immortal".

    At the very least, the cast had so far already met him, and he is extremely intimidating to the new initiates. So... *pats self on back*
     
  13. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Okay, I went back and decided to write this all as a bunch of shorts, and episodically. My progress is slower this way, but I'm doing this until I get a better hang of the story. I don't know if I want to do a series, but it might just end up going in that direction, as hard as I have tried NOT to. There is just too much to cover.

    Anyway, for this "first" episode, as I may change the order later for the others in the future, I had decided to divide it into two parts. I think that I should get it done in a more timely fashion then. I am almost done with the first part of this story, anyway.

    Hope to keep this up.
     
  14. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Yesterday, I got done with Part One, but that was stolen time from our shopping trip, and I am looking forward to Part Two of this short. I didn't get on the computer at all yesterday, because of said shopping trip, and then when we got back, I got distracted from playing with the polymer clay that I had just purchased. I had even made a little bird, and it's hanging on my wall.

    I'll do word count later, and then cover the process of Part Two. There are other little stories for me to cover, so I'm going to try and hurry through this next part while I'm still in a good mood, since I tend to dip into random bouts of apathy.
     
  15. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Darn it. I had run into one snag that I had failed to consider: names for some characters. Weird, but I didn't even really name them their "heroic" names... and now I'm in trouble.
    I'll give them handle names for now, but ooh... I can't believe I overlooked it. Now I'm kicking myself in the butt.
    At least I have their basic looks down, since I tend to think "essence of character" first, a name, and then their appearance later in the process of writing. I'm quite proud of my progress, but for now, I'd better stick to writing the story so that I'll know what to illustrate later.
     
  16. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    More world-building.

    Here I am, distracting myself with more details, but since I feel like this is necessary, I'm reporting. There will be little to no progress, and I still haven't gotten around to the word count, since I believe first and foremost in writing it all by hand first. So that's a bummer.

    I shouldn't be staying up all night again, because my right eye is killing me, and that pain tends to transfer to the other eye later.

    So that will really slow down progress.
     
  17. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    My current word count: 1487. Not much in the grand scheme of things, but great news... I am actually writing the story now. I haven't counted the words of Chapter One yet, but once I actually read the old papers... it wasn't very cringeworthy.

    My right eye finally stopped murdering me, which really halted the process for nearly a month, and now I'm back to work.

    I'm reworking this old story to truly tie it in to the story project, having it take place a little before the new plot, since all those years ago, I had essentially started it all. Now it's just a matter of closing up all kinds of loopholes within the plot.

    As it turns out, at least one of my "deleted" characters has a plot function after all, so he's being brought back. The others are staying gone, though.

    I'm going to work on a chapter a day, like I had with a previous, unrelated short story. For the first official chapter, I had worked from nine last night to almost two thirty in the morning, and I had completed it. I'm working on the second chapter now, which is a little more difficult because of the void of a group dynamic. But I have confidence that it will work out.
     
  18. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Okay. I had challenged myself to writing one page a day, at minimum, but of course, I've been consistently at it. I had challenged myself to work and rewrite the whole thing, from June 21st to September 22nd... and guess what? I had finally made it far enough in the story where I no longer want to nuke the damn thing before I really got anywhere. I am three chapters into the story, and the most painful part is finally over.

    Of course, today, I had received a letter from my relative in prison, and I am prompted now, more than ever, to get this thing done.

    I forgot to do the damn word count, as usual, because I'm writing it all in a notebook. Here is the beginning of how the story went:

    So my main character, whom I'll call N, is hiding and on the run from an exceptionally powerful hero, with her friends. Why is he pursuing them? Because they had witnessed him defeating and abducting a girl and a less experienced, newbie hero, who had tried to fight him to defend her. Before the young, rash hero is inevitably defeated, the girl had used her powerful voice to weaken the "superhero", so when he had spotted N and the others, he wasn't able to locate them by hearing. And the only male friend of N's, as it turned out, had the power to defeat the hero.

    So what's the problem? I was so busy trying to start the story as close to the middle as possible that I skipped out on writing these details, so I have to go back to add that later.

    Needless to say, I shouldn't listen to that piece of crap advice ever again.
     
  19. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    I have my word count down, three chapters completed...
    318o words. I'm trying to aim for at least 60k words in order for it qualify as a novel. And to think: if I would have just followed my gut the first and wrote in the very beginning, I would have had more words. At least I'm a little over halfway to 5000 words.

    So N's only other hero friend was caught in a bind: either fight a hopeless with the rogue superhero, or make a deal with an unknown force to protect them all by sealing them inside of a sarcophagus, something that even the super-strong hero can't break through.

    Of course, N had no way of knowing this, and now she realizes too late that she had met this force, now personified, and she wants to "play" with them now that they are trapped in the sealed sarcophagus.

    Every two chapters from here on out (I ended with three so far), I'll do a word count, to see if I'm getting that much closer to my goal of 60k. It started off as a goal to "destroy" my old work, but now that it's a new plot in line with what I want... that's my new goal.
     
  20. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Chapter Four is completed, and it had been so for at least two days, though I didn't feel like celebrating because my last parakeet had died four days ago, and I'm still feeling really sad about it. I've had him since December 2008 or '09, so his dying was quite the shock.

    So I'm working on Chapter Five now. When I'm in a better mood, I'll detail the progress of the plot, though it occurred to me: this may not be a novel length story after all, with the way it's structured. So the goal of 60k is in trouble right now.
     
  21. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Yesterday, I had completed Chapter Five, much to my shock, and I am now working on Chapter Six. I'm going to go ahead and hold off on word count for now. I'm on a roll.
     
  22. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    [The following is self-reprimand, aimed at no one in particular but myself]

    Okay... solidly, for a whole month now, you've been working on this edit that you're finally happy with. You're getting close to about a third of the way done, since you had finished Chapter Six last night while hanging out at the laundromat, and yet...

    5423 words.

    WHAT is this? Does this SEEM like a month's worth of work to you? To anybody? Close to a third of the way done! WHAT is wrong with you? It doesn't appear to be laziness, as the off-and-on lack of sleep is testament to that. I guess that when you mean that you care nothing for filler, you really weren't kidding. But if you keep this trim way of writing up, then you're not going to have a novel!

    Just keep doing what you're doing; there's no going back after coming this far, since, with your track record, you rarely ever see past Chapter Three in anything you've written, save for your short story lemons. You can complete these soon enough.

    If you put that much enthusiasm in those, however rare they are for you, then you can sure as hell apply it here.

    Why don't you think about adding individual character subplots while you still have free time. Remember; the hard part is the editing process, when you have to ADD instead of subtract.

    Have fun. :twisted:
     
  23. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Chapter Seven is complete. I haven't gotten started on Chapter Eight yet, and I might not have much in the way of time to work on it, as I've gotta go somewhere tomorrow, though I might bring the notebook that contains the progress with me anyway, just in case I can steal some time.

    After the completion of Chapter Eight... then I really will be about a third of the way done!

    Meanwhile, I'm beginning to become preoccupied with possible other stories to fill in the wait.

    I'm looking forward to deepening the depths of each character, especially my main girl, N. I'm so happy with the progress that I can't sleep. Literally. I was worried that she wouldn't come to life for me, but I can see it emerging in the upcoming chapters ahead. It's taking a little forever for her to become a magi, especially when I don't quite know what type she is yet... but at least things are happening, and the first eight chapters are as brief as they need to be.
     
  24. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Lame excuse for not updating #487:

    I seriously haven't worked on Chapter Eight for nine days since I had been developing a game for the RPG Maker VX Ace. I was so busy being enraptured by the program and being amazed by the process that I had pretty much put it to the side, damn near forgetting what I had been trying to do. Until yesterday.

    I had finally completed Chapter Eight today after all my lack of work. Which means that it is now a third of the way done.

    Learning the ropes about this program had given me ideas: what if I "adapt" this story to game form? I'm not going to be able to do that, though, if I don't complete the damn story like I had set out to do in the first place.

    What am I to do, though, when I had basically dreamed of making games of my stories pretty much all my writing life, and I now have this program in front of me, with many possibilities as to what kind of game I'm aiming for? I like RPGs. I like monsters. I like adventure.

    Of course, all this "slacking off" I did really made me think of how to better write the story. I have finally begun to get to know N, and what her core issue really is.

    N... wants to be the heroic type. And before the story, she was already as much a badass as a modern girl can be. Then there was an incident involving a, shall I say, "lover's quarrel". She had decided to intervene, unaware of just what she was getting herself into. And she had learned the hard way... just how helpless she had been. She curses herself for being cowardly.

    And she never wants to feel such powerlessness again. So that's another reason why she had been so willing to make a deal with this girl. On the surface, her thoughts were so that she could be a hero. The reality, though... is that she wants to make up for the weakness that she had perceived herself as having.

    One of the first orders of business upon going back and editing after I finish? Condense the chapters. I guess that, whether I want to or not, I'm writing a novella instead of a novel. Oh well.

    A project first is a project first.
     
  25. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    I had completed Chapter Nine this morning out of sheer boredom, all because I woke up hot and couldn't go back to sleep. And I believe that I am midway through Chapter Ten already.

    September 23rd is on its way. If I can get at least halfway done before that date, which I estimate to be around Chapter Twelve or so... hell, at this rate, I'm pretty damn close to it. Could I get it all done before that date? Maybe.

    My real goal is just to finish this story by the end of the year, period. I've been at this thing long enough. There are other ideas that I want to try.
    This is first time that I have ever worked on an old story again, and even better is that it's working.
     

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