Thousand Roads

A Pokémon fansite dedicated to the creative side of the Pokémon fandom, especially fanfiction.



Website: The Cave of Dragonflies

Heh, I don't think I did a lot of fussing over my writing at all back then. Chapters I was looking forward to were just "yay I'm finally writing this part!", not "oh no I must do this part justice". It was a magical carefree time where taking a month to write a chapter warranted a "finally" and I regularly declared a chapter was great in my author's notes. Even when I considered my older work terrible, I had pretty absolute confidence in what I was writing at any given time -my taste hadn't really evolved much ahead of my actual skill yet, so I was pretty satisfied with what I produced. Fussing came later, when I started to really perceive a gap between what I wanted to convey and what I could actually put into words and feel endlessly like surely I'll figure out how to make this awesome if I just think very hard about it for a few more months.

I think Morphic was in the good-enough zone from the start. Which is to say, my God do those early chapters make me want to claw my eyes out and that is some of the wonkiest pacing/setup/lack thereof to ever wonk, but it's a story I'm 100% thrilled about having written that's overall enjoyable to lots of other people as it is nonetheless, and that's all it needs for the good-enough-to-finish stamp, in my view. It would have been better if I'd started it over in the middle, but writing it to the end from where it was gave me a far better idea of where it should go than if I'd dropped it for a rewrite then - I'm way better off having finished it and then (eventually) rewriting it afterwards.

Meanwhile, pre-HMMRCIG TQftL was heading towards my plans for it at the time, which were terrible. If I'd finished writing it the way I wrote then, with the plans I had then, I'd have ended up with a story that would have been, in retrospect, basically a waste of my time (well, except for whatever writing skill I'd managed to scrape out of it). Dropping it for a rewrite meant that 1) I didn't waste years finishing a story with no redeeming qualities, while also 2) the time I'd already spent on it retroactively became worth it, because the better story I wrote to replace it built on its foundations. It still carries lots of awkward baggage from the original, of course, but yet again, it only had to be good enough to make itself a worthwhile endeavor for me on the whole, which isn't a very high bar.

Of course, I didn't realize any of this at the time, and couldn't have even in theory since basically all the stuff that made it worth it later is stuff I had no inkling of back then, so really it's a happy accident that I managed to stumble my way into what I believe today was exactly the right amount of rewriting. My point here is less "My decision to rewrite was awesome and born of superior judgment" and more "In retrospect, it was definitely a good thing that I started it over that time". I mean, I do think a wiser author could look at a story, come to a rational decision that it's fundamentally unsalvageable in its current form (as opposed to merely horribly embarrassing, unrepresentative, badly written, etc.), and then start a rewrite that takes the story where it needs to go instead, but that's not what was happening when 2004-me dropped everything for the HMMRCIG. I'm just saying I'm ultimately happy with how things turned out.

It's possible that if I'd dropped/finished TQftL back in 2003, I would have had some amazing idea after it that I'd have written instead, sure. Would I love that story significantly more than I love TQftL today? I'm going to say probably not, even if it were objectively better. Given that, I have no regrets.

As for commenting, personally I'd ideally go with comments on news stories as well as articles (and posts not associated with any page), and probably allowing them on every page since although you'd expect the most thoughtful comments to be on articles, you never know what sort of commentary people might have on something like the Metronome generator. Seems easier than leaving them out conditionally, and doesn't exactly hurt.

(Also, I think you may be missing an error message if the CAPTCHA check has, presumably, expired? When I tried to post this, nothing happened and I just got a different Pokémon.)

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