Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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So if, mind you I say only if, and this based on my continuing desire *not* to write on CG every time I open the file, though I want to, and feel guilty whenever I work on any other project, I were to stop where it is, who exactly would be hurt?

I don't want to. I'm just in a place where A) I seem to be doing everything I can to avoid it, mostly because I'm unsatisfied with my writing on the current chapter and B)it seems to me that I'm shackled by my own fear of taking them out of character. Of their interactions being too melodramatic, too overemotional, too un-male, too fake. When I didn't think about characterization deeply, I could do it, apparently. People have said I made X/S believable for them, in CG. Now I look at it and am afraid the characters as they are now onscreen (S6) could never have done this, back then. (S4) I.e., I was perfectly capable of flying before I knew that Penguins can't. Now I'm kind of flapping around a low branch, aimlessly, afraid I'm going to fall if I jump off.

I asked the first question, who exactly would be hurt, because I was politely (I think) nudged in an e-mail to update CG, because it's been two months already (it hasn't -- been 4) and if I'm bored with it, I should at least give it a decent ending, not leave people hanging.

I'm not bored with the *idea* of CG. I have a storyline for CG mapped out, heading to the end of S5. I want to finish that story.

But I'm bored with my rut of writing it, these last few chapters. I'm bored with opening the file and looking at it in disgust. I'm bored with the boys being afraid to talk to each other, I'm bored with being unsure from moment to moment what Xander is thinking, in a Spike scene. I'm bored with my lack of progress, and I'm sure everybody who listens to me speak about it is bored with it too.

So, the point is, if I'm having so much trouble writing it now, that I'm alternately bitching, rewriting, and avoiding it, what makes people think that I have the ability to give it a decent ending, to please the hanging fans? If I could come up with a next chapter that pleased me, that I was willing to post, wouldn't I have done so already? If I could finish the next chapter in a way that I'm satisfied with, then there wouldn't *be* an issue of leaving pople hanging.

I'm just not sure I understand the logic.


2002-02-04 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)

I have absolutely nothing useful to offer here, but I will give you virtual chocolate and naked boys. And if you don't feel like, don't do it. Out it away. Come back to it later. Or not. It's *your* story, not theirs.


2002-02-04 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)

I started to write you a really long fricking essay. and then thought naaah. *hugs* and if you hate the current chapter so much, have you tried to write a different one farther on instead? Sadly, I have no idea how one goes about making writing fun again. But I suspect it would be really good for your confidence as a writer, which I know is nowhere near as high as it DAMN WELL SHOULD BE, YOU IDIOT! to finish CG. But if it's really really not-fun and stressful, then stop.
You have no obligation to anyone to finish it.

PS: sorry about the yelling. I just want you to like your stuff as much as I do.


2002-02-04 10:10 am (UTC) (Link)

I love CG and it's one of my all-time favorite Spike/Xander stories and I know I should have told you before. I'm always very excited when a new chapter pops up in my inbox and for me it couldn't get fast enough for a new chapter ;-).
But when you're not happy with it or when you're bored and have trouble writing it, then just leave it be. Don't think about it, don't even open the file and maybe in a week or a month or whenever you really want to write it again. You're happy with it, again.
Don't force yourself to write it. I hate it when I get the feeling that the author had to force the words to write a scene or finish a story. People will understand when you explain it to them and maybe sometime in the (hopefully near ;-) future there will be a new and great chapter :-).
My 2 cents from a very untalented writer-wanna-be ;-).

From Kita


2002-02-04 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)

And so, it came to pass that we are living parallel lives via CG and DOOUL.

That is all.




2002-02-04 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)

*virtual chocolate* - it's Spring, so it can be Cadbury mini-egggs - and *hugs*

I hated it when I ran into the end of CG - I think I sent you a note a the time saying how gratefull I was that I'd found it after you'd posted that last chunk, and taken them to a less nasty place. But almost every single author, print and non, who I enjoy leaves me feeling like that - I have been known to throw myself accross the room practicaly screaming with frustration that the new novel won't be out for at least another X months. As readers we have to just deal with the fact that writing is more time consuming than reading. And if there's never another story in series X or Y, we deal.

And much as I might moan occasionaly that Charles De Lint is taking his own sweet time to write another book (or the publisher has swallowed it), or that Gabriel King's new book is *way* past the due date they put on the teaser chapter (and gods, but they had to put a teaser chapter in the last book!) I realy do hate the idea that a writer might feel wretched about *having* to carry on with an idea - if it's not coming it's not, and the author doesn't owe me anything, bar allowing me to enjoy what's already out there.

I may *want* more, that in no way makes it your (or anyone elses) responsibility to provide it.

There's more wiffle, but I'll delete it - sorry for rambling.

*bonus mini tube of mini eggs*.


2002-02-04 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Unfinished stories are a *major* peeve of mine...

(says Karen who is pissing herself off with her inabilty to write the next chapter of First Times - and it's only chapter three!)

...but nobody can say you haven't given them plenty of CG to enjoy. The things over 250,000 words long for heavens sake! (yes, I did just go and check ;)

There is no point in writing something and posting it just for the sake of guilt, because if your heart's not in it then the quality is not going to be as good.

Maybe if you take a serious break from it - deliberately don't open up the file for a couple of months instead of just avoiding it. You may feel more motivated to write to the end of S5.

People have said I made X/S believable for them, in CG. Now I look at it and am afraid the characters as they are now onscreen (S6) could never have done this, back then. (S4)

I don't think you should really make this an issue. With a fic as long and evolved as CG I think you should worry more about keeping up the characterisations you've established there, instead of what you think they should be in relation to current canon.

So if I were to stop where it is, who exactly would be hurt?

I don't know if you were seriously looking for an answer to this question but I'll give you one (that you no doubt already know) anyway: No-one.

I'm not saying people (including me) won't miss it, because they will, but...(and here's the important part)'s only fan fiction. If there were no more CG - they'd live!

I don't mean that to belittle fan fiction (or your stories) in anyway - I love it as much as everyone else - but this is supposed to be fun. If it's not fun anymore then what's the point?


2002-02-04 10:54 am (UTC) (Link)

I love CG. It's my favourite S/X story and one of the ones which got me hooked on the pairing.

It sounds to me like you've gotten to the place where CG is so good and so well known that expectations - from everyone - are just too high. So it probably doesn't help for me to tell you that I love CG. And that I *personally* want you to keep writing it. I have noticed that I don't get everything I want. It's your story and, for all intents and purposes except making money off of them, your characters.

My suggestion would be to take an official hiatus, such as James and Wolfling did with Sandy Places. Official in that you actually write on the site that it is not currently in production. Then maybe if no one (like me) is expecting anything from you you'll be able to go back - later - and enjoy. And write it for yourself - don't even *post* any new bits that surface. Enjoy it, and take it where you want to go.

Your audience loves what you wrote and where you've taken the characters. Suspended disbelief is a wonderful thing, and I'm willing to follow pretty much wherever you take them; I have no problem erasing the last two seasons from my mind if necessary!



2002-02-04 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)

If you said you were going to stop writing CG, I would say "thank god". Honestly. Not because you're driven me nuts with drafts and versions -- but because I've watched you drive yourself nuts, over the last several months, trying to force yourself to do something you both do and don't want to do.

Right now CG is a source of stress in your life -- and there is no reason why you shouldn't set it aside and say "no". Yes, readers will want more -- but every single great thing that ends, people have wanted more of. (Think of MASH - it ended, people wanted more, then remember the sequel? Eew!)

Speaking from experience, I predict that if you honestly let yourself let it go, you will pick it back up someday. Maybe a year from now, maybe more. (Heck, Wolfling and I are writing centaur fic, today! It's been a year and how many months?) We took almost a year off Sandy Places. TV shows get a summer hiatus -- any project as big as CG is, needs to be taken a break from or you go nuts.

So, my advice? If you *don't* cut yourself a break, I may just come up there, hog-tie you, and make you go to Scotland with me.

Er. Um. I mean that in a bad way.


2002-02-05 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)

So, my advice? If you *don't* cut yourself a break, I may just come up there, hog-tie you, and make you go to Scotland with me.

Er. Um. I mean that in a bad way.

I'm trying to come up with something about that which could ne *taken* in a bad way, but...

Yes. I know. IknowIknowIknowIknow. It just aches.

Welcome to my world


2002-02-04 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

where the Buffy just sucks and doesn't flow, and you want to do anything but what you started to write in fear of making the hellmouth open and killing them all. I _totally_ understand where you're at/comingfrom/yammeringabout. My choice: leaving the fandom due to lack of creative inspiratoin. Your choice: if you still have Buffy ideas, just work on other stories. Don't worry about CG. Perhaps if you work on other things for a long while, you'll suddenly be inspired to go back to it. If you feel the need, write a cheater's ending, which caps off the current story but leaves it open for sequels. Most importantly, ignore the nummytreats beggars.

(Deleted comment)


2002-02-05 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Because it's the first piece of slash I ever wrote, and I'm still writing it.

I'm all about not posting WIPs, in theory. With new stories. In this case, though, it was begun before I knew the practice had its own inherent problems. Almost 2 years ago, in fact. It's a series, which worked out just fine in the beginning -- each next bit was a separate story. They weren't really chapters; they were self-contained pieces, with a few exceptions where I deliberately left a cliffhanger because I *did* have the next story already done, or done enough that I knew there'd be no problem with putting it out in a timely manner. In most cases, though, the series could have ended at the end of each story, and while I might've been asked for more, or might've felt disappointed that I hadn't shown things I wanted to show in the characters' future, it would still be a stopping place.

Then I decided to introduce an arcing plot. Because I was under delusions of Jossness, possibly, but also because I was convinced that I'd never get the characters as they were, to that next level of relationship, if I didn't force their hands by making something externally freaky happen to them. Once I started that plot (a road trip), the stories got more and more serial, though. Less episodic. Because I was trying to introduce a real, honest to god hellmouthy thing(comparable to a real honest to god X-File) and I didn't have a clue how to do so, what I ended up doing was a bunch of character-based stories that had the plot points happen very slowly along the way.

All very Jossian in theory, except I'm not Joss, and I've reached the point where most of them wrap up, and I suddenly have character issues. I know what needs to happen with the plot, but the characters aren't feeling right to me; the way of *telling* the story isn't ringing true, no matter how many times I rewrite, rearrange, pick a different POV, etc.

So, preaching to the choir on WIPS -- snippets posted in LJ is one thing, but you won't find me starting another story liek Chocolatey Goodness and posting it in installments.

That doesn't help with this problem, though. It's essentially my baby, and I don't want to abandon it. I have Gollum issues, and CG is my precioussss.

CG's Lullaby


2002-02-05 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)

I adore you;

I realize that statement has overtones of Spuffy, or Sprilla, probably even creepier and darker than seen on tv. But...I can honestly ammend and say, I love what you inspire in your fellow writers, and intelligent readers :)

And so, I say honestly to you. Give it up already dearie. Take as long as you like. You need it, deserve it...we'll understand.

((see finished letter in your inbox))



2002-02-05 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not that you need my two cents, what with all the good advice above...but honestly, when I first tuned into your journal I was amazed at how cazy CG was making you. Stop. Take a break. Throw it away entirely if you have to. You have to do what you need to do for you, because making yourself miserable isn't worth it. As I told my friend, a sculptor planning on carrying a 3 foot high telephone pole sculpture down 30 odd steep, poorly lit stairs in a small monsoon, please don't kill yourself for art!

I adore CG as I adore all the Pointy Stakes nuggets, but I'd be willing to erase my copies if it could get you back some peace.