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I know I'm running a little late with the next segment--just… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
I know I'm running a little late with the next segment--just uninspired, I'm afraid! It'll get here. Just wanted to say that neither the challenges nor Ville-Sauvage has been abandoned. Something will come soon.
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mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: March 30th, 2012 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
It's good to know nothing is wrong, thank you.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: March 30th, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
we'll be here...
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: March 30th, 2012 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
happy that you're okay.

i was worried.

we totally understand too! enjoy your break!
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 31st, 2012 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)

The Problem with Ville-Sauvage

Okay, so please take this in the spirit with which it's intended. Which is observational. I've watch you struggle with this story for a long time now. I mean a loooong time.

In my opinion your trouble with the story isn't so much the problem with the tale it's the problem with the narrator.

You write stories about tortured souls. Remus was bitten by a werewolf. Feels rejected by society has a dreadful life, then finds some salvation in love. Teddy grows up without parents. He has a family, but the lack of his parents always tortures him. The stories are about Teddy finding his identity without his parents and finding his parents through his identity. The adventures are the vehicle the story is about Teddy.

The Shifts Verse is much the same way. It's the journey of Remus, the tales help define Remus's character.

The problem with Ville Savauge is James. James isn't tortured. James has everything. His life is perfect plus he's a perfect brother and a good kid. He's never known real hardship. Even Al is more interesting because Al has to put up with having a perfect brother and looking like his hero father.

James doesn't have that. He's already found success at a young age with his writing. His future is secure. We already know he'll find love, so we don't worry about his romance. He's not even particularly concerned about striking out with Celia.

He's a nice guy and a very good character, but he can't drive the vehicle because he himself just isn't that interesting. Noting will ever go wrong for James he'll always win. It always comes easy for James.

So I think the story itself works, but really this is Celia's story. She's the tortured character finding redemption here. Ideally she'd be the focus of the story, but that's not the direction you went because this is a sequel and James was the main character in the original. Except he doesn't matter, so his life can't be the focus. You need to find a way to focus the story more directly on Celia and stop worrying about Harry and Ginny and Moth and Al, because ultimately there's no story there, they love James and they always will.

Okay. I don't know if that was helpful or not. If not chuck it out the window. But that's my unsolicited betaist view of the breakdown in the story. If I'm way off base tell me about it. You've got to talk these things out otherwise you never get around the uninspiration. It has a more succinct name, but I guess you're not calling that. Maybe you're superstitious so I won't either.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 31st, 2012 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Problem with Ville-Sauvage

The thing is, that's part of the challenge for me--to not lean on the angsty stuff, and go for pure plot. Angst is easy. You just twist the thumbscrews and call it good. Plot is harder, which is why I want to do a plot story. And probably why I'm having trouble; I haven't made myself work on a writing thing for a while, and my brain has gotten lazy. These are definitely meant to be more in the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys vein than in the angst-muffin vein.

(The other thing is, is that it's not Celia's story at all--she shouldn't be hijacking it. The story is the mystery about who's hijacking the tournament and why. Judging from the comments, no one cares much about said mystery... but it is the point of the story. I don't have mystery-writing in my mental arsenal, and I'm trying to get a better handle on it.)

Edited at 2012-03-31 03:10 am (UTC)
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: March 31st, 2012 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Problem with Ville-Sauvage

I think the problem might be that there's still not enough focus on the mystery, and not enough developing there. There's stuff going on with figuring out the clues in the tournament, but that's not really the meat of the story either, is it? I mean, sure, you have to have them figuring out the clues, but right now it seems pretty even as far as time given to the tournament action and time given to the mystery. Not to mention, it seems like every time they might be getting some where with the mystery, you cut it off and have them go back to their rooms before anything really interesting happens. And the question of why someone would be messing with the tournament is interesting. My suggestion would be to throw some more big actions in there, like the thing with the sirens getting loose. Give us more pow and maybe a little less book research.

And that's my unsolicited advice. :) I believe you can do it, and I applaud you for challenging yourself. I'm enjoying the story, and I look forward to seeing it finished and then seeing what other novel-length stories you gift us with.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 31st, 2012 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Problem with Ville-Sauvage

Heh, yes, that's the problem with the school year format for it--a little research would go a long way, and it probably wouldn't take them that long to solve it if they didn't have a lot of other things taking up a lot of their time! ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: March 31st, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Problem with Ville-Sauvage

if it means anything, I'm very interested in the mystery. I really like detective novel, and in some of them (say Hercules Poirot stories) the mystery is slow building. so i personally dont see you doing it wrong.

I commented on other stuff other than the mystery because the mystery is slowly building up (again, not a problem with me- that's how the story goes- and to be fair that's how the potter books worked out too- the mystery of the philosopher stone, the chamber of secrets, prisoner of azkaban--- they took the whole book to figure out- and it wasn't action, action, action.

*also first year harry wasn't very angsty either and that didn't stopped people from reading the book)
From: amethystbeloved Date: March 31st, 2012 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fernwithy! Thanks for the update! I visit your LJ every day so it's good to know that you're okay. We'll be here when you're ready! Good luck with what's yet to come.
*\(^_^)/* <~~ Cheerleader!
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 31st, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for letting us know - I would have gotten concerned about you soon! Take all the time you need. ~ Karen
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 11th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Heyo FernWithy

Hey FernWithy,

I know that you probably have no interest in this, but I thought I'd run it past you just in case.

I know that you were active on the SugarQuill years ago before it sort of... stopped. But I only just realized that you'd also more or less stopped posting on Fanfiction.net (as I found out when I tried to find some of your more recent stories there).

Have you considered checking out some of the still-active Harry Potter forums/communities? The first one that comes to mind is "Dark Lord Potter" which, contrary to the name, does not actually focus on Dark or Evil Harry Potter stories. There's some dang good reading there, as well as good discussion.

Granted your stories aren't quite up their alley, as they tend to greatly prefer Harry-Centric fics as opposed to Next-gen ones or ones featuring characters like Lupin or Tonks, but there are exceptions (like the Alexandra Quick series by Inverarity). They can also be rather blunt, though that may or may not bother you.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 12th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Heyo FernWithy

Tanks. I think I'm happy just stashing them myself for now, though.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 21st, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, Fern,

Just checking up on you. I figure you were in the same boat ast the rest of us with tax seasons, added some recovery days, then went and checked on you (today).

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 21st, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm okay. I have writer's block (and have gotten in the habit of f-locking anything non-fictional). I was just thinking yesterday that's been almost a month.
From: amethystbeloved Date: April 21st, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to see that you're okay, Fernwithy! It looks like Ellen and I had the same thought. I came here to post a Hi! message as well. Take all the time you need, and we're looking forward to your return! ((HUGS))
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