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FFC #66 - A new fan fiction is live!

Posted February 15th, 2021 at 01:27 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #66

As of last night, the posting of my latest fan fiction, Valkyrie, has commenced. The thread can be found here.

In my last FFC, I said I almost certainly would not be writing this story. See, this is why you can trust nothing I say.

I realized that the story had some issues, and following a slump in interest, decided that I should move on. So I did. For a few weeks.

But randomly, I looked back at the story, and the issues, and started toying with ways to fix them. I came up with what I would need to do, and saw that the fixes weren't massive rewrites or huge edits. Interest came back, and I decided that as long as I had the interest, I might as well fix the fiction and see how far I got.

And here we are.

Now, as with any other story of mine, there are some big issues, and as always, I intend to fix those in whatever I write next. But there were also some good steps forward.

Firstly, structure. After HiS, I started looking at the 3 act structure and character arcs. Utgar was my first attempt at implementing this new information. While I think it was structurally sound, it still lacked quite a bit.

During my six month hiatus, I finished learning about the 3 act structure and character arcs, and took a step back from both. I realized I was focusing on them too much, letting them dictate too much of the story. I had to give the story room to flow where it would, to build up parts which weren't necessarily crucial to the structure or arcs. I started looking at a more plot-centric approach of outlining, where structure provides the bare bones and character arcs provide the character change skeleton, but the plot fills in all the gaps. There were a few failed attempts, but Valkyrie is the final result of this new method of outlining.

As mentioned in the introduction to the story, I also wanted to focus on twists. I had tried to do this previously, with ACoS, but at the time I was using complications instead of twists, and didn't realize it. A true twist alters the characters' goals and/or obstacles, sending them down a completely different path than they were previously on. Using a plot-centric approach allowed me to work in twists as I went, and I'm very happy with the way they turned out.

Now Valkyrie obviously has flaws, and chiefest among these is what I'm terming a 'rushed feeling'. This isn't because I was rushed when I wrote it - far from it.

One of the good things about the story is that it inadvertently created a ton of subplots and mini-arcs. This was great and unexpected... but an issue because the outline had not accounted for them. Therefore they were not given the room to expand and grow naturally, and were instead forced from beginning to end, giving them a very rushed feel. There unfortunately isn't much I can do to fix this, short of rewrite the entire outline to accommodate them, and then rewrite the entire fiction from the new outline. Would it make a better story? Almost certainly. Is it worth the time? No.

Literally ever story I've written, I could write better (except for Red). I usually figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it by the time I've written the final chapter. I could go back and rewrite the story, but I would inevitably find something else wrong, and have to do it again. And again. And again. Point is, I've learned that you can edit your own stories literally forever. If my interest remained on the story in question, maybe I would consider a rewrite. But with my interest moving on, so must my writing.

Valkyrie is not bad by any stretch. In the realm of my recent fan fictions, I would place it just below HiS, but well above Utgar.

Now... what's next? I don't know. My interest is with several possible stories at the moment. There are a few Valkyrie sequels among them, but right now it looks like I'll be writing something else. I think it is safe to say though, that for the moment, my interest is solidly on writing. So you can probably expect something within a few months.

Until then, keep reading.

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