Delays, Character Growth, & Reviews

If you read my post a month ago, and/or if you’ve been checking my FictionPress profile, you know that the long delay on posting chapter 15 has to do with getting caught between job training and deleted story files.

Despite giving in and buying iSkySoft Data Recovery software, which was advertised as being able to retrieve overwritten files (even from OS X Yosemite), my original chapter 15 story file (which was not sent to the trash can when overwritten) was nowhere to be found, leaving me to reassemble the beginning of chapter 15 from my handwritten rough draft. Unfortunately, piecing together the multiple versions of that rough draft into the previous “perfect” progression proved impossible. So I had to reconstruct the entire beginning from scratch (not from memory). Due to frustrated brain meltdowns, during which I quite literally pulled some of my hair out, I had to space out my sessions working on this cumbersome project, which drastically slowed my update time frame (to virtually nonexistent).

However, I did not give up. And Scrivener’s “split,” “merge,” “duplicate,” viewing together in-line, and sidenotes features have been a great asset. Now I can finally say (with a reasonable amount of pride) that the beginning of chapter 15 is finished. I have also swept through the bulk of chapter 15 numerous times to do minor edits, to move a few things around and change a few tones, etc. And now, finally, I am back to the end of chapter 15.

Despite the frustrating length of time it is taking me to construct and fine-tune chapter 15, I don’t regret taking my time. Nor do I think any of the chapter’s reworkings were unnecessary. (Except maybe the overwritten beginning—which you can thank a friend of mine for me not giving up on it altogether. The chapter almost ended up without any beginning framework/context, just for the sake of being done).

The reason why it’s taking me so long (besides the setback already mentioned) is because the character growth in chapter 15 is so exponential and so significant to the story that it has to be perfect. It’s a pivot point in Rome and Labriella’s relationship, where a lot of simmering internal issues are brought to a boil through external circumstances. How Rome and Bre respond to each other, within chapter 15’s context, determines how they relate to each other for the rest of the book, and the rest of the story. And the big, long scene that makes up the body of the chapter cannot be broken up. The word count right now is at about 11k. If I go with the ending I’ve already written most of, I’ll end at closer to 14k. But (as much as I like that scene) I’ll probably end up saving that scene for later, meaning I’ve still got a thousand words or so left to write.

Even with my 3-month absence, I still appear to be picking up new followers on FictionPress. O_o I am surprised, yet flattered. I guess some of that is probably because story-hungry readers are now on summer vacation. I remember those days, when summer meant vacation…*Sigh*

Anyway, to those new readers, I say welcome! Glad to see my story has hooked you in ;)

I have been responding to FictionPress member reviews via private message, usually within a few days. I’m sorry, guest reviewers, that I cannot respond to you in this way, so you’ve had to wait much longer with no response. Please know that I have seen your reviews, and continue to skim back over them as I write (I’m not ignoring you). I see your outcries about rules among nobles—namely, about a noble’s “right” to discipline another noble’s servant—and explaining that issue is part of why it was so important for me to rewrite the lost sections of chapter 15.

I have written Tsunayum privately, but I would like to say to my other readers that I am sorry if you (like Tsunayum) felt betrayed by Rome’s allusion to future circumstances involving Pandora and a bed, in the opening lines of chapter 1 (in book 2). The intention was foreshadowing, but maybe it was a bit much to open the story with, since you are given no context for Rome’s unhappy overview of the events he will (eventually) relay to you. I cannot, however, make any promises about this event being omitted from the actual storyline, because it marks another planned pivot point in the story.

I may post an excerpt from chapter 15 here to help hold you over, if finishing the chapter takes more than a couple days.

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