Hello, dear readers. I thought I’d announce this, since it’s important and changes a lot about the fic I’m working on. The Curious and the Shiny has been well received by some for its varied cast of characters, its worldbuilding and the mystery elements at play in the story, but I feel this is held back by a very weak opening that undersells the potential of the rest of the fic, so I’ve been working on editing every chapter released so far (1-18) so I can give it a much-needed face-lift.
Chapter 1 will be the most heavily reworked, since the fic’s major stumbling block is to do with the crucial starting paragraphs, which are confusing and dull. There’s a new prologue added before that reworked opening scene, so that adds a more exciting opening hook, which I'll preview below:
The sunlit gravel burned all that walked across it, yet the Luxray dashed through. Even as his paws blistered from the bare dirt and his wounds burned with the intense heat in the air, he had to. His sensitive ear picked up the footsteps of his pursuers, chasing from behind.He ran towards the cityscapes ahead of him, where humans awaited, along with the promise of relief from his injuries, and afterwards, a normal life. Behind, though, was them. He didn’t want to imagine what they had in store for him if they caught him.
The more he ran, the more he wheezed with exhaustion, and by the time he reached the junction where the roads from the other cities converged, he stopped to catch his breath. Cars, vehicles, trucks, all honking in cacophony. Humans. He ran alongside the asphalt, shouting to anyone that might’ve listened as he ran. Surely, one person must’ve seen his condition and stopped to help, but nobody did. They blitzed through the road, which even he couldn’t catch up with in his faltering condition. Why did nobody notice him? His heart pumped. How far behind were those grunts?
In desperation, he flung himself into the highway, into the path of oncoming cars which swerved in different directions and blared furiously. Sense came back long enough for the Luxray to dodge out of the way out of the road, only for another car to come hurtling towards his way, and crashed into his side, sending him spinning towards the hot asphalt before rolling on his back. He groaned as dull pain spread through his stomach, as he tried to get a sense of how bad his injuries were. Then it struck him. He was about to die. There were so many questions, so many injustices left, and so many dreams waiting to be realised, all of which would be undone. He only hoped anyone listening might’ve heard his last words.
“P-please,” he croaked in human tongue, “I, I wanna l-live. P-please, h-help.”
With the sun shining above him, his vision faded to black.
Not only that, some comments I’ve received have also highlighted the lack of investment towards Shine’s quest to find Curio, since while he’s shown to care a lot about her, since she isn’t properly introduced to Chapter 3, that doesn’t translate well to the reader caring about Curio.
Another thing that didn’t come across so well is how much Shine is damaged by the trauma of the events at GeL (the circumstances of which will still be kept a mystery until later chapters), causing him to repress a lot of his memories there. Therefore, one other crucial change I'm making is that Shine doesn't remember much about Curio as before, as I've changed his quest from finding his old friend to gaining back his repressed memories by finding an old friend, and so, lots of details about her will be left more vague at the beginning.
By design, the reader would get to know Curio at the same time Shine is relearning parts of his past with her, which I think will make for more investment in that character.
This not only changes Chapter 1, but also changes a lot of the content to do with chapter 1-5, since introspection and dialogue often revolves around memories of Curio and Shine regretting leaving her behind at the facility. The rest will proceed as normal from there. Since I've also written 36k words of new material for NaNoWriMo, those will be included as well, so I'll have a steady backlog of chapters to upload.
I’m also making minor changes to the chapters by fixing typos as well as cutting down on unnecessary words left in the previous drafts. In Chapter 7 alone, I managed to cut out 430 words just by going through it thoroughly.
I also aim to remake some of my old artwork to accompany this rework, and have a commission from a really talented artist in the backlog, so those will be extra treats for when I release them. The previous chapters will still be up on the sites I’ve posted them in, just for comparison’s sake, but from here on out, I'll be posting the reworked chapters to a new thread.
Please let me know how you feel about these changes in the comments.