Well, I'm sad to hear it, but I can understand why you want to take a break to work on your writing style. Hope everything goes well for you, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!
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.
@NebulaDreams Good luck to you mate!
Sorry for extremely late response, my activity here dropped drastically (and with it I temporarily stopped reading fics, except for MMM which I promised to do) - due to a lot of pressure IRL.
I just thought I should comment on your posts before I am back full time...
I can't say anything about your writing style (I had no problem with it, but nothing wrong with trying to improve), but that maybe just me not being a native speaker.
Curio being introduced later is something I always considered a good thing. It adds to the mystery: Who is this person that Shine is so anxious to meet again? What is their history? What is/was she like? These questions add to the hook that makes the reader come back and continue the story to find out. Introduce her in Ch1 and that mystery is gone. The only remaining driving question will be "Oh, what happens when they finally meet?"
You will still have the GeL backstory and Curio's childhood up your sleeve, so it is not necessarily a bad thing, but I do remember being intrigued by this mysterious Curio that Shine kept thinking about. Pretty sure one flashback or Shine telling someone on-screen a bit about her would be sufficient to wheat audience's appetite while still keeping her this cool mysterious person who will we eventually meet. If everything is spelled out right in the first chapter it might rob the readers of sence of discovery in later chapters (ulimately she won't stand out from any other characters -at least until you tell her backstory-, making her less cool).
About cutting "unnecessary" words - that is a valid concern for all of us, but just be careful not to get too trigger-happy. Depending on how extactly you use them, some of those extra words/phrases may have extra entertaining value or double as a minor case of world building (and are therefore useful despite not moving the plot forward and adding to word count) - not to mention they might contribute to your own personal style, helping to distinguish it from others.
Oh, thanks a lot for the comment, @Marika_CZ! While I initially expressed problems with the writing style, I think it was just a matter of editing, and I've regained my writing confidence since then, so that's not so much a concern any more.
Revealing a bit too much about Curio and Shine's relationship at the beginning before her appearance held back the story in some regard, as Shine's motivation was really tied to her character despite the reader not knowing anything about her yet. So far, from the 3 chapters I've put out of the new version, the general consensus is that Shine's memory change of Curio has improved the story, as it makes the motivation more central and relateable to him and adds more mystery to her. Plus, I'm planning on moving that element of guilt of him abandoning her to the end of the first arc, so that makes for the big reveal after the fight in chapter 5.