How long has it been since I last updated this fic? Last time I checked, it was about four years, but for all I know, it could be six. Well, tomorrow I'll try to rectify that by posting the first update to the fic in a looooong time. Of course, we'll first have to see if Blogger will actually post the scheduled update, since it kept giving me HTML errors when I added it to my queue. I swear, if Blogger messes up the new chapter posting tomorrow, I'll...fix it as best I can, I suppose.
So what exactly am I expecting when the first new chapter goes live? To be perfectly honest, not much. Contrary to what I initially decided, I'm not posting two chapters tomorrow because the second one needs some significant rewriting. And I actually am not that confident in the first one, either, because picking up writing a fic after so long isn't that easy. The chapter is noticeably shorter than the last batch of chapters I posted (roughly 15 pages as opposed to 24), and the writing style will be noticeably different, and therein lies the rub.
I know this will sound pathetically self-deprecating, but my writing still isn't as good as I want it to be. As someone who has grown up on the vicious dog-eat-dog battlefield that is the internet, I often find myself afraid of turning into someone who acts like his work is untouchable and that criticism is another word for jealousy. I've always tried to keep myself grounded and realize that there's always room for improvement, as well as to take any and all criticism (as long as it's polite and well-intended) in stride. As a result, I noticed something very unfortunate about my previous 61 chapters of my LoZ: OoT fic.
My writing sucks.
Now, I'm very humbled that there are quite a few people out there who enjoy what I write and happy that they want me to continue, but as the writer himself I cannot help but feel that what I've written is absolutely terrible. The early chapters especially are not as good as I remember, but the later chapters have their own problems: overused melodrama, characters talking way too much, generous helpings of purple prose, and annoying grammar tics repeated over and over and over. A lot of what I wrote is stuff I can't even read these days without feeling pangs of embarrassment. And just thing: my newest chapter in over four years just might be even worse.
But does that mean I'm going to give up writing? Of course not. It just means that I'll have to work hard to improve my writing so that it's actually worth reading. As much as I love the praise that I've received for my fic, I love criticism more...okay, maybe not love it, but I welcome it, certainly. Receiving criticism is the best thing for a writer: it keeps his head on straight and it gives him a chance to know where exactly to improve. And while I'm writing this fic mostly for enjoyment, that doesn't meant I can't use it for my benefit in some other way.
So what am I trying to say here? Just that if my newest chapter is not as good as you'd hope it would be, then I apologize and hope to correct that in the next chapter. I'm determined to finish what I started all those years ago back in high school, no matter how ugly things may get, and I'm glad that there others willing to come along for the ride.