Two weeks and at least 1350 clicks later (on the Chelsea Girl PDF itself). I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to read my very longest of stories, and especially those of you who took the time to leave a message in response; either here, at DeviantArt, at TG Comics, or at TG Storytime. I won’t bore you by sadly noting that relatively few people took the time to do so, compared to the number who must have read it by now, and especially compared to the amount of effort I put into the story. That’s par for the course. Receiving feedback isn’t why I write, and it shouldn’t be why anyone writes. You have to love just the process of writing itself, and I do. Which might just explain why the story has in it so many pics of a certain authoress of TG fiction. (My apologies to anyone who might find that sort of thing somewhat irritating, but it’s fun for me.)
Here’s a bit of background on the story. It began as a straightforward continuation of the earlier “Acceptance“. I wrote three chapters and found that the story was grinding to a halt. Why? Nothing was happening! It was just Colin getting hair extensions, then dressing up and going out as a woman. Not much different than the first story, right? The trouble was, there was no drama; no questions were being raised in the reader’s mind, to keep them interested in reading. I lost interest as well, and there the story languished for months.
Finally, I decided I could use what I’d already written as a springboard to a whole different kind of story. So I made something happen; that being the attack on Caitlin at the hotel, for which Colin was blamed. There’s drama for you! The rest of the story became a combination mystery/quest as Colin seeks to find out who was responsible, and why. That’s the reason the novel is loosely structured in two parts. The main story begins when Colin is blamed for the attack, and it ends when he manages to absolve himself. (Oh, by the way, that thing I just said there was a mean ole spoiler. Gotcha!)
I’d also like to answer the question that might be on everyone’s mind, but that no one actually asked—that being: Where the heck is Gina?
Gina was Colin’s girlfriend in “Acceptance“. (If you need more details than that, read the story.) So some of you might be wondering why she didn’t show up in the sequel. Good question! Shows you’re paying attention.
The wishy-washy answer is that Gina was in the story, as it was originally configured. It was she, and not Ella, who urged Colin to get the extensions and helped make it happen. It was only later, when I jazzed up the story with the attack, that I realized the woman who was doing this couldn’t be Gina after all. I mean, Gina’s a nice girl and Ella (spoiler!) kind of ain’t. So I had to create a new character to do the things that Ella needed to do. (This sort of thing happens in fiction writing a lot more than you’d think.)
That’s the author’s answer, but I do admit it isn’t very satisfying from the reader’s point of view. I could say that the action in this story all takes place over a two-week span, and maybe Gina just happened to be out of town at the time. (I know, I know, but I’m the writer—if I say she’s out of town, then she is so outta there!) The truth is, the way the story was reconfigured there was just no room for Gina’s character. Which means, of course, that I can’t leave Colin’s tale where it is at the end of Chelsea Girl. There will have to be a further sequel to both stories, wherein Colin has to choose between being a man and being a woman, and between Gina and Matt as well. I don’t yet know what that story will be, or when it will appear, but I promise you that “Beyond Beyond Acceptance” is in my future plans.
Aaaand because I really love this poster, here it is again…
Don’t be too discouraged. Like most people this time of year, I have been doing the “squirrel on the wheel” thing the last few weeks so I actually didn’t get to read it until today.
That being said, i very much appreciate the “craft” that you put into your stories. The stories themselves are meticulously edited, the layout is impeccable. In general I can tell you are a perfectionist in what you do and I hope that others appreciate this as well.
I just wish I could “grab” them directly in epub form on my Kobo since that is the way I do most of my reading these days (the adjustable font size and other characteristics make the story easy to see and read).
Thank you! If there’s one thing I’m all about, it’s the craft of writing. Not sure that I’m a total perfectionist elsewhere in life, but when it comes to writing… actually, not quite there either. I’m okay if a story isn’t perfect, as long as I know I’ve given it my best effort. But when it comes to the presentation of the story, I think the reader deserves that it be 100% readable. That includes editing, layout, etc.
I’m glad you mentioned the epub format. My plans for the new year include figuring out how to put my stories in that format. Depending on how that goes, I may switch over entirely or put out PDF and epub versions at the same time. And I hope to port a handful of the existing feature stories as well. Not sure when that will happen, but it’s in the works!
I can certainly relate to your “attitude” about the “craft”. While I am NOT a writer, i like to think I am the same way about outdoor photography. I like to “get it right” when I trip the shutter, rather than take the “fix it in photoshop” attitude.
Cool. I too can totally relate. When you find your calling, it’s not only a good idea to do it the right way, it’s fun too! And more to the point, it really feels like that’s the only way it should be done.
Loved your story. Read it in one sitting. Held my attention right to the end.
Thank you, that’s great to hear. (One sitting? Impressive!) Writing a longer story is risky in that, if it’s not done right, the reader will probably (and should!) lose interest. Glad I was hitting the right notes.