Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fic Repair Work

Before I wrote terrible Battletech fic, I wrote terrible Zoids fic, published under the name “Deadborder”. In a franchise largely targeted towards easily excitable twelve-year-olds, I had this odd preference for writing big, meaty epics (or at least, trying to). Largely, these were my first “big” fics, and got me the experience that I then used to carry forth into the Battletech fic and, eventually publication. So maybe they were good for something. They also got up a small following, even if a chunk of that following was made up of a single stalker using many sockpuoppets. (No, really)

My long-term goal is to re-publish them here, however, before I do that, there are a few obstacles that need to be overcome. Since each fic is in a different state, I’ll address each separately.

My first Zoids fic and my first “big” fic, it’s also in the worst condition of them by a long, long way. What I have is a salvaged mess of copies from multiple sources in terrible condition. Some are raw text, some are formatted documents, some are yanked form boards with BBS code still intact, some have HTML tags and some are simply un-spellchecked lumps. Added to this are the early chapters which went through several revisions and republications, resulting in a broken pile of mess. I have the whole fic, I just don’t have it in a single, consistent, coherent source.

Restoring it will be a lot of work; each chapter will need to be amalgamated from several different copies of each to find the “best” one, then re-edited, re-proofed (I wrote most of it without ready access to a spellchecker), compiled and re-published. And when you know how big that fic is, that’s a lot of work.

Finally, I’m going to be blunt with myself: The ending sucks, and the rest of the fic has some horrifically cringe-worthy moments. I’m strongly considering re-working and rebuilding it as I go, which won’t lighten then load any.

Shelflands II
Fortunately, this one is in somewhat better condition; no contradictory multiple copies or revised early chapters. However, it’s still a mess of unformatted raw text for the most part, and is full if many, many (literally many) errors and typos. It’ll take a lot of work, a fact that is only made worse by the fact that I need to finish poking through Shelflands first.

The Broken Chairs (Pointy Muses Fic)
At least this one is largely formatted text; otherwise, it’s in about the best shape of any of the fics, which still isn’t saying an awful lot. There’s still a lot of work to do; looking for typoes, fixing formatting and the like, as well as taking the opportunity to rework a few things that didn’t go so well the first tiem around.

However, while the fic is rather unfinished, I’ll say now that there’s very little chance of seeing any ‘new’ material. As much as I enjoyed working on the fic, that was a long time ago, and there’s reasons why I abandoned it.

Easily in the best condition. However, given that it’s also two chapters and a one-shot long before it was abandoned, that’s not actually saying much.

Random Crappy Zoids Fic
I have a complete run of RCZF to work from; however, I’m also not going to re-publish it. To be fair, as a meta-commentary on Zoids fandom, it was funny at the time, but is largely irrelevant today. That it was also based loosely on real people didn’t help any and has made chunks of it awkward at best and painful at worst. If you have a copy of RCZF, treasure it; you won’t see it’s like again.

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