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30 December 2009 @ 04:28 pm
"What the heck's up with Arranged? I wanna know." "Well, let me tell you."  
I felt inspired, whilst showering, to explore my inner thoughts on Arranged and write a little manifesto.  After all, many wonderful people are invested in this fic which has not been updated in some-infinite weeks, despite my assurance that such a hiatus would not again occur.  So, here's where I stand on the fic:

First of all, there's something you should know about me.  I'm, like, this homebody that's been married since I was nineteen.  I've never been to college, unless you count a couple of odd language courses.  I've never partied.  I've gone out "drinking" one whole time, with my best friend when I was 25 years old.  I did not drink, nor did I enjoy watching my best friend lose her grasp on the things that endear her to me.  I've never had more than two friends at a time.  I live in TEXAS, people.  I'm  a loner, an only child, a hermit, and an introvert.  I'm not cultured, and I think I only barely qualify as civilized.  Why does this matter?  Because before Arranged, I was Captain Obscurity.  I had a very small, very loyal fan base, and I knew them, and I knew exactly who was going to be reviewing my stories before I even posted them.  That was comfortable for me.  Then I posted Arranged, and y'all, I had no idea it was going to receive the response that it did.  Actually, I thought I was going to get flamed up one side and down the other for it.  An arranged marriage fic?  Hasn't that been done a million, jillion times? 

But people did respond to it, and I think now I know why: I started it at a time when Kishimoto had let us all down.  He'd failed us so badly with the Pein arc, and people were desperately hoping for some direction of the manga that was different from the one he'd provided.  In my opinion, the manga should have ended with the Pein arc, with Tsunade dying, Naruto taking her place, (I mean, did he not just prove that he's stronger than the previous hokage?) and Sakura admitting that she'd given up on Sasuke a long time ago, and absolutely NOTHING happening to Sasuke because who the hell cares about him anyway?  And, you know, if Shikamaru had gotten honest with himself and banged Temari against a wall, that just would have been icing on the cake.  But it didn't end, and nothing turned out right, and we all realized, if we hadn't figured it out before, that Kishi's manga was utterly without direction.  And we'd all invested so much emotion into it that we tried to find a place to transfer it.  Enter Arranged, the Shika/Tema-centric, alternate reality of Kishi's universe.  *laugh*  That sounds so arrogant.  Sorry about that.

But the result for me is something of a Susan Boyle complex.  Not that I'm as awesome as her, but I suddenly had a boatload of readers that I'd never met before, and it happened, like, overnight.  I'm not saying that I don't love my reviewers, because I do.  You guys are so nice and encouraging, and without the reviews I'd probably go cry alone in a closet.  And not a single person has put any pressure on me; you've all just been supportive and great.  But the pressure is there, because I put it on myself.  From my point of view, what I have before me is an insurmountable task: to finish this story, and to do it better than Kishi would.  And, guys, I'm not just ending the ShikaTema arc.  I'm ending the manga.  Crash-bang, no more worrying about the direction Kishi's going to take it, because I have closure, canon be damned.  And I'm doing this for myself.  I need this.  But it's a lot scary knowing that I'm bringing so many of you with me. 

I'm telling you all this so that you'll understand, maybe, what's taking me so long.  It's that last gasp before I jump off the cliff.  And I hope you understand, too, that this is the reason the last couple of chapters have been so draggy and strange.  I'm stalling.  Because I'm scared.  Because a lot of you will hate my ending, and because I'm afraid I'm going to screw it up.  But this is the ending I have to write.

I guess this is my warning: if you don't trust me, bail out now.  I wouldn't blame you.  In fact, I might even agree with you. 

Too bad I've never learned how to bail out of my own brain.  :)
coelha on December 30th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
We trust you. Do not worry!
psiteleportpsiteleport on December 31st, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks. *snuggle*
Alex: The Ferrywomanferrywoman on December 30th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure I will love your ending, because you say a lot will hate it. Ah, but I love any sort of ending with ShikaTema, and I love it more when it's bittersweet, with a character death, or a separation, or something that's just so edgy/insane no one's ever been brave enough to do it. I love surprising, unexpected ones the most.

Bah! Who cares about Kishi and what he's gonna do? :D I started reading Arranged (despite my vow never to read a story that hasn't ended yet) because it's interesting, well-written, and definitely not draggy at all. Okay, so maybe I haven't left a review yet, but I bet you'd get tired reading my inane comments such as, "OMG asdfg what a clever story love it lots *flails*" and "plz update soon plzzzz,,,"

And I just have to insert this, but I love the "while I go to Danzo" bit. All the while I was thinking, "Wait, either PSITeleport's impeccable grammar skillz are lacking after all, or she's just bullshitting me and knows very well that that's effing easy to get around to." And then the next chapters, "NO WAY! She played me good!" I didn't expect that a single word can move a story forward with such excitement. LOL. Be thankful I didn't read that "while I go" chapter back then; I might have spoiled it to the ones reading your reviews. I even felt kinda slightly smarter than Temari. So how's that for arrogance? Haha.

Just...blow us away with your genius. It's your story. I trust you. And you're just baiting us with this entry, making us dying to know what's in store for Arranged.

Kidding. :D (And I know, I really tend to blab a lot. But happy holidays anyway.)
psiteleportpsiteleport on December 31st, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Then, uh, let me just say: for all the reasons you gave, you WILL love my ending. >_<

Smarter than Temari: XD I was worried that everyone would figure that out and post it in the reviews. Actually, a couple of people did, but they sent it to me privately in PMs, so that was good. But I think it would have been less obvious if I could have posted one chapter right after the other, so the reader had no time to think about it. I mean, that little grammatical weirdness was addressed almost immediately, in terms of the story moving forward, but not for a couple of weeks in real time.

I guess we'll never knooooooww.......


*laugh* Anyway, thanks so much for the encouragement. I'll try not to freak out too much about it.

Edited at 2009-12-31 04:11 pm (UTC)
Alexferrywoman on December 31st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
OHOHO. Darnit. Now you're killing me. I can't wait for the last chapter (yeah, so much that I'm practically forgetting there are a couple more before the last, heh.)

Right, we'll never know. But suspense can only be good, so I say it's alright if people wait a couple of weeks to know what's going on after an expertly-handled scene like that. Makes them think, wonder, anticipate. It makes reading the reveal all the more sweeter. :p

Yay, I really am excited about Arranged. Now more than ever. You're evil, saying those things. :) Good luck anyway. And oh, Happy New Year!

P.S. I vote for M. Always. For ShikaTema. LOL.
Aquarius Galuxy: Temari - stareaquarius_galuxy on December 31st, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
I know how the pressure feels, to some extent. =p It happens to writers who have an audience they care about and don't want to disappoint. (I've never had that large an audience though!)

As long as the fic's going to be finished, I think it should be fine. =P You're getting me somewhat worried about the ending though! But don't worry about that, just do what you have to. =P I'm still going to be hanging on 'til the last chapter!

(Oh! and the somewhat-continuation of Recent Photo you were telling me about some months ago? =p)
psiteleportpsiteleport on December 31st, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
That continuation is still floating in the back of my mind, but it keeps getting moved down the list of priorities. I have to finish Arranged, then there's the fic for Koko wa ShikaTema, and I have a collaboration going on that's really relaxed and has no deadline, but it's something I'll be working on in the meantime. Plus I have this epically huge thing I'm working on...*insane laughter*

So, yeah. It's still there, but won't be happening for a little while. But that's good, because I still haven't figured out the particulars. I'm waffling between T and M on it. :)
Aquarius Galuxyaquarius_galuxy on December 31st, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
XD That's good, as long as there's some ShikaTema to read!