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Trab

Untitled Reader Surprise

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When I first read it, I was about half way down before I realised what it was. Oh, and I loved the chapter title :icon10:

Thanks! I really hope the story is continued.

Good. I'm glad it didn't dawn on you right away. That was certainly the intended effect. The story does, indeed, have a title. If I decided to continue it, I'll share it.

This is almost a "proof of concept" to see what reaction would be. I swore there would be no sequel to Alone and this isn't technically a sequel but another novel with many (but not all) of the same characters plus some new ones.

The only reason this came to fruition is I was in my car and this idea hit me so hard I decided to say "fuck the hiatus" and I whipped something out -- a draft and asked a few people to give it a look-over. The reaction was rather positive, so then I wrote eight (8) drafts of this which probably earned me the emnity of my editor (but he's got my undying thanks) because I wanted this to be "just so" and it finally passed muster.

Then I offered it to Dude and Beagle with very specific conditions -- you'll notice it expires on 7-4-07 without exception. It may come back after that, and if it does it will be one chapter per month but it will be consisent. I have ideas brewing.

That being said:

1. I am looking for a second editor -- I always work with two editors. I'm more comfortable that way. The more anal retentive (not sexually, but pschologically) you are about grammar and syntax the better you'll be.

2. I am looking for input from readers *VIA EMAIL NOT POSTING* of questions you may have lingering from the old story that you want answered. I can't promise I'll answer them all, but I can see what I can do. I have a few old reader emails with those very things that I shall take care of soon.

3. If you like it, let me know.

4. If you don't like it, let me know WHY.

5. Angst! Yay.

Some of the plans for this are a bit darker and more mature because the character(s) have aged and matured. There is also a new character in my mind.

Again, thanks to Dude for humoring me with my special posting request. If/When this reappears it will be under his terms. I did not do this out disrespect for Dude, because you all should know, I respect him deeply for what he has done for this site, but because as a "concept" piece it's not finished and I want it to look that way. It makes sense to me, dammit.

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I need something else if there's a volunteer. It's been a long time since AWMS. I need someone who really likes it in order to help me out. I need special help with continuity details -- I suck at them -- like making sure a character doesn't have green eyes in AWMS and blue in URS. Ideally someone will go through and note all the details of character appearances, ages, likes, and dislikes because I kept horrible notes. If anyone thinks that sounds fun, please seek professional help IMMEDIATELY :) Seriously, if this sounds like something you'd like to do for fun, drop me a note.

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I can't tell you how tickled and pleased I was to get Untitled Reader Surprise in the email... although I'd agreed to post it - some weeks ago... sight unseen. It was only sent to two sites in this entire world... AwesomeDude and DaBeagle. I noticed it was posted right away there .. the fist new chapter/story post there in three months? Why are two major website owners jumping through hoops?

The story that was - in many ways a germinus for AwesomeDude - Alone With Myself - is back! Now listen... I SWEAR on a stack of bibles that choosing Alone With Myself as this month's Dude's Pick Novel was totally coincidental... as I had no idea what was coming. Call it divine intervention? Telepathy? I prefer the former.

I bemoaned the fact that Alex and Nicky were separated artificially although their worlds were far apart and so different... and that the story stopped there. I was dissatisfied with the outcome and when I read Untitled Reader Surprise I did a back flip.

For you newbies... I hope you'll read Dude's Pick Novel for this month and see if you don't agree we have to encourage WriteByMyself to march gaily forward with Alone By Myself.

:icon10:

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Dear Doody :)

Thanks for your kind words. You, like many people, were dissatisfied with the outcome. In fact almost everyone was, except me. I think it remains a perfect outcome -- and I've already hinted at that in URS* -- because it's true to the characters. Alex and Nicky are very complex characters modelled on living, breathing people that I know well so I have character studies to base them on. I am a keen observer of humans I care about I often know more about them than they do.

So many people told me they wanted a firm, concrete ending, but that's contrary to life. Things don't always have a happy or sad ending -- sometimes it's just and ending.

But the characters are still alive, so a story can still be told. As long as nobody uses the "S"* word I will be happy.

URS was given to the two sites that helped bring it to the attention of intelligent readers and so here it is. (I've given Codey's world permission to link to it, but I am not sure it's something they want or not).

Love

Wibby

* Sequel. It's not a sequel, dammit.

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How about Book Two (of a trilogy) :happy::icon10:

A sequel is continuation of the same story. A trilogy (and derivatives thereof) is one large unending story which is broken into volumes. Sequels seldom live up to the promise of the original.

This story happens to have many of the same characters as the first novel and it happens to take place in the same world (some two years later). That doesn't make it a sequel.

It is a proven, indisputable fact, that no racoon in history has ever written a sequel and it will forever be thus.

Denial, it's not just a river in Egypt.

PS: Today's question is "The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy: true or false?" If you have answered "true" you are incorrect.

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From the looks of the last paragraph or two, London still may be calling. I just hope it dosen't go to voicemail.

I have any number of possibilities. I have a start and an end. It's all the stuff in the middle that's a bit hazy. I certainly have more to say, and judging by the response, you'll see more unless people insist it's a sequel. I don't do sequels, dammit.

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I suspect I must be one of the few who actually LIKED the unresolved resolution of the original story, AWMS. It is a reflection of my own life, and I suspect many others, that things just sort of go the way they go, irrespective of our desires or even abilities to have them go another way. We do what we can, we put into it what we are able, and then we have to live with the consequences. We need to either forgive ourselves our sins and inadequacies, or suffer for a long time. Some things can be corrected, if they are even really 'wrong' in the first place, and others cannot. It is the latter than needs our active efforts to overcome our distress, as there is absolutely no point in worrying till death about something that is unchangeable. That way lies personal disaster.

I am fascinated that Alex seems to be in almost exactly the same position at the start of this new story as in AWMS. He is living in a fantasy world, in need of psychiatric help, and has only one friend. He is unsure of his orientation, and pushes people away out of discomfort and shyness. While being almost 2 years older, he seems not to have grown emotionally at all. His encounters in AWMS have given him experience, without seeming to have imparted any further maturing of his inner self.

The story that I hope is about to unfold should be interesting, and I am looking forward to it.

(Talk about PRESSURE, huh, WBMS? Trab wants to read this story!) :icon10:

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I suspect I must be one of the few who actually LIKED the unresolved resolution of the original story, AWMS.

You are one of only three people to support my original ending -- four if you count me. The people who didn't like it, the vast majority, I feel missed the point -- a character must be true to him/herself. And Alex was true to himself. A cat cannot be an elephant. Alex was what he was. I am quite unanimous in that, and the author's views win in all cases :)

However, teenagers change as they grow.

I am fascinated that Alex seems to be in almost exactly the same position at the start of this new story as in AWMS. He is living in a fantasy world, in need of psychiatric help, and has only one friend. He is unsure of his orientation, and pushes people away out of discomfort and shyness.

Trab gets an A+ and a gold star in today's class. However, Alex is a very, very strong person inside and he's very intelligent. It's quite possible he will have an ephihany and change. It's equally possible he is doomed to eternal misery because he will be unable to change. Your local bookie is now taking bets.

While being almost 2 years older, he seems not to have grown emotionally at all. His encounters in AWMS have given him experience, without seeming to have imparted any further maturing of his inner self.

This I disagree with. Very few people will cause themself unbearably pain and eternal misery to do what's right and Alex will. Alex proved that over and over in AWMS. If I could pick one fictional character to be my friend it'd be Alex or possibly Sam (from LOTR): I like people like that -- those that are strong and fiercely loyal to their friends.

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The story that I hope is about to unfold should be interesting, and I am looking forward to it.

(Talk about PRESSURE, huh, WBMS? Trab wants to read this story!)

I have received about a score of replies so far, all encouraging me to continue.

So, I will continue. On 4 July 2007 the posted copy will vanish. That isn't changing. Sometime thereafter a revised version -- already in the works -- will be posted and that version will be posted just like every other serial novel here.

Rather than have an erratic schedule, I will make a post on a certain date every month. Yes, every month. I will post one chapter per month until it's done because I can probably keep that schedule. The alternative is to wait a year and post it all at once. I don't like that because the excitement won't sustain itself.

I am still seeking volunteers for either (1) proofer/editor and (2) deviant sexual experiments*. If you're interested in either, drop me a line :)

* I am probably not serious about this -- unless you're.....

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I am working on chapter two. I would like to be done chapters 3 and possibly 4 before the real copy appears with my most excellent title.

And I'm serious, if you have lingering questions from the first novel that you'd like answered, email them to me and I will try and cover them.

(Chapter two explains what happened between AWMS and this story, which I remind you is not a sequel, dammit) Raccoons don't write sequels.

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(Chapter two explains what happened between AWMS and this story, which I remind you is not a sequel, dammit) Raccoons don't write sequels.

Hey, look -- I don't consider the James Bond movies to be sequels. They're each individual stories that work fine, and don't require that the viewer know what came before (or after). If your new project works as a self-contained story, then you're fine.

But having read Alone By Myself the first time, I have to confess, I enjoyed reading it, but I felt the ending left too many loose ends. I agree that people split up and relationships fall apart sometimes, but I think the story could've used more finality and a cleaner break between the two characters. Otherwise, the reader thinks of them pining away from each other, worlds apart. To me, that's not satisfying.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's good writing, and I've recommended the story before to others many times. I'm also very glad to see you writing again, and I really look forward to future installments.

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Hey, look -- I don't consider the James Bond movies to be sequels. They're each individual stories that work fine, and don't require that the viewer know what came before (or after). If your new project works as a self-contained story, then you're fine.

That's a good example, Mr. Pec, sir -- Bond. I like that.

This isn't quite standalone -- because you need to know a few basics, but other than that it could be a mostly independent story. (I don't ID the setting by name, though if I say GGP, you should be able to figure it out, and I don't really describe the charaters, but I suppose I could.).

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I just want everyone to know the July 1st unveiling is on schedule, and on that date (subject to his royal dudeness' posting schedule) you will see the highly-revamped chapter one along with the all-new chapter two. I plan to post ONE PER MONTH because, as I've said before, I can stick to that schedule.

Chapters 1 through 4 are "in the can" so to speak and I'm working on 5 again, after having scrapped it entirely.

Readers who feel there are unanswered questions that ought to have been answered previously, are welcome to share them with me via private message or email. I shall do my best to clean them all up.

If you feel the need thank someone, I would suggest all praise be directed towards my excellent proofer/editor duo who are doing their best to keep me honest by calling my sorry-raccoon ass on the carpet when they feel I've not done my job properly. I will admit to following a majority of their advice in correcting things (though I often re-write in my own way so it sounds like me and not them). They are much better at pointing out stupid stuff I miss.

I still would like to get the original published, but have long since thrown the towel in on that fiasco. I think it's good enough but apparently no mainstream publisher does.

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You know WBMS, you might have publishers taking you more seriously if you weren't calling yourself a racoon, and refusing to tell them your real name. Just a thought.

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